The TRACK character education program was established in 1999 with the encouragement of Maureen Willis and the help of a group of teaching staff to best share the character traits we want all school citizens to exhibit and build from. The TRACK program has evolved yearly as an additional way to reinforce the students personal, social and emotional development in the elementary school years. It's main effort is to build positive resiliency to best assist our students in handling the daily challenges of life. TRACK builds on the efforts of collaboration to develop a safe learning community for all while reinforcing the Core Currculum and ASCA National Standards.
Please check out the ASCA position on school counseling and character education at:http://www.schoolcounselor.org/asca/media/asca/home/position%20statements/PS_CharacterEducation_1.pdf
There are many facets to the TRACK program.
All are intertwined within the school community and are not the sole responsibility of the school counseling department.
TRACK Character Themes:
Each month, a character quote stimulates discussion related to the character value and TRACK. Teachers receive a theme activities packet at the start of the month. The value/quote sign is to be discussed with the class and posted. Values change yearly based on the TRACK slogan of the year. These values are determined by the TRACK Committee.
2016-2017 Central theme is The Hero In Us/Community Unity
7 Habits + 1 of Happy Kids
September: TRACK/ Habit 1 Be Proactive
October: Brave/Habit 2 Begin with the End in Mind
November: Patience/Habit 3 Put First Things First
December: Compassionate/Habit 4 Think Win-Win
January: Empathy/Habit 5 Seek First to Understand Then Be Understood
February: Reliable/Habit 6 Synergize
March: Enthusiasm/Habit 7 Sharpen the Saw
April: Fairness/Habit 8 Find Your Voice
May: Determination/What is in my future?
June: Gratitude/How we succeed together!
During the year, TRACK has a character related themed event which is another way to reinforce the components of the program. These themed events may have daily announcements, dressing themes, activities and at times school wide projects. These weeks are meant to involve the entire school community to participate in the events while further reinforcing the components. It is also a way to put TRACK into action.
School wide Themed Events:
September: Our Character Counts Month
October: Week of Respect/National Bullying Awareness Week
& Red Ribbon Week (Drug Prevention)
January: Kindness Challenge
February: Spread the Love Week/No Name Calling
April/May: Peace Week/Anti-Violence in Youth
June: TRACK Celebration Week
Weekly TRACK Announcement/Mindful Monday Message:
Once per week an announcement is made to share accomplishments students are making in our quest to reach our TRACK Acts goal of the year. The message expresses gratitude for efforts made to show TRACK in our school community while recognizing the efforst of individual students. It also reinforces that each of us can make a difference! The year's theme music is played as an introduction to the annoucement.
Cafeteria Message Board:
A weekly and sometimes daily TRACK message is posted in the cafeteria as a way to encourage TRACK behavior during recess and lunch. It also serves as further communication of current events and TRACK Acts total.
The September Tally Rally announces the start of the TRACK Acts. This is a form of behavioral modification and reinforcement as a school community activity. TRACK acts are positive and responsible behavior observed by another school member (student, teacher, aide, specialist, all staff, and parent). When a student demonstrated an appropriate behavior related to TRACK (such as school rules, manners, etc.) any school member can fill out a TRACK ACT Form and place the completed form in the TRACK mailbox in the main office.
The acts have a yearly goal for the school to reach by June and then the total is celebrated at the annual TRACK Celebration Week in June. This goal serves as the community goal to demonstrate our desire to be responsible and positive role models for each other. The total is also discussed at the Community Campfires.
Community Campfire Time:
Community assemblies began in 2008 as a way to unite the grade levels and the school in a common goal. The assembly meets in the cafeteria and is attended as a two or three grade level meeting. The time begins the with everyone standing to recite the Pledge of Allegiance and sing a patriotic song led by the music staff. A school staff member then discusses a topic related to TRACK or a current behavioral issue/expectation of the grade level attending. At times the vice principal will speak about issues related to recess and lunch along with school related rules and expectations. The counselor speaks about a topic related to the Be Your Best Program, gives the TRACK acts total and/or discusses the themed week event. The assembly concludes with the ACS CHANT and the singing of the ACS song.
Classes also begin to be guest speakers in November to share how they show TRACK through academic based activities. Teachers sign up as a class or with another class. Any current good news events are also shared during "CCT".
ACS staff can volunteer to attend the committee who revise and develop components to the TRACK program and also to the BE YOUR BEST program. Areas of implementation are discussed, and resources are researched and produced during the 30 minute meeting. They work together to find ways to put TRACK into the daily happenings of the school. These members are the essential representatives of the guidance programs to fellow grade level staff. Meetings are held on Tuesday at 3:00- 3:30 once per month.
While TRACK is the central theme of the character education program, class activities emphasize specific skills related to the emotional, personal and social development of the grade level. The lessons involve a brief introduction related to the theme, statement of the skill, modeling of the skill/concept, cooperative problem solving, sharing, and review. Class teachers are a part of the guidance lessons and an essential resource to communicate how the class is functioning. The teachers also communicate their concerns of the specific needs their class may need and lessons will then be geared to the needs. They are also the evaluative process of the program.
TRACK Celebration Week:
The year ends with a week long event to review our efforts in reaching the TRACK Acts goal of the year. This school wide event may involve TRACK workshops, class lessons, visits from TRACKers and TTF, announcements, and a TRACK Celebration March which occurs outside on the blacktop. The Wall of Famers names are read at the march and they are asked to stand to be applauded. Famers also are rewarded with a story time or extra recess that week. Some teachers also develop additional activities to do as a grade level during this week. This week is a way to reward the extreme efforts in making TRACK a part of everyone’s daily life.
Third, fourth, and fifth grade classes may participate in an all grade cooperative assembly related to a component of TRACK. The activity involves a cooperative problem solving activity they will share. The workshops are meant as an additional way to practice and apply social problem solving in a fast paced format. The workshop is directed by the counselor, guided by the teachers and formed by the students. After all groups share, teachers and the counselor share the positive observations of the work by the groups and also offer feedback. It is a very active 45 minute cooperative event! Workshops may occur once per year if time allows and is usually scheduled during a school wide themed event.
The concept behind TRACK is to have it be a part of the everyday environment in our school community. Children do learn what they repeatedly hear, see, and do. Parents and teachers have a wonderful role in being that character role model! When we make mistakes along the way and make attempts to positively correct them, children remember. They watch and listen to us and they enjoy learning from the adults about TRACK. TRACK is truly not a way to be perfect or to require others to behave or to be punished for getting “off TRACK”. TRACK is an additional tool to use when we each need to get back on TRACK. When we discuss TRACK, it is how we use each part to resolve personal conflicts: We are fair by seeing each side of the conflict (tolerance); we are polite and use "I" messages to share how we feel (respect); we use a positive and listening attitude to solve a conflict; we work together to come to the best decision to resolve the conflict (cooperation); and we are kind at all times to show we will follow through. TRACK is a reminder for us to stop and think about whether we are showing our best self when it may be difficult to show.
TRACK is not what others don't do.
TRACK is what YOU choose to do.