Gilroy Today 2009 09 Fall | Page 11

• Be honest
• Don ’ t deceive , cheat or steal
• Be reliable — do what you say you ’ ll do
• Have the courage to do the right thing
• Build a good reputation
• Be loyal — stand by your family , friends and country
• Treat others with respect ; follow the Golden Rule
• Be tolerant of differences
• Use good manners , not bad language
• Be considerate of the feelings of others
• Don ’ t threaten , hit or hurt anyone
• Deal peacefully with anger , insults and disagreements
• Do what you are supposed to do
• Persevere : keep on trying !
• Always do your best
• Use self-control
• Be self-disciplined
• Think before you act — consider the consequences
• Be accountable for your choices
• Play by the rules
• Take turns and share
• Be open-minded ; listen to others
• Don ’ t take advantage of others
• Don ’ t blame others carelessly
• Be kind
• Be compassionate and show you care
• Express gratitude
• Forgive others
• Help people in need
• Do your share to make your school and community better
• Cooperate
• Get involved in community affairs
• Stay informed ; vote
• Be a good neighbor
• Obey laws and rules
• Respect authority
• Protect the environment
As the behaviors of Character Counts become more recognized in the school students are taught to exercise better decision making by using a model that includes the following steps :
Stop and Think Clarify Goals Determine Facts Develop Options Consider Consequences Choose Monitor and Modify
Teachers and staff are part of the training program and are encouraged to exhibit the behaviors of Character Counts in their own lives and celebrate it in the lives and behaviors of the students . Staff implementation of Character Counts is based on TEAM : Teach , Enforce , Advocate , and Model .
Character Counts schools become known for an interesting behavior where teachers and students post slips of paper recognizing students and staff behavior that reflects one of the six pillars . Research further shows that schools implementing the program often see a decline in discipline referrals , dropouts , suspensions and expulsions . A five-year study in South Dakota showed significant improvements in every category of student behavior studied . In one California district officials reported 47 % to 76 % drop in referrals , dropouts , suspensions and expulsions . With less discipline issues teachers and students see less disruption in the learning process .
Many teachers are leery of additional duties , but so far GUSD staff have wholeheartedly embraced the program . Dr . Flores notes that some have called it “ life altering .”
As with all things new this program comes with some expenses . The District has come up with some of the necessary funding . And generous benefactors like the Gilroy Rotary Club , Don Christopher , and the Gilroy Educational Foundation have provided additional funding . The program has also seen support from the Local Bar Association , and the Police and Fire Associations
Dr . Flores expects to see the most changes at the elementary level , which will work its way up the grades to middle and high school . With only a year into the program , Scott Otteson at Glen View , has already seen some changes : less discipline and more respectful behavior .
Congratulations to the community and to Gilroy Unified for embracing Character
Counts thereby making Gilroy a better place to live and work !
For more information go to : charactercounts . org / gusd . k12 . ca . us /