Maquinna Elementary School students Anya Garcia

Maquinna Elementary School students Anya Garcia

Maquinna school’s shooting STARS

Elementary school students in Alberni take teamwork to new level with social justice initiative.

Some STAR pupils are making a difference at Maquinna Elementary School this year.

Three students made a presentation to School District 70 trustees at their meeting on Dec. 10.

The students are participating in an inquiry initiative that all schools in the district are taking on.

At Maquinna, students chose to work on a social justice project called STARS, which stands for safety, teamwork, achievement, respect and share. The initiative is referred to as a STARS code of conduct at the school.

“As a staff we thought it was important to revive the school code of conduct in our school, and actively engage our students in the learning, modelling and teaching processes of doing so,” school principal Darren Homan said.

The initiative actually started in 2012 but has been worked on consistently since, Homan said.

The goal of the project was to teach appropriate school behaviour by strengthening the STARS code of conduct.  Specific initiatives to accomplish this included making it more visible in the school, training students to model appropriate playground behaviour and reduce problematic playground behaviour.

“We asked a question: “Will school wide and class activities focused on our STARS code of conduct create a safe and respectful school culture and learning environment?”” Homan said.

Students set to work by making code of conduct posters, which were placed around the school. They also created assemblies where the code of conduct was modelled by teachers and students in skits. And an anti-bullying video was produced and uploaded to Youtube.

The initiative has yielded tangible results.

According to Homan, the STARS code of conduct is part of students’ and teachers’ language. Leadership students took the lead in teaching other students the code. And there has been a decrease in reports of problem behaviour as well as referrals to the office.

Making STARS consistent across all grades and classes is seen as a way to launch the initiative’s next step, Homan said. To accomplish that, teachers have agreed to begin teaching lessons from a social responsibility curriculum created by the Richmond School District.

The impact of STARS isn’t lost on students.

Teaching kids not to bully is a key part of being a leader, Grade 5 student Cortney Cameron said. “The lessons teach the students how to not only be a Maquinna STAR but also how to solve problems in effective ways and how to help your friends when they need it,” she said.

reporter@albernivalleynews.com

Twitter.com/AlberniNews

 

Just Posted

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

The remains of the Mid-Island Co-op in Whiskey Creek along the Alberni Highway on Friday, June 18, after a blaze the day before devastated the gas station. (Michael Briones photo)
VIDEO: Whiskey Creek gas station destroyed by fire after camper van explosion

Nine fire departments responded to the incident, no injuries reported

New Vancouver Island University chancellor Judith Sayers was sworn in at a virtual ceremony June 17. (Submitted photo)
VIU’s new chancellor seeks innovation and equality in post-secondary education

Judith Sayers officially sworn in as Vancouver Island University chancellor

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Bruce Springsteen performs at the 13th annual Stand Up For Heroes benefit concert in support of the Bob Woodruff Foundation in New York on Nov. 4, 2019. (Greg Allen/Invision/AP)
Canadians who got AstraZeneca shot can now see ‘Springsteen on Broadway’

B.C. mayor David Screech who received his second AstraZeneca dose last week can now attend the show

New research suggests wolves can be steered away from the endangered caribou herds they prey on by making the man-made trails they use to hunt harder to move along. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Culling cutlines, not B.C. wolves, key to preserving caribou herds: researcher

The government has turned to killing hundreds of wolves in an effort to keep caribou around

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Most Read