George Goss, Vice Principal and Counselor
Hampton Elementary School
Hampton, New Brunswick
For the first three years George Goss was vice principal and counselor at Hampton Elementary, the 400-student school racked up more than 1,000 disciplinary referrals per year. "We were spending a lot of time cleaning up messes after they happened."
After studying the issue at length, Goss realized the student population faced a unique challenge. He read studies on local children's socialization before starting school. "A high percentage—more than 30 percent—were not socialized in the way that one would expect them to be when entering kindergarten. That meant they didn't have a set of skills that would allow them to enter a community such as a school knowing how to act."
The Second Step program helped Goss teach his students the social skills they needed. "It addresses these issues by helping us focus on those areas where we want them to get a better skill set or change their behavior in a positive way. It doesn't reprimand, it doesn't tear down. Its focus is rewarding kids when they do it right."
The result? Last year, Hampton Elementary had just 377 referrals. "I find it really rewarding to teach the Second Step program in the classroom," says Goss. "The kids respond so well to it."
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