Penns Valley

Accentuate the positive: Two Penns Valley schools earn recognition for good behavior

Feb. 9 was a special day for some primary schools in the Penns Valley Area School District.

Miles Township Elementary School in Rebersburg and Penns Valley Elementary and Intermediate School were given Banner School status — a statewide designation that recognizes schools that promote positive behavior.

The schools underwent an evaluation through the state Department of Education, after applying for the recognition last year.

“A group of evaluators — about five people — came to the schools and interviewed principals, teachers and kids,” Penns Valley Elementary and Intermediate Principal Kurt Nyquist said.

The schools needed to pass with an 80 percent score or higher. Miles Township received a 94 percent and Penns Valley scored a 91 percent, Nyquist said.

“They really want to make sure the kids comprehend and follow through with positive behavior,” Nyquist said. “For our kids, it’s become second nature.”

Penns Valley Elementary and Intermediate was one of the first schools in the state to support the initiative about seven years ago but only recently applied for the designation, Nyquist said.

“At all the schools, we promote schoolwide positive behavior to be responsible, be respectful and be ready,” Nyquist said.

Students are rewarded with “Ram Stars” or “Ram Cards,” which students can trade for special privileges.

“At first, they were all about getting their Ram stars or cards, and going out of their way to do something kind or respectful,” Nyquist said. “Now, it’s been a habit that it’s just the way you act.”