In 2018, PA Distance developed a school-wide positive behavior support program in which students earn points for following our “Core Four”.
“We did a needs assessment on what the teachers felt were the things that successful students have,” explained Director of Special Education, Mrs. Jamie Derochers who oversees the School Store.
The Core Four is made up of four behaviors we feel students need in order to be successful in life as well as school. Students are instructed and rewarded for organization, self-advocacy, working independently, and attending school.
How the School Store Works
The School Store is only available to elementary and middle school students at PA Distance.
“Research shows that elementary and middle school-aged kids are externally motivated,” she said. “So it works really well as a positive behavior guide for them.”
Students can receive “Dojo” points when they display desired behaviors relating to the Core Four. During class, a teacher can reward a student with Dojo points for a specific reason like if they told the teacher that they needed help or if they work on an important assignment independently.
The points are stored on the ClassDojo website making it easy for teachers to track points for each of their students as they move from class to class. Points that are earned can be used to purchase items at the online school store which is set up similar to any other online store.
Students can access the school store online and “shop” for items to buy like water bottles, school supplies, stuffed animals, slime and other items that students would find interesting.
“Our most popular item in the school store is astronaut ice cream followed very closely by little containers of slime,” Mrs. Derochers said.
“We have had plenty of generous donations from the community,” Mrs. Derochers said.
“We have gotten hockey pucks from the Pittsburgh Penguins and passes for the Carnegie Science Museum,” she explained. “We’ve had donations from dental offices who have given us toothbrushes and mini tubes of toothpaste.”
The School Store and the Dojo point system will be entering its 2nd school year in the fall of 2020 and Mrs. Derochers is optimistic that it will continue as long as students and teachers find it helpful.
“We’ve had really good feedback from parents and students at the end of our first year doing it,” Mrs. Derochers explained. “We’re excited to keep it going.”
Donate to the School Store
PA Distance could always use some extra help with school store supplies. If interested in donating, the following items are examples of things we are looking to collect (in brand new condition): books, fun or unique school supplies, hygiene products, small toys, or any other type of merchandise you think might be of interest to our students.
If you would be willing to donate merchandise or make a monetary donation to our school store so we can continue to provide this positive behavior program to our students please contact Mrs. Jamie Desrochers at 888-997-3352 ext. 105 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank You To Our Partners In Education
We would like to recognize the following individuals, businesses, and organizations that have made generous donations to our school store: