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Keeping up with positive referrals

Devon Forest Elementary positive referrals
Devon Forest Elementary positive referrals

Principal Cristie Mitchum reads out some of the recent positive referrals.

Published on Monday, March 30, 2020

positive referrals facebook post

BCSD provided photo / Sample of Devon Forest Elementary's online positive referrals.

When students still occupied the building, Devon Forest Elementary had a way of acknowledging students’ good behavior and hard work through a trend called positive referrals.

With students learning from home right now, the positive referrals are continuing, just a little differently.

Devon Forest Elementary has been doing the positive referrals for a couple of years – other schools in the district do them as well.

Teachers refer students to Mitchum for positive behavior demonstrated in their classrooms. Typically, when students were still inside the school buildings, a student receiving a positive referral resulted in a trip to Principal Cristie Mitchum’s office to receive praise, a new pencil and a phone call to the parents to let them know the student has demonstrated positive behavior.

That phone call to the parents, in particular, was a highlight of the meeting.

“Parents were so excited,” she said.

The school’s administration opted to keep up the positive referrals through a communication app called ClassDojo.

In a sample video, Mitchum reads off the first names of the students who received positive referrals, plus the name of their homeroom teacher. She also gave a quick synopsis for each student on why they received a positive referral: successfully completing virtual learning assignments on time, demonstrating good leadership and staying on top of their assignments.

The school is also posting the names of students who have received positive referrals in Facebook posts.

A lot of the referrals have to do with the students continuing to be proactive through virtual learning.

Mitchum is also printing off certificates to be sent to the students congratulating them; about 58 went out in the mail on Friday.

“We are going old school and hope the students enjoy getting some mail like we used to,” Mitchum said.

She said her teachers are excited that the school is continuing the positive referrals.

Mitchum said she misses the interactions with her students; seeing her students first thing in the morning in the hallways and giving and receiving hugs.

However, positive referrals has always been a high point of the day.

“Honestly it gives us some positives for the day,” she said. “It’s been the highlight of my day during this this time too.”

As of March 30 the school has also been making calls to the parents for the positive referrals.

“They are loving it,” Mitchum said in an e-mail.

Monica Kreber