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Muskego Kids Learn Language of Respect, Responsible, Safe and Honest

Formal program to address 'above the line' behavior encourages core principles for students to follow at Country Meadows Elementary.

While it might seem common sense, often what's expected out of youngsters isn't obvious to them. Staff at Country Meadows Elementary School presented an overview of their 'Project Eagle' program, which addresses such 'above the line' behavior, to members of the Muskego-Norway School Board Monday night.

Gary Goelz, principal at the school, explained that the vision of the program is to help students understand and see behaviors that are above the line (acceptable) as well as below the line, or unacceptable. He felt the strength of the program in part was its simplicity.

The language of the program focuses on four core values or behaviors: Respectful, Responsible, Safe and Honest. Teachers employ lessons reinforcing the 'above the line' behaviors, some of which are publicly celebrated when a student is 'caught' using them. School assemblies also focus on character-building activities to further enforce the concept.

"The best parts of the program is that we are hearing the kids using the same language ," Goelz told the board. The positive peer pressure Goelz said is just one of the benefits they are seeing.

He told Muskego Patch that the program was instituted more so to achieve a common language to bridge what's being taught at home and what's taught in school and not because of a concern over current behavior.

"While we had not noticed a decline in students being Respectful, Honest, Safe and Responsible ... through the program we do ensure that students are being taught valuable lessons on a weekly basis relative to these traits," Goelz said. "So, while certainly parents support these values at home, through the program we now are able to achieve a common language and understanding of each of the values since all students are involved in the lessons.  As such, we can and do hold the same high expectations in these areas for all students."

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