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Greenville Elementary principal plans to emphasize all disciplines in program

There will be plenty of new faces as the 2005-2006 school year opens, and one of them will be Claire Jones, Greenville Elementary School’s new principal.

&uot;I have an open-door policy already in place for my parents,&uot; Jones said. &uot;These last three weeks have been very busy, but I’m trying to cover every call.&uot;

With 16 years in education behind her, Jones is looking forward to putting all of her experience into her students and faculty at Greenville Elementary School.

&uot;We are going to begin the year with a ‘Wild About Reading’ theme that will continue throughout the school year,&uot; Jones said. &uot;I have already put into place a reading goal for our students this year.

Each student will read three books per week, with a goal of 12 books per month.

Students will receive rewards and prizes for reaching their individual goals, since my overall goal is to increase and improve the entire reading process,&uot; Jones explained.

&uot;I want the children to discover that reading can be fun; it should be captivating and challenging. Reading doesn’t have to be a chore.&uot;

Jones went on to explain that this reading theme will be incorporated into all classrooms, with each teacher focusing on an animal of his or her choice for an in-depth study.

&uot;All of the teachers will use the animals as a focal point for an across-the-curriculum study,&uot; Jones said. &uot;This study will include reading, math, science, social studies and writing. We will highlight a different academic concept each month.

I think it’s also important to include the fine arts.

I want to spark the students’ interests as soon as they walk into the door,&uot; she said as she described the reading theme decorations that would soon cover the walls.

When asked about her discipline procedures, she said, &uot;I’m firm, fair and consistent.&uot;

&uot;We have a new research-based discipline plan that will be implemented this year,&uot; Jones said.

&uot;I want all of the students, parents and teachers to know the new plan. It is the culmination of a shared, decision-making process.

The teachers had input into the new plan.

Our main goal will be to decrease discipline problems so that we can increase instruction and learning time.

We are going to focus on positive incentives, praises and rewards,&uot; she said. &uot;I want students to know that once they enter these doors, they should feel safe and secure, and they will know that the teachers and administrators are excited about being here for them.&uot;

Jones is also planning the establishment of the first Student Council Organization for G.E.S.

&uot;It will be very beneficial for students to learn the process of Student Council,&uot; Jones said.

&uot;It builds self-esteem as well as pride in their school. In addition to Student Council, I want to explore new options with fine arts and music in the curriculum.

All of these things will hopefully give our students the opportunity to experience something they may not have experienced before.&uot;

Jones said that her focus right now is for Greenville Elementary to become a model school for surrounding counties with the implementation of successful, research-based strategies for all of the students.

&uot;My goal is for G.E.S. to successfully accommodate at-risk students, special education students and gifted students through collaboration with the general and special education teachers,&uot; Jones said. &uot;I want us to challenge all of our students to reach their fullest potential by exposing them to all areas as required by the Alabama Course of Study.&uot;

The Greenville High School graduate is very excited about the new reward program she plans to execute.

&uot;At the end of each nine-week period, we will have an awards ceremony for students who have achieved perfect attendance, all A’s and all A’s and B’s,&uot; Jones said. &uot;Also, each teacher will select one child who has improvement in some other social or academic area.

All of these students will get special recognition.

I think it’s important not to wait until the end of the school year to reward hard work and success.&uot;

&uot;I would like to give a special thanks to our Student-Teacher-Parent Organization.

They have already done a wonderful job with getting school ready for the new year,&uot; Jones said.

&uot; I want to encourage all of our parents to get involved in their children’s school activities and academic achievements.

That connection between home and school is vital for not only the school’s success, but also the child’s success,&uot; Jones concluded.

Greenville Elementary School will host its Open House on Thursday, August 4, at 6 p.m. in the gymnasium.

Class schedules will be given out during Open House. More information about G.E.S. can be found at www.butlerco.k12.al.us.