For students at Laura Welch Bush Elementary School, it’s not just about reaching for the stars, it’s about reaching for the STARs. In 2015, Principal Kristine Kline and her leadership team launched a program to promote and reward STAR behavior, which includes: Shining with good manners; Treating others kindly; Accepting responsibility; and Rising to be your best.

Teachers, front office staff, bus drivers or any staff member who sees students exhibiting these behaviors can refer them to receive a STAR award. The principal and vice principal then have an opportunity to visit with each STAR student individually to recognize their outstanding behavior, award them with a “spirit stick” and recognize them in front of their peers at the monthly First Friday School Assembly.

The BUSH ES STAR traits also provide teachers and administrators with a set of specific qualities they, together as an entire school, are focused on teaching, reinforcing and modeling throughout the school day.

“Beyond giving us another outlet to celebrate the good choices our students are making, it helps to build our campus’ culture, to give students and staff a common language and goal to work toward,” Kline said. “It’s our hope that they learn these important character traits now, early on, so they become second nature by the time they enter middle school.”

Bush ES students have rallied together around the program, celebrating their classmates when they are recognized, while also working to ensure they are modeling STAR behavior, inside and outside the classroom.