Submitted by Mr. Stephen Waigand

Principal, Rock Port Elementary

The 2019-20 school year is off and running! We have 183 eager students returning to the halls of Rock Port Elementary . . . and maybe some eager parents too. We also welcomed three new staff members to the Blue Jay family. They are Mrs. Jennifer Rueckert (K-12 Art), Mrs. Emily Kohout (Paraprofessional), and Mrs. Katarina Robertson (Paraprofessional).

Last year our staff read the book The Energy Bus by Jon Gordon and started to incorporate the principles from that book into our own professional and personal lives. The results have been nothing short of amazing and something we wanted to share with our students. We went through an Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey training that is designed for schools to create a positive culture and develop positive school leaders (students and staff).

Each month we will focus on one Energy Bus Principle and implement these character, leadership, and life skills into our school environment. The seven principles of an Energy Bus School are: You’re the Driver (Responsibility), Create a Positive Vision (Setting Goals), Drive with Purpose (Hard Work, Effort), Fuel Your Ride with Positive Energy (Great Attitude), Transform Negativity (Maintaining Self-Control), Love Your Passengers (Showing Kindness & Respect), and Enjoy the Ride! (Being Honest & Safe)

We introduced our first principle at the beginning of September – You’re the Driver. We use the analogy that each student is driving their own “bus” and as the driver they are in control of their own actions and decisions. No different than an actual driver is in control of their vehicle. Parents, teachers, and other caring adults are like the road signs and lines along the highway that help guide their “bus” along. When students are listening and making good choices they are in control of their “bus.”

On the flip side, when students are not listening to caring adults or arguing with others, they are not behind the wheel of their “bus.” A bus traveling down the road with no driver is problematic. Sometimes students get too preoccupied with what someone else is doing or not doing. When this is happening they are trying to drive their “bus” and someone else’s “bus” at the same time, again not a safe and responsible choice. As an adult, maybe you have encountered someone that was not driving their “bus” or trying to drive multiple “buses” at the same time. The powerful piece of this program is how these concepts are applicable to kids and adults alike.

We look forward to sharing more of our journey through the Energy Bus Principles throughout the year. Stay connected with daily classroom events and school updates on Twitter @RPBluejays. As always we strive to . . .

Love all our Passengers

Serve their academic needs

Care for the whole child

Every Student, Every Day