Patrick Mongrain, teacher at Thomas Jefferson Middle School, was announced winner of a $2500 Thank America’s Teacher grant this morning at an assembly. He was surprised, but knew he had a lot of support from the community.
The grant, sponsored by Farmers Insurance, was available to teachers nationwide. The teachers with the most votes won. Sixty grants were given. The students and staff at Thomas Jefferson were diligent in voting, along with district peers, community members, friends, family, and people from all over the country that liked the idea of Mongrain’s proposal.
The official proposal: At Thomas Jefferson Middle School we have implemented a school-wide behavior system called PBIS (positive behavior interventions and supports). After two years we have shown amazing data driven improvements by decreasing our suspensions and expulsions by more than 50% AND subjective improvements in our school culture. Students are taught positive behaviors via bi-monthly school wide lessons and those behaviors have been reinforced in “cost neutral” ways. Teachers have also been trained in positive discipline strategies. This grant would offer us the opportunity to provide incentives to students who are respectful and responsible at TJ. At TJ students are given recognition tickets when they are kind, respectful, safe, responsible and prepared to learn. Those tickets can be redeemed to participate in activities that students enjoy. This grant would allow us to fund other incentives to continue to improve equity and insure all students learn how to interact in a positive environment.
The grant is well-deserved and promises to do much in enhancing this successful program at Thomas Jefferson. Congratulations Mr Mongrain and Thomas Jefferson Middle School!