R.E.A.C.H. students Nolden Rehder and Demetriyon Pouncy work together as they troubleshoot their alligator Lego robot programming. (Photo courtesy Brianne Tepe, Concord Community Schools)

South Side Elementary, a K-4 elementary in the Concord Community Schools, announced its successful launch of an original program to address social and emotional behaviors of students in grades first through fourth.

First created by Principal Lisa Kendall and a building leadership team, this R.E.A.C.H. program targets Respect, Effort, Attitude, Cooperation, and Honesty with struggling students. Through an application and observation process, students are pulled from their traditional classroom where teacher Brianne Tepe and staff help students work on academic and behavior aspects with the intent to transition students back into the classroom setting. The program adapts to each student and their individual needs through goal-setting and state standards. Tepe describes the flexibility as “determining puzzle pieces to help them get back” and succeed in the regular classroom. Last year all students who participated in the program successfully transitioned back to the traditional classroom.

Besides working on academic curriculum, R.E.A.C.H. also provides positive experiences for struggling students. The program works to help students put emotions and ideas into words when they’re struggling to do so themselves. These zones of regulation encourage students to express themselves without needing to misbehave. Likewise, field trips to Kercher Sunrise Orchards and the Kroc Center, or hands-on activities like building birdhouses, encourage good behavior and provide experiences for students to practice what they’ve learned.

This post and accompanying photo are thanks to a collaboration with Kendra Divine, Concord Community Schools.

Indiana’s urban schools offer Hoosier students a rich array of programs, services, and opportunities. IUSA appreciates the opportunity to share the stories that demonstrate what the schools have to offer and the many successes their students, faculty and staff achieve

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