A group of Liberty Point Elementary School students will help to make their school a safer, more orderly place and will lead by example when they begin their duties next week as part of the Student Safety Patrol program.
The initiative is to build leadership skills, civic awareness and civic responsibility. Fourth and fifth grade students are eligible for the program that will help be on duty before and after school in addition to teachers.
The Student Safety Patrol members will wear bright colored vests to be easily identifiable, and will be supervised at all times. Their duties will include front and back of the school, helping to make sure all students come to school and leave in a safe and orderly fashion.
“It gives our kids a sense of leadership to be out there with the rest of the students doing this,” said P.E. teacher Lindsey Goddard, who is organizing the program. “It’s good kids being very good leaders and showing some good role modeling techniques. Our kids are so excited and can’t wait to get started!”
Goddard said there are 17 students involved with the start of Student Safety Patrol. To be considered, fourth and fifth grade students must achieve honor roll status during the current year or be recommended by a teacher in the building, and cannot have been referred to the office for a significant violation.
“We did these criteria so that a really good student who doesn’t always make As and Bs all the time could still be on the patrol – this is why the teacher recommendation was included,” explained LPE Principal Cheryl Vincent.
Goddard stressed that students on safety patrol will never cross the street or be helping students cross the street – that remains the responsibility of adults. They will be at parent drop-off loop in front of the school and the bus loop behind the school to be extra sets of eyes for the teachers on duty.
“When (kids come to school), we like them to walk into the gym in a safe, orderly manner, so we hope the safety patrol will help with that, just the organization and everything,” Goddard said. “Making sure they all get in there and that behavior is appropriate. If not, they can come talk to the adults.
“That’s the cool part – they get to do what the teachers do. I can’t tell you how many of these kids want to jump into that ‘grown-up’ role right away. These safety patrol kids have that nurturing behavior.”
Goddard said she hopes younger students will see the safety patrol members and idolize the position, so that as they become eligible they, too, will be eager to be leaders of their school.
“Nowadays, responsibility isn’t tossed around a lot, so I think it’s a big deal to see those students have a responsibility in getting kids into our school in a safe manner. There’s something to be said about that,” Goddard said.
A component of new national standards is the “21st Century Skills,” that public schools much teach moral responsibility and civic awareness. Student safety patrol is an avenue that an elementary school can use to promote these things in young students.
Student safety patrols have been used for years, but the initiative is new for LPE.
“In implementing the new national standards and the 21st Century Skill set requirements, this program fit right into our mission,” Vincent said.
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