Dr. Becky Bailey, author of Conscious Discipline, came to the campus on March 22 to recognize Farias for being a model of the behavior modification program of the same name she developed. More than 150 educators from across North America (including a few from as far away as Mexico) also came to visit, to see the strategies described in the book in action.
“We implemented the program about seven years ago,” said Principal Ali Oliver. “And it transformed our campus. We don’t have behavior charts and we don’t have time-outs. We teach the children discipline just as we would teach academics, so when things get tough, they have tools (to deal with it).”
Oliver called the author’s visit “a huge honor,” noting that Dr. Bailey only highlights one school as an example of a successful campus every two years, and Farias was previously picked in 2011.
“They came to see what it is that’s so different here,” said Oliver. “And that’s just how we live. Realistically, when you have 22 four-year-olds in a classroom with one teacher, you have to be able to manage that and still have high academic expectations. So we are the models of staying calm and maintaining our composure. It’s to the point now that when students notice an adult is upset, even they say, ‘You can handle it. Just breathe through it.’”