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Midvale Journal

New Copperview Principal To Focus on Life Skills

Aug 26, 2016 12:49PM ● By Julie Slama

Christine Webb became Copperview’s new principal in July. She is pictured talking to Bell View Elementary kindergartners last fall. — Julie Slama

New Copperview Elementary Principal Christine Webb wants students not only to master classroom subjects, but also appropriate behavior.
“I want students to know and practice appropriate behavior in general such as saying, ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ and engaging in active listening,” she said.  “It will not only help them in the classroom, but in social settings.  It’s a life skill.”
Webb, who was principal at Bell View before this appointment, has faculty and staff give a “caught being good” slip to students to acknowledge their positive behavior.  Then, students can receive a reward from a small fun prize to school supplies.
“I’d like to start one or something similar. Copperview already acknowledges students with its ‘Cougar Tracks,’ but I’d like to include a behavioral procedure or strategy called ‘PAL — Principal Assisted Learning,’” she said.
When students repeatedly do something inappropriate in a classroom, such as being out of their seat or talking out of turn, Webb said that they would be candidates for PAL.  
“They would come to the principal and we’d role play behavior and re-teach what is appropriate and help them to understand why it’s important to practice it.  Once they understand, then they would need to apologize to their teachers and ask to return to class,” Webb said.  “It’s helping them take responsibility for their learning and practicing it.  It’s not an office disciplinary referral, but more of an opportunity to come to the principal to learn some stuff.”
Students also may get to know that their principal has swam with dolphins in both California and Hawaii as well as has three dogs and four rabbits.
The learning curve also will apply to faculty.  Teachers will continue to incorporate resources in their teaching and classroom management, such as pulling information from “Teach Like a Champion.”
In addition, Webb plans to consult the Utah Education Policy Center for coaching, advice and in-service for positive behavior intervention system, mastery of subjects and coaching models.
“This is a great school.  This just gives us an opportunity to improve on what we’re doing,” Webb said.
Webb replaces former Principal Chanci Loran, who on July 1 became the principal of Bell View Elementary in Sandy.
Loran is proud of the community support and faculty teaching at Copperview.
“I’m going to miss all the support and care I’ve received from the community,” Loran said.  “We have a diverse group of learners and these hard-working teachers give their all every day to ensure these students are learning.  They have high expectations of what learning looks like and with the help of the community, parents and teachers, these students have a sense of college and career readiness.”
Many students at the Title I school haven’t had family members attend college, so teachers model and showcase college degrees to the students, from indicating where they attended and what they studied to putting up memorabilia around the school students write requests for, she said.
“I’ll miss our community school model we’ve built here— youth development, academic learning, parent engagement and support, health and social service and community partnerships.  It’s all in place to support academic learning and everything has been done to improve the school.  I’m proud of our students, faculty and staff and community who have united to help Copperview students succeed,” Loran said.
Another administrative change will be at Canyons School District office, Misty Suarez, who has been Salt Lake City School District’s director of student services, will become Canyons District’s new director of special education.  She will succeed Robin Collett. Suarez has 16 years of administrative experience, including six years as the principal of Mount Jordan Middle, and is licensed in special education.