William Penn Middle School
Yardley, Pennsylvania
2015 National School of Character

William Penn Middle SchoolBefore being hired in my current placement as a counselor, I substituted for a month at a middle school in a neighboring district. That building had a School Wide Positive Behavior program in its sophomore year at that time. The energy and enthusiasm was palpable. In my second year at William Penn, I returned to that same school with two other representatives to observe a school wide assembly regarding the SWPB program. Upon returning, we immediately decided to create and implement our own Character Program at William Penn. We pulled together a diverse committee and took a year for data gathering, education for our peers, and development of our Character Program, S.O.A.R. One of the most critical decisions we made early on was involving faculty input for the entire program development process. We are currently in our third year of implementation, we constantly strive to improve and imbed the fabric of our S.O.A.R into as many facets of our school as possible. A 6-8 grade middle school, the current 8th graders are our first “class” to have had the program every year at William Penn. Being involved from the very beginning, it has been rewarding to hear 8th graders refer to the S.O.A.R. as casually as they might refer to any other academic or extra-curricular aspect of our school. Students who are recognized as demonstrating the tenets of the S.O.A.R. program genuinely are pleased. When we hear about the benefits from our S.O.A.R. program, visitors comment: “what a nice school!”

Lesson Plan
Got Grit

Laura Tittle
Assistant Principal
1524 Derbyshire Road
Yardley, Pennsylvania 19067