Maddox focusing on school culture

Posted 11/10/19

Maddox Intermediate School is on a mission to enhance school culture.

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Maddox focusing on school culture


Maddox Intermediate School is on a mission to enhance school culture.

Principal Marc Sargent discussed the school's continuous improvement plan at a meeting of the Jasper City Board of Education on Oct. 28.

He said student engagement has been a primary area of focus, and a new leadership team comprised of four students from each grade has helped students get involved and develop leadership qualities.

"They speak with me monthly to talk about the school and the culture that they want," Sargent said. "I know that it's a big deal to them."

Male and female mentor groups for sixth-graders have also been added at Maddox for adults to talk about a number of topics with youth. Sargent said the groups create a "trust factor" between mentors and students.

One new project that benefits all students is a reward system where students are recognized for doing good deeds.

"It has been very positive for the culture of our school. Every Friday we give Viking VIPs to students just for doing a good deed," Sargent said. 

While much is going on to create a supportive, caring atmosphere inside the school's walls, a new Viking Voyage initiative is bringing the same effort out into the Jasper community.

Four times during the 2019-20 school year, administrators and teachers will travel to various communities in Jasper to interact with residents and parents.

"There's no agenda tied to it. If you live in that neighborhood you can just come and talk to us," he said. 

Sargent said the first Viking Voyage served as a way for community members to reminisce about when they were enrolled in the school system. It also allowed people to ask any questions they may have about the school.

Another point Sargent noted to board members during his continuous improvement plan presentation was the school's continued analysis of data to improve student comprehension. The school also has a comprehension toolkit in place to focus on areas where students may be struggling.