Q ROCK helps QCHS push positive culture

The school-wide initiative is part of PBIS, a positive behavior intervention and supports program.
Posted on 03/30/2021
Q ROCK logo

By Gary Weckselblatt

When you listen to Alli Caputo speak about Q ROCK, you know she is the perfect student leader for an initiative to push a positive culture throughout Quakertown Community High School.

“We have a great sense of community here in Quakertown,” Alli said. “We’re one big family. We have broken down all barriers. We have so many different people, and while we’re all different we’re all friends. Everyone loves to spend time together.

“You can talk about the administration, the teachers, the staff, everyone is engaged with students,” she said. “The aides and the janitors always ask how you’re doing. (School Resource) Officer Lee understands students and what life is like for people our age. We’re really fortunate to be part of a great community.”

Q ROCK stands for Quakertown, Resilience, Ownership, Community and Kindness, the traits the high school is seeking to embody in its culture. The acronym was developed by a team of students. It’s at the heart of the QCHS positive behavior intervention and supports (PBIS) program in which the entire school is involved. Its purpose is to build a positive culture throughout the building by clarifying expectations for students, creating consistency among staff, reducing miscommunication, sharing building-wide values, and focusing on prosocial behavior.

The goal of PBIS is to:

  • Build safer, more effective schools
  • Improve school and classroom culture and climate
  • Increase student achievement and outcomes
  • Increase positive student behavior

“We believe that every student-teacher relationship is built on mutual trust and respect, shows the intrinsic value and worth of students and teachers, and encourages student growth and achievement,” Principal Mattias van 't Hoenderdaal said. “Each week our teachers recognize hundreds of students who demonstrate these traits.”

Winners, he said, are entered into a weekly drawing for prizes including Q ROCK water bottles, string bags, gift cards, and more.

“It is fantastic to see that students and staff alike are committed to creating a positive school environment for all,” Mr. V said. “Each week I am encouraged by staff recognition of students, and students recognizing staff.”

In a recent newsletter, he reached out to parents to “stress the importance of being resilient, taking ownership, community involvement, and kindness at home with your children. Thank you for your support!”

The Q ROCK wall with notes of what makes QCHS special.House Principal Kim Finnerty said, “We believe in student voice and choice; empowered students will lead QCHS in building and maintaining a positive school-wide culture. We encourage student involvement and know that when students are involved, meaningful change and improvements will result.”

One recent project was to build a Q ROCK wall of notes about why you are "Proud to be a Panther."

“I encourage everyone to take a look at the wall when you have a moment and read some of these messages,” Ms. Finnerty said. “They will definitely make your day.”

She praised Laura Neilson, Carrie Perone, Teresa Plumley, Juan Soto, Kristen Vargo, Brenda Sharp, Anne Marie Clemens, and Helena Li for putting up “this wonderful display.”

Gary Weckselblatt, QCSD Director of Communications, writes about the people and the programs that impact the Quakertown Community School District. He can be reached at 215-529-2028 or [email protected].

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