Jason Griffin | 2017 Principal of the Year
I inherited a low-performing school at 42.5%. We assessed our climate, culture, made changes to staff, improved our pacing guides, and provided on-going professional development for teachers. After year one, our scores went to having 58.8% of our students proficient. During the summer of my second year as principal, I started doing research on ways to improve academic performance and stumbled across research on the importance of a child eating breakfast daily. I met with our school nutrition director and told her, "Let's push out breakfast daily to our students!" She was "all-in" and we started pushing breakfast to every classroom, every day!
During the first two weeks, we had some challenges with the rollout of breakfast in the classrooms. We had to make sure that students with allergies received an alternate breakfast, that all students were accounted for, and that we could serve breakfast to every student as soon as they walked into their classrooms.
We saw improvements in our time on task because students walk into a classroom, start eating breakfast, and by 8:00 AM they are ready to engage in learning. We noticed that our discipline referrals dropped around the times of 11 AM and 2 PM. Students were not coming to school late because they wanted a hot breakfast; however, we would ensure that every child still received breakfast daily.