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Hancock Place Students End School Year with Improved Grades and Behavior 

 Miles Miller, 8th grader at Valley Park Middle School, works on a classroom assignment at his desk

May 10, 2023 - Be ready. Be responsible. Be respectful. These expectations are known as the three R’s at Hancock Place Middle School, and students in Special Education Teacher Amy Bortle’s class have been working to excel in these areas since the beginning of the academic school year. 

“My seventh and eighth graders have been setting academic and behavioral goals every couple of months or so,” said Bortle. “Their personal objectives are posted to their desk and we track their progress every day using a star chart. If they earn four out of five stars for four consecutive weeks, that means they are showing major improvements.”

Along with the feeling of personal achievement after reaching a goal, students also have an opportunity to attend field trips. Past experiences have included fishing field trips and visits to the City Museum. Bortle’s goal is to inspire all her students and provide them with a tangible reward for their success.

“The field trips are a huge motivation,” said Bortle. “A lot of my students are learning how to be students and some have never been to the City Museum or gone fishing before, so to be able to provide these learning opportunities is really awesome. It makes me proud when they realize how hard they’ve worked and what they can earn in return.” 

Eighth grader Julie McKam is focusing on doing well in social studies and math. Earlier this year, she earned a spot on a fishing field trip. 

“It was a lot of fun,” said McKam. “I’m on the honor roll this year, earning A’s and B’s, which also means that I am a part of the National Honor Society. So, it’s important to me that I continue to keep my grades up and work really hard.”

Sixth grader Miles Miller is focusing on behavioral goals. 

“I’m trying my best to listen and follow directions the first time and use kind words,” said Miller.

In May, students who have achieved their academic and behavioral goals will go on the end of the year field trips to Six Flags and the Main Event.