SPRINGFIELD, Mo — Nixa’s Espy Elementary school has seen a huge up-tick in visits to the principal’s office. Parent’s are often on the receiving end of a phone call, but it’s not what you may think. 

“A lot of times (when I call parents), their 1st response is “Oh no, what did they do?” explained Principal Karrie Long. 

“But that’s when I get to tell them that their kid did something great!

The referral program is a part of Espy’s PBIS program, which revolves around positive behavior.

Under the program, kids get a referral to the principals office for doing something positive.

“Just recently, I have visited with students that have helped fellow classmates that may have been struggling,” said Mrs Long. “I’ve also seen students that helped clean up in the hallway after someone dropped their books.”

The school’s end goal is to establish student confidence.

“When they are confident, they learn,” said Mrs Long. “We want them to feel like that when they do something right or something great, that it’s a wonderful thing.”

“We want everyone to feel positive about themselves. That way, when students struggle, it’s okay. We always have each other to help get through times.”

The program has seen positive changes since Espy launched it last year. 

According to Mrs. Long, the school has reduced their disciplinary action by nearly 50%.