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Marisa Renee Brown

Elementary Experience: Werner Elementary School

Setting & Context

Culture and Community Culture


Home Information:












27 % have kids; 73% no kids


Fort Collins - Median age (years): 28.2


Demographic Characteristics:

As of 2014 Werner Elementary had an enrollment of 557 students. The Racial makeup is: White (84.9%), Hispanic (6.5%), two or more races (4.3%). 

Of Werner’s 557 students, 12.4% are eligible for free & reduced lunch.
The student/teacher ratio at Werner Elementary School is 18.2

Classroom Environment:

Classroom Environment:

  • Seven tables & ketchup table – There are 7 long tables labeled by numbers with four chairs at each table. There is a table labeled the “Ketchup” table which is used when students need to catch-up on a previous step of a process.

  • Two sinks, Octopus Hangers, and Rag System – There are two sinks on the south-side of the room with octopus-shaped hangers above them. These hangers are used to dry seven rags which are used to clean tables. The rags are hand-washed and dried daily. There are step stools near each sink in case students need them.

  • Lighting & Windows – There are two large windows and an outer door on the north-side of the room. There are also large skylights that span the length of the ceiling that allow for ample natural light. The large open ceilings with exposed beams make the space seem larger and roomier.

  • Technology – There is a SMART Board at the front of the room, a laptop to control the projector, and a document camera set up on a desk. There is an electric kiln with a vent and a thick curtain in the corner of the room.

  • Décor – There are art posters on the cabinets that line most of the walls. There is an upper alcove that is covered with photo-copied examples of past student work. There is a Mona Lisa themed Bulletin Board in the classroom and a seasonal Mona Lisa Portrait in the display case in the hall-way.

Classroom Routines:

  • Art Report (Entrance, Demonstration, Work-time, Clean-up, Line up) + Superstar in School-wide Paw System – Mary Siemers has a well-developed set of classroom routine which eases transitions and classroom management. The Art Report consists of five categories: Entrance, Demonstration, Work-time, Clean-up, and Line up. Each category corresponds to a part of the class routine and each class can be awarded up to five stars for each category. The Superstar is a student chosen from a folder with student’s names at the beginning of class. If this student’s behavior meets expectations then the class is awarded 5 additional stars. If the student’s behavior doesn’t meet expectations the name card is placed back in the folder and the stars are not awarded. It is important that this student’s name is never revealed. This star system works with the school-wide paw award system. If a class earns 25-29 stars they receive a paw and if they earn 30 stars they receive 2 paws. When a class receives a certain number of paws they can plan a “paw party”.

  • Chaos Control – “Chaos Control” is a rotating system that assigns students to setup and clean-up duties. The responsibility rotates by table number and the students are given “Chaos Control” badges. The most common duty that these students perform is passing out and picking up supplies. This can be very helpful in management because then the rest of the students are only responsible for cleaning their own space at their own table.

  • Free Art & Daily Doodle – when students finish a certain step of the process early during a given work-time, they know they can work on “free art” which consists of plain printer paper, copies of a “Daily Doodle”, stencils, and bins of markers for each table. 

  • “Mona” “Lisa” – Another norm that students have become accustomed to is a Mona Lisa chant to get their attention. The teacher simply says “Mona” and the students respond with “Lisa” and sit in a pose like the famous painting. This is an easy way to get the students to stop moving and end their conversations so they can listen for more instructions.

  • Clean-up 1-2-3 – This is a routine that students know that encourages them to clean- up (1 – Artwork, 2 – Supplies, 3 – Rags) There are signs for one, two, and three are posted on the white board with hanger magnets underneath. From these hangers, signs can be hung to give students specific instructions for how to clean up. For example, signs can be hung and students can be instructed to put their artwork on the drying rack, supplies on the end of the table, and rags will be used to clean tables. After these instructions are given, the teacher calls “Clean-up 1-2-3” and students begin to clean-up. Chaos Control will pick up supplies that are on the end of each table

  • Learning Targets – Learning Targets are written on laminated posters with wet-erase markers and hung at the front of the classroom. During demonstration, the teacher reads the learning target aloud for students.

School-wide Policies for Management:

From the Werner Elementary website:

  • "Werner’s character education program and Positive Behavior Support system assists students in following the ROAR Code: Respect, Own your behavior, Attitude that is positive, and Responsibility. Werner encourages school pride and positive behaviors, and attitudes.

  • When students do break our code, we re-direct their behavior unless it is severe enough to take immediate action.

    • “Minor” Discipline Offenses - By definition, “minor” discipline offenses create a minimal interference or disturbance in the school setting but do not constitute a direct violation of the PSD Code of Conduct.

      • Teacher or staff member redirects the offending student and re-teaches the appropriate school wide behavioral expectations.

      • Teacher or staff member completes a minor discipline documentation form and submits a copy to the building SWIS coordinator for entry into the SWIS online behavior management system.

      • Teacher or staff member contacts the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) by phone call or e-mail.

      •  Teacher or staff member assigns consequences for offending behavior in compliance with school wide policies.

      • Repeated “minor” discipline offenses will result in a “major” discipline referral and specific consequences as determined by building administrator

    • “Major” Discipline Offence - By definition, “major” discipline offenses create a substantial interference or disturbance in the school setting and/or constitute a direct violation of the PSD Code of Conduct.

      • Teacher or staff member sends the offending student(s) to the main office and submits a copy of the major documentation form (including specifics relating to the offense and including the Code of Conduct violation) to the building administrator. Administrator contacts the student’s parent(s) or guardian(s) by phone call or e-mail. Administrator assigns consequences for offending behavior(s) in compliance with the PSD Code of Conduct policies.

      • The PBIS team reviews the major discipline offenses monthly. Targeted behavioral interventions and restructuring of the offending student(s) daily schedule are implemented if deemed necessary for the maintenance of a positive learning environment.

      • Habitual “major” offenses or severe “major” offenses will result in more extensive consequences involving district leadership and the school board. PSD Code of Conduct policies will be strictly enforced for habitual or severe “major” offenses. These policies include a threat assessment with a district assessment coordinator, involvement of the Fort Collins police department, the implementation of a safety plan for offending students and possible expulsion from Poudre Schools."










School-wide Policies for Safe Schools:

  • From the Poudre School District Student Code of Conduct (in a message to parents from Sandra Smyser):

    • “Creating and maintaining a safe learning environment for our students is a team effort, and we ask for your help as we strive to protect students’ rights while keeping the school environment safe and conducive to learning. I am pleased to report that most PSD students uphold high conduct standards by following the rules, policies and regulations set forth in this booklet, and are not involved in disciplinary action that results in lost class time. When a PSD student violates a policy or law, principals, counselors, student assistance staff, and school resource officers work with students and parents for the best outcome—utilizing appropriate disciplinary action and treatment to improve behavior. Interventions may involve consequences, counseling and referral to community services, and treatment can be requested through partnerships with local service providers. Many of our schools utilize Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support to promote conduct that supports strong character. Our district’s School Resource Officer (SRO) program is a long standing partnership between the Fort Collins Police Department, Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and PSD. Thirteen on-campus officers serve as mentors, instructors, and counselors, enforce laws and facilitate conflict resolution. Prevention is critical to providing a safe learning environment. Proactive prevention programs taught during the school day address substance abuse prevention, violence prevention, bullying prevention, and behavior problems. Prevention programs involve research-based curricula proven successful as well as school-based programming. Please direct any questions you have regarding our Student Rights and Code of Conduct booklet to your child’s school principal.”

    • Postive culture and climate information including Bullying and harassment prevention information is also available at the Poudre School District Website: here.

  • "Campus Security Officers (CSO’s) and School Resource Officers (SRO’s) help keep students safe in Poudre School District.

    • As part of the district’s Security Department staff, Campus Security Officers work at all school sites as the Eyes and Ears of the district. Duties include site security; vehicle, bike, and foot patrol; special event coverage; and crisis response and assistance.  To learn more and to see a listing of all CSO's, refer to the Campus Security Officers' page [here].

    • School Resource Officers are certified police officers based at all district middle and senior high schools. SROs help maintain the school’s safe learning environment, improve school/law enforcement collaboration, and promote positive relations between students, staff and law enforcement officials.  To learn more and to see a listing of SRO's, refer to the School Resource Officers page [here]."







School-wide Policies for Conflict Resolution:

From the Werner Elementary website:

  • Positive Behavior Inteventions and Supports (PBIS) -

“PBIS (Positive Behavior Inteventions and Supports) is a school-wide behavior support system designed to enhance learning and reduce problem behavior. Werner began the process of implementing PBS in the spring of 2007 and is based on solid research in the fields of education, behavioral psychology, biomedical science and systems change. It uses data as the basis for decision making to achieve the best possible academic outcomes for all students. For more information on PBIS, you can go to

  • What are the outcomes associated with school-wide PBS?

    • Decrease in office discipline referrals

    • Increase in instructional time

    • Decrease in staff time spent on discipline issues

    • Efficient and effective use of resources

    • Increase in school safety

    • Sustainability through a team approach

  • Features of School-Wide PBS:

    • School-wide behavioral expectations (R.O.A.R. Code)

    • Teaching behavioral expectations to all students

    • Acknowledge and recognize appropriate behavior

    • Monitor and guide toward positive behavior

    • Ongoing use of data for decision making

    • Build family and community collaboration”


  • Response to Intervention (RtI) -

Werner Elementary School staff are versed in Response to Intervention strategies to provide support for students in need. These strategies aid students in resolving ongoing academic and emotional conflicts by building a school-wide support system which aims to try new strategies, collect data, and make appropriate instructional and supportive changes. These strategies involve staff, school community, the student, and their family.


  • Student Success Team (SST)

Werner Elementary School staff supports their students by collecting data, collaborating to implement interventions, and communicating with parents by utilizing the Student Success Team. The Student Success Team addresses both academic and behavioral concerns (unlike PBIS which is focused on behavior). After meeting with a grade-level Professional Learning Community (PLC) to discuss data collection, a minimum of six weeks of data collection is performed by teachers and staff members. Two types of data are collected: “Body of Evidence Data”, or data that already exists, and “Progress Monitoring Data”, or assessments of implemented interventions. After data collection, the information is assessed and (if a large gap exists) students are either supported with Integrated Services or (if a smaller gap persists) through continued strategies implemented by SST.










School-wide Policies for Students with Special Needs:

Integrated Learning Support (ILS) Programs

  • “In Poudre School District students with significant support needs are provided a Free, Appropriate, Public Education (FAPE) through the Integrated Learning Support (ILS) program. Students with Significant Support Needs are those students that are best defined as students having low-incidence disabilities including: blindness, low vision, deafness, hard-of-hearing, deaf-blindness, significant developmental delay, complex health issues, serious physical impairment, multiple disability, and/or autism. Low incidence disabilities typically occur in 1% of the school-aged population at any given time. In contrast, high incidence disabilities make up the larger share of special education populations and include speech/language impairments, specific learning disabilities, mild/moderate intellectual disabilities, and emotional disabilities”.

  • “ILS programming and education focus on a multitude of areas. Instruction specific to individuals with severe disabilities include communication, motor, adaptive skills, and independence. The program also includes academic skills in reading and mathematics that are taught in alignment with grade-appropriate content and the educational learning environment of students without disabilities. Instruction and support in communication and social skills, positive behavior strategies, and safety are embedded in ILS programming. Blended with all of these are transition to post-secondary work and learning opportunities, and independent living planning with families and community resources.”

  • “Students in Poudre School District who are determined to have a disability under current federal and state guidelines will receive a free and appropriate education (FAPE) in the least restrictive environment (LRE). This will include a continuum of services designed to meet each student’s individual needs as defined in their IEP.”

  • More information about the ILS Program in Poudre School District schools is available at the following link:










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