Friendship Woodridge Elementary

As a new Principal, Mr. Craig's #1 priority was to improve school culture. His team created a rubric of behavior expectations and began tracking and rewarding scholars' behavior.

The result? Out-of-school suspensions dropped 80%.

School Stats

PK–8Grades Served
97%African American
80%Drop in OSS over 2 years

“Our culture was a bit chaotic – not a zoo, but you could tell that transitions were messy, social interactions weren’t always positive, and our relationships with parents had room for improvement.”

Principal Craig made it his number one priority to address these school culture challenges by working collaboratively with his team. Based on the hard work of the team, student behavior and school culture would look totally different just two years later.

Friendship Woodridge spent a lot of time discussing the importance of proactively teaching behavior expectations and positively reinforcing behaviors. Although they had high expectations for students, they recognized that students need encouragement and support to change their behavior. The approach has been extremely successful, with out-of-school suspensions dropping by over 80% in just two school years.

Number of out-of-school suspensions




A large part of the improvements came from getting students bought-in to the school’s behavior rewards program. The school staff spent time surveying and talking to students to find out what kinds of rewards were really exciting for them. Today, the school has a rewards program that offers an array of fun and engaging incentives that students work hard to earn with their LiveSchool points.

LiveSchool allows us to stop focusing on the mechanics of tracking behavior.
Instead, we can focus on our scholars.

Rictor Craig

3 Steps to Turn Around Community Issues

If there’s an action that’s not wanted in the community, let’s do something about it.


Identify the Problem AS A TEAM

If there's a repeated issue with behavior or culture in our community, we get together and discuss it. We don’t run from it or hide it – we work as a team to address it head on.


Develop Positive Expectations

To stop a negative behavior, we develop positive expectations that everyone can get behind. We focus on what scholars should do so that there’s never an opportunity for negative behavior.


Create System to Reward Students

Our students respond to praise, congratulations, and rewards. We work with our students to identify rewards and events that they are genuinely excited about. Then we celebrate together.

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