September 12, 2007 IMLAY CITY — A program designed to address concerns about student behavior and bullying has been recognized as one of the best in the state by the Michigan Association of School Boards.
Borland Elementary School's school safety and conflict resolution program earned a 'Michigan's Best' award from the MASB, which will recognize the school's efforts at their convention in November.
The program, called 'Debugging,' was created five years ago by former Borland Principal Stu Cameron. Participants are encouraged to solve disagreements through tried and true, age-appropriate methods and offers a simple four step program using a 'bug' to work through problems.
"These steps taught students a common language across the grade levels for solving problems without resorting to violence or tattling," Principal Bill Kalmar says.
In May, Borland's program earned an Education Excellence Award from the MASB. The awards are reserved for the top three local school district entries in nine educational categories.
From there, one of the top three winners per category is selected for the Michigan's Best Award, which comes with a trophy and a $1,500 cash award to enable the school to enhance the program.
"Receiving an Education Excellence Award was a great honor for the parents, students and staff of Borland," Kalmar says. "To be recognized as one of Michigan's Best is a phenomenal achievement that speaks volumes about the kind of school district we have in Imlay City."
Since the 'Debugging' program was implemented at Borland, Kalmar says disciplinary incidents have decreased by 43 percent, and student suspensions have dropped by 38 percent.
Borland's program will be recognized at the MASB annual convention on Nov. 3 in Grand Rapids.