Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary School

Jun 27, 2022 by Anita Reid

The MLK Way

School of Distinction AwardTuscaloosa City Schools

Principal, Dr. Latanya Williams-Collins

Superintendent, Dr. Mike Daria

During the 2020-2021 school year, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary continued the implementation of the schoolwide PBIS system using the core values of Intelligence, Character, and Perseverance through the MLK Way. This program was a proactive measure to reduce the number of suspensions and increase attendance. During the school’s summer retreat, faculty and staff gave input as to how to incorporate the core values into the school and classrooms daily. Wanting the students to advertise these values, t-shirts and small flags were designed for students to wear and display. A book vending machine was purchased with the MLK Way logo and posters placed in every classroom with the MLK Way pledge. The pledge was recited every morning by all students. Each month the leadership team met to analyze students with attendance concerns and discipline incidents. The administration met with teachers monthly and gathered relevant feedback to the core values. Students were consistently challenged to be at school and behave appropriately. Through the push of the MLK Way core values along with an implementation of Social Emotional Learning, Martin Luther King, Jr. Elementary reduced suspensions from a previous range of 147-235 to only 31. Student attendance greatly increased as well. Not only did student attendance increase, but teacher attendance was the highest ever, creating a significant culture shift at the school.