This comes to you from Matt Cole, Curriculum Coordinator  at

What are our students saying about TRIBES?

It’s always interesting, informative, and important to ask students their perspectives regarding any change we initiate in schools.  As many of us know, children of any age really know how to capture and express the reality of a moment.  On the morning of November 13, I visited the classrooms of Mr. Dan Miller (White Team – 7th Grade Science) and Mrs. Cindy Pierce (Blue Team – 8th Grade Math).  Using an open-response format, I asked students a few questions to gather some informal feedback from their perspective – their responses are summarized below.

What is different about classrooms that use the TRIBES approach?

  • we interact with others more – we work in different groups
  • we are not forced to do something when we aren’t comfortable or don’t know the answer – using the right to pass makes it safe
  • we aren’t afraid to tell each other stuff
  • with the no put downs agreement – things are a lot better lately

What is the best thing about TRIBES?

  • we use energizers to keep things interesting, to get us moving, they wake us up sometimes and are just flat out fun!
  • we are able to share our thoughts and feelings to teachers and to other kids in our class
  • people say nice things about other people and stuff

If you were writing an article for the FOCUS, what would you share with parents and community members?

  • it keeps class in control – things work better
  • it is an easy way to show respect and responsibility – both students and teachers have mutual respect for each other
  • it has really impacted our school – its going wonderfully

A thought about the meaning of TRIBES from Tessa, 8th grade student: Teachers Reaching Interesting Boundaries & Equal Specialties

Throughout our work to implement the TRIBES Learning Communities approach, we will conduct a number of formal and informal assessments to gather feedback for celebrating our successes, identifying areas needing follow-up, and targeting our continuous improvement efforts.