There are five D’s in dodgeball; dodge, duck, dip, dive, and . . . Decatur. This was the case for Bellmont Elementary School as a showdown of epic proportions took place between the students, teachers, and the Decatur Police Department. The event was organized last year by school guidance counselor Christina McKay. With the success that the games had last year, the administration decided to tie the event to the PBIS “Braves Day.”
"One of my biggest priorities is to have city officials and local law enforcement be more involved with the schools,” stated Mayor Rickord. “It helps our community and kids see them in a more positive light and helps build relationships."
“The Decatur Police Department has been wonderful to our staff and students.” stated North Adams Communications Director Drew Derengowski, “we are very fortunate for Chief Corral and Mayor Rickord's support to work together on some of these common initiatives.”
PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and utilizes evidence-based practices to improve the overall health of the student, whether that be physical, mental, academic or social. The five pillars of the program are equity, systems, data, programs, and outcomes. Through the use of PBIS programs, such as the Braves Day, safe and effective learning environments are created.
The dodgeball was held in three competitions, Students against Cops, Teachers against Cops, and then Students against Teachers. All Bellmont Elementary Students who had not earned an office referral since the last Braves Day and consistently completed e-learning assignments were allowed to participate in the festivities, with the actual teams made up of 15 students chosen by teachers.
Teachers who competed included Amanda Merchant, Payton Selking, Christy Blythe, Justin Lengerich, Emily Friedt, Lillie Castleman, Alexa Melcher, Jared Ehlerding, Gabbie Weaver, Drew McDonald, and Aaron Baker. The police team was coached by Mayor Rickord and included Chief Leonard Corral, Jr, Deputy Chief Chris Brite, Detective Kevin L. Gerber, Detective Brad Stoltz, Sergeant Mark Cook, Sergeant Derek Loshe, School Resource Officer Trent Busse, Officer Andrew Elwell, Officer Dennis Bosler, Officer Luke Rumschlag. Officer Gabe Schwaller. Despite the seemingly overwhelming mismatch, the students took down the police department handily.