For example, to learn effectively, kids need to be in class.
In his new role as assistant principal at Greencastle Middle School, Scott Weltz plans to find more and better ways to make sure students are in class where they can learn.
"We want kids to learn. That's our number one goal," Weltz said. "If they're misbehaving, if they're getting in trouble, if they're spending their time in the office, then they're not in a classroom learning."
Weltz has been with Greencastle Community Schools for six years, spending two as the athletic director and the last four as a seventh-grade social studies teacher. Prior to coming to Greencastle, he spent 10 years teaching in Ohio.
He was announced as the new GMS assistant principal on Wednesday. He will replace Mike Culver at the beginning of the 2011 school year.
"I want to be on the academic side of it. That's where my passion lies," Weltz said. "I think it's a matter of how much influence you have, overall in the entire system. As a teacher, I think I have great influence. I see 160 kids a day. You're part of their life. You're teaching them valuable lessons.
"But now I can take that up a notch and I can have that kind of impact over three grades for the whole building. If I can have a positive influence on more kids, that's what I want to do."
Weltz said his top two jobs as an assistant principal are discipline and attendance. His goal in both capacities is to have kids in class where they can learn.
"As an assistant principal you're sort of the mean guy on campus, but I don't always have that personality," Weltz said. "People don't always think of me in that regard, so I'm hoping students are able to talk about problems and feel comfortable coming to me, knowing who I am."
He hopes to be approachable, both to kids who've had him in class and those who will know him only as an administrator.
"Through going over with them, talking through with them, what the situations are, I'm hoping that we can keep kids out of the office and keep them in the classroom where they can learn," Weltz said. "I think you learn better when you're in a comfortable atmosphere, so my job is not only to keep them in the classroom but to keep that climate positive."
The other side of keeping kids in the classroom is attendance. Weltz recently completed a study for Superintendent Bob Green showing the correlation between higher attendance and higher test scores. He hopes to take this background into his new role.
"The background I have with working with data will allow me to take a look at our current situation, throw some incentives out there for students and then measure to see if they're working or not. If they're not, then we'll take them off the table and try something else. If they are working, we'll just keep doing that until we get the numbers where we want," Weltz said.
GMS principal Shawn Gobert expressed his excitement at being able to work with Weltz in his new role.
"I have enjoyed working with Scott over the last several years. I look forward to working with him as the assistant principal," Gobert said. "I have every reason to believe he will continue to make a very positive impact on our school in his new position."
Weltz and his wife Annie have two children, Zoe, 8, and Harris, 5. He expressed his commitment to raising his children in the community and making the school system even better.
"I know there are other positions out there in education, but my wife and I live here, we're raising our kids here," Weltz said. "We want to be part of this school system and make it the best school system around. I'd love to be in the situation where other schools look and see how Greencastle's doing it -- and they do. That's the place I want us to be and I want us to stay there.
"I want our kids to be proud of where they go to school. I want our community to be proud of its schools, and I want to be part of that."