Energy Bus News

October 2018

Make a Difference Monday!!

Principle #2 Create a Positive Vision

Leaders from Rocky Creek Elementary in Lexington, SC demonstrate handmotion for principle #2.

Dear Energy Bus Riders,

Can you believe we are already in the month of October? Boy, time flies when you're having fun! We are seeing so many amazing things happening on The Energy Bus and we are honored that you and your schools are a part of this wonderful journey.

Last month, many of us introduced Principle #1 You're the Driver of Your Bus. We talked to our students about the importance of taking 100% responsibility for their actions, results, and their lives. Understanding that YOU are the DRIVER gives you the opportunity to create the life of your dreams, it also gives you the power to make choices and decisions that we lead you to desired outcomes.

As we prepare to create a positive vision, everyone should sit in the driver's seat of their bus and think about where they want to go. Joy told George "...if you can see it, you can create it. If you have a vision, then you also have the power to make it happen."

We all possess these SUPER powers to invite positive things in our world, but we must first create it in our minds.

This month we want to challenge you to create goals - personal, academic, or both. Think about what you want for your life and write it down or have younger students draw pictures. Talk to students about what they need to do to make it happen. Notice I said "ask students what they need to do." Many times, because of our desire to feel needed or to serve, we want to jump in and solve problems for the students. Remember, this is their plan for their life, therefore they need to take 100% responsibility for it. If you were to create their plan and provide them with the actions take- you will be assisting with creating patterns of blaming and complaining behaviors, as a result students may see his/her failure to meet goals as your fault or if they succeed they may become dependent on you and your help.

You can definitely support and facilitate, but this does not mean that you (the teacher or parent) do it for them. Our students are eager to learn ways they can take responsibility and we want to give them opportunities to practice this important skill.

There are documents on our website at to support you as you support students in creating a positive vision, we have also included them as attachments at the bottom of this newsletter for your review.

Please let us know how we can support you on your journey,

Buckle up and let's enjoy the ride.

Sending lots of positive energy your way,


Niki talks about Principle #2 Create a Positive Vision (for Students)

This video can also be found on YouTube at
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Pictures from Clifdale Elementary's Energy Bus Rally!!

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Great Idea from Red Oak Middle School, Red Oak ISD in Texas!!

The positive energy is strong at ROMS! Students are always encouraging others to have a productive day!
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Above: Willis Hare Elementary in Pendleton, NC

We are Celebrating and Reinforcing the Positive Things Happening in Our Schools!!

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Above: Rocky Creek celebrates Teacher Drivers of the Month

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Theodore Jones in Conway, AR recognize students for positive behaviors and being the driver!!

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Above: Dorie Miller Elementary in Ennis, Texas Celebrate Drivers of the Month

Above: Star City Middle School Students recognize Positive Businesses in their Community!

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Be a Part of Our Upcoming Book! We would LOVE to hear from Students too!!


I am excited to announce that Jon and I are busy preparing to share your story as it relates to our journey on The Energy Bus for Schools. My goal is to have our story to Jon before Thanksgiving break, so that he may add his story.

What an amazing feeling knowing that we are going into Year 3 of The Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey!

While many of you are on different timelines, we are SUPER excited about the growth and the success of our journey and you and your teams are a major part of our story. So whether you're just beginning in Year 1 or entering into Year 3 - we welcome you to share your story no matter where you are on the journey.

Jon and I are grateful to your teams for giving us the opportunity to partner with you on creating and sustaining a positive culture. It is now time for us to share our journey with the world and we would be honored if you and your school families were part of an upcoming book about The Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey.

If you are interested in sharing your story and being a part of telling the story of Journey - please send me ( ) the following in less than 2 pages. We have extended our deadline to October 15th.

Name of Your School/District

Year(s)/Months on The Journey

Person’s name submitting your story/position – the writer

  • How did you first learn about The Energy Bus for Schools Leadership Journey?
  • Why did your team choose to join?
  • Discuss the state of your school culture prior to joining The Journey.
  • What did you hope to gain by joining The Journey?
  • Talk about changes you noticed in your school culture (successes/challenges) after becoming a certified Energy Bus School.
  • Share any data that you’ve noticed increased/decreased as a result of The Journey – discipline data, student attendance data, teacher/staff attendance data, academic results, anything else?
  • Is there anything else you want to share?

We are excited to share our story and look forward to you being a part of it all!!!

Let’s make it an amazing year!


Just a sample of what others have shared...

[T]he current of energy filled the void previously felt in our school. Teachers and students were excited to share our journey with parents at the Energy Bus Parent Workshop as well. The energy was truly tangible! We finally knew what we had been missing - a common vision and a common language - as well as the positive energy that the EBSLJ brought with it.

-Brenda Nichols, Principal, Rocky Creek Elementary, Lexington, SC

The culture in our school was extremely negative and past events were not being left in the rearview mirror. Our district needed to know it was OK to have bad feelings about the past, but as the driver of our bus, we had the power to change our future! We have seen some staff members grow their impact by being a positive role model for our students. We have some students that have emerged as leaders and our staff that wants to make a positive change has blossomed as leaders. Our Administrative Team is also taking a role in being Positive Leaders and using our EBSLJ Principles to drive conversations with staff, students, and community.

- Jon Laffoon, Superintendent, Star City Schools in Arkansas - Year 2

As a result of our initial successful implementation, for the first five weeks of the 208-2019 school year, we have seen a dramatic decrease in our district wide office referrals. In fact, they have gone down from 1,279 referrals in the 2017-2018 school year to only 606 referrals in 2018-2019! That’s a 50% change already in our first five weeks! We can’t wait to see the changes AND the declines throughout this school year. Our attendance rate has remained the same at 97%, but students are more excited and feel valued as they walk on every campus!

- Michael Goddard, Superintendent, and Garry Gorman,Executive Director of Elementary Learning, Red Oak ISD, Red, Oak, Texas (Year 1)

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Above: Barkdull Faulk Elementary's Principal brightens Student Restrooms with Positive Energy!

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Above: Stone Mountain Elementary School in Littleton, CO

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It's SOCKTOBER Month on The Energy Bus!!

In October 2011, creator Brad Montague realized there was a large homeless population in his hometown, and he wanted to do something about it. While researching the needs of the homeless community, he learned that socks are the items least donated to homeless shelters. So Brad took action. He began to film himself wishing people “Happy Socktober!” as he gave out pairs of socks on the streets, and he posted these videos on social media.

Word got around about these videos, and people wanted to know how they could help. So in a stroke of genius, Brad created a Socktober rap that could be purchased for a $5 donation to The Van, a group that drives a van around Arkansas to deliver necessities, including socks, to those in need.

Since then, Socktober has exploded! Kids and adults around the world have started their own sock drives to benefit their local homeless shelters. In 2013, Socktober teamed up with Kid President to spread the word and encourage more people to participate. Last year, participants on all seven continents donated pairs of socks!

To learn more about Socktober Month and ways you can contribute visit

Do you have an idea on how you can address a problem in your school or community!! Be like Brad and take action! We would love to hear from you!!

Loving Our Passengers on The East Coast

Our Student Leaders from Star City Middle School will be leading the efforts to help with donations

The Energy Bus Calendar

Secondary Driver's Manual

Driver's Manual K-2

Driver's Manual 3-5