Teacher and student

For Immediate Release

Contact: Rick Reo, Superintendent

Paw Paw Public Schools



Building Connections at PPPS - Four at the Door + One More

Paw Paw, MI – (Feb. 2, 2024) Every school day, the teachers and staff of Paw Paw Public Schools (PPPS) are looking for ways to intentionally connect with students. One strategy that has been incorporated into each school’s daily routine is yielding big results. It's called “Four at the Door + One More.” Briefly, it is being intentional about greeting students using proven methods that can increase their academic engagement in the classroom by 20% or more.

So how does it work? As a part of CharacterStrong, the PPPS Pre-K -12 character-development program that promotes engagement, well-being and belonging, “Four at the Door + One More” promotes four proven strategies to connect with students: Eye to Eye, Hand to Hand, Heart to Heart and Name to Name, and lastly, +One More means one more step. 

To break it down further, Eye to Eye is all about making good eye contact with each student. Hand to Hand speaks to the power of appropriate human contact, such as a handshake, fist bump, hi-five, elbow bump, or another creative hand to hand greeting. Heart to Heart refers to connecting with students as human beings by asking specific questions to get to know them. Name to Name means getting to know students and calling them by name throughout the day, and + One More is making sure when students come into the classroom, there is something ready for them to do. This starts the class period off with a personal connection, plus an organized process that gets students right to work academically. 

Is it working? If you ask PPPS Superintendent Rick Reo, he has this to say, “When we rolled out the CharacterStrong program at the beginning of the school year, we were not sure what to expect. Now, six months later, we are seeing signs that CharacterStrong and Four at the Door +One More are working. We kicked off the school year with the theme of building connections – connections with each other, connections with the community, and most importantly, connections with the students. Through the implementation of our Strategic Plan, our Core Values and CharacterStrong, we are working hard to connect the dots that lead to a strong culture and climate at Paw Paw Public Schools.”