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A Day in the Principal's Shoes at Windemere Park Charter Academy

At Windemere Park Charter Academy, students have a unique opportunity to step into the shoes of school leadership as "Principal for a Day." The program is part of Windemere Park's Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework, designed to promote and reinforce positive behaviors among students.

Principal Scott Greiner said they started the program after noticing more student engagement with school leaders. He emphasized that participation is earned through demonstrating positive behaviors, completing assignments, and maintaining focus in class. Students earn "Eagle Bucks" by exhibiting positive behaviors in the classroom. They can be redeemed for various rewards, including the chance to shadow either the principal or the dean for a day.

Principal Greiner with "Principal for a Day" students
Students earn the chance to be Principal for a Day and shadow Principal Scott Greiner.

"They've earned it, so it's not just about saying, 'Hey, I want to go see the dean or the principal for fun,’” shared Greiner. “Instead, it's about empowering them. By displaying positive behavior, completing their work, and staying focused in class, they earn the opportunity to experience what it's truly like to be in the principal's or dean's position."

A day in the life of a student principal involves a range of experiences, from administrative tasks to seeing what goes on behind the scenes. Students help with various responsibilities such as creating event flyers, organizing school communications, supervising lunch periods, and even participating in morning announcements.  

"Principal for a Day" students with Principal Greiner
Students earn the chance to be Principal for a Day and shadow Principal Scott Greiner.

“Having the kids come in and want to spend the day with me to see what it's like. It's definitely a lot of fun. It's hilarious because they're like, ‘Okay, we're done with this test. Now what?’,” he laughed.

The program also helps build meaningful relationships between students and staff, which has helped Windemere Park outperform the local district for the last 14 years. Greiner said it allows him to connect personally with students he doesn't often interact with, “It really helps you put the names to faces and builds that relationship.”

At the end of the day, students get a special perk. They’re able to choose a book from the school’s new book vending machine as a reward for taking part in the program. Feedback about the 'Principal for a Day' program has been overwhelmingly positive, with many students eager to participate again.

"Principal for a Day" students choosing book from vending machine.
At the end of the day, the students are able to choose a book from the book vending machine as part of their experience.

Great job creating a fun learning opportunity while connecting with students!
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About Windemere Park Charter Academy
Windemere Park Charter Academy is a tuition-free, public charter school in Lansing, Michigan, serving students in kindergarten through eighth grade. It is part of the National Heritage Academies network, which includes more than 100 tuition-free, public charter schools serving more than 65,000 students in kindergarten through 12th grade across nine states. For more information, visit

Visit Windemere Park Charter Academy's blog to read more stories like this.