Over 150 Whittier High School students have been certified as Cardinals with CLASS after completing hundreds of community service hours to demonstrate traits and characteristics becoming of a Cardinal – Citizenship, Leadership, Achievement, Self-Respect and Service to the Community.
Cardinals with CLASS is a positive support system framework developed by Whittier High to promote and recognize students who exhibit positive behavior in an academic setting as well as in the larger community. It was relaunched with the certification program last year after a brief hiatus.
“I am so incredibly proud of the students who volunteered to be a part of this program, which not only promoted their own growth and achievement, but taught them the importance of service to the Whittier High School community,” Assistant Principal of Guidance Allison Huntley said.
While students are expected to model the school-wide behaviors every day, they are also encouraged to go above and beyond. Teachers incorporate Cardinals with CLASS lessons into daily classroom exercises. Students may be recognized by peers, teachers or staff with Cardinals with CLASS tickets, which are then entered into drawings. The result has been a cleaner campus, a decrease in detention rates and an increase in positive behavior.
“Cardinals with CLASS encourages students to use these amazing traits in their everyday life. These are things that we need to know outside of school – how to communicate, how to work with others and how to be a leader,” senior Mina Patino said. “I like that I get recognized for what I do and can inspire others to do the same.”
Students who participate in the certification program – many of whom are already leaders on campus or serve as academic mentors – must complete at least least four hours of community service demonstrating one or more of the five characteristics. Those who become certified will wear special graduation regalia.
“I know the benefits this program has and it’s important to keep it up,” said Jose Miguel, a senior who is part of an eight-member Cardinals with CLASS planning committee that develops activities to promote Cardinal culture and encourage students to be good role models.
“It’s a really good thing for the school,” he said. “Everyone wants to be a Cardinal with CLASS.”