There’s a clear teacher’s pet in the halls of Emily Howland Elementary School, and with four legs and furry coat, he’s not even a student.
Principal Chris Clapper has been bringing his dog Archer to work for the past three years.
Over that time, the school has seen a reduction in student behavior referrals, which Clapper believes is due, in part, to Archer’s presence.
“He’s especially good when a child needs that emotional connection,” Clapper said. “He’s there for them. He’s there for them every single day. And they know that.”
Archer is usually a constant presence in the hallways before classes start, but he’s also used for one-on-one time if a student is on good behavior.
Southern Cayuga School District also a therapy dog in the adjoining high school for students.
“It could be the one connection that gets [students] through the day or it helps them look forward to coming to school,” Clapper said. “So if we can help provide that emotional connection: why wouldn’t we?”