The New Albany-Plain Local school district's purpose, to create a culture of accountability that achieves the best academic and developmental outcomes for each student, provides exceptional clarity.

To continuously improve, our values, beliefs and behaviors must be aligned and practiced daily to increase student achievement, growth and well-being.

Successful behavior is intentional, on purpose and skillful; it is discipline-driven.

Research proves that when people operate with discipline, they work harder, learn faster, practice teamwork better, communicate more clearly and are more resilient.

Discipline-driven action is the foundation for success in school, at work or in life. Discipline-driven behaviors must be taught, learned and practiced.

Life comes at us fast. Situations, people, responsibilities, challenges all change -- we constantly are dealing with the "stuff" of life on the district campus or in the community.

Consistent discipline-driven behavior begins with implementing a simple, powerful framework, a system for being intentional about the way you think, make decisions and act.

The foundation of education always will be found in how we manage E + R = O (event + response = outcome), or the R Factor.

The biggest variable in any school is not the events or circumstances people encounter, but how people respond to those things.

Education constantly is changing: Technologies emerge, needs arise and expectations transform, and programs and initiatives come and go.

The R Factor remains constant. You always have control over how you respond.

You choose what actions you will take or not take in pursuit of your goals. You choose whether to give up or persevere through the inevitable obstacles you will experience. You interact with people at school, at work, with family at home or in the community.

How each one of us responds makes all the difference, particularly for the 4,984 students on our district campus. Since August, faculty, staff members and administrators have been learning the R Factor. This month, we formally began modeling and teaching the R Factor to our our students.

By embedding and practicing this framework and system in our district culture, we are encouraging discipline-driven behaviors to increase academic and social-emotional outcomes at school, at home and in the community.

Starting this spring and continuing throughout the next school year, students will learn six R Factor disciplines to control their responses and affect the quality of the outcomes produced. These six disciplines include: Press Pause, Get Your Mind Right, Step Up, Adjust and Adapt, Make a Difference and Build Skill.

We intend to help students learn and understand that a significant amount of time can be spent working hard to be average. Exceptional skill, however, is built through focused attention, time and energy via discipline-driven practice.

I invite community members to join our journey to elite by learning and practicing the R Factor. To learn more, please join me for an introductory session at 7 p.m. Wednesday, April 4, at New Albany Intermediate School, 177 N. High St.

Michael L. Sawyers is superintendent of the New Albany-Plain Local School District.