The beginning of the school year is one full of promise and new beginnings: new teachers, new opportunities, new friends. It also marks the kick-off of Positive Behavior in School (PBIS), a school-wide initiative that teaches behavior expectations of students.
The program’s mission is simple: to foster and promote a safe and positive learning environment through teaching and recognizing positive behavior.
Used in more than 3,000 schools nationwide, the program is well-received by students.
There is a lot of excitement that surrounds the PBIS kick-off — Harmony Hill had a parade, students enjoyed an assembly and dance party at Abram Lansing, and Van Shaick students went on a scavenger hunt at the pond — and even with all this fun, the learning never stops.
Ask any elementary student and they will be able to recite the “Three B’s” that each school follows: Be Safe, Be Responsible, Be Respectful. Van Schaick added a fourth B—Be a H.E.R.O: Be Here Everyday, Ready and On-time.
Through modeling and discussions, students learn what it means to be safe, responsible, and respectful in the hallway, classroom, cafeteria, bathroom, and on the playground. From new-to-school UPK students and kindergarteners, to older students who just need a refresher, the Three B’s set an example of behaviors to strive for.
Each school has a PBIS committee, made up of teachers, staff and administrators who work together to come up with fun incentives throughout the year.
One such incentive is “Tiger Tickets,” which students can earn through demonstrating good behavior. After being chosen by a teacher or staff member who observes good behavior, students place their tickets in a bucket for the chance to win prizes during a monthly/trimester drawing (depending on the school) that includes prizes such as Stewart’s gift cards, PBIS pencils, and school store gift cards.
At the end of each trimester, Van Schaick holds a Tiger Pride Party for all students who have not received an office discipline referral. In the past, parties have included going sleigh riding, playing Bingo, bowling, and a laser dance party.
Similarly, Abram Lansing throws Good Behavior Parties for students who follow their Three B’s and some also receive Positive Behavior Referrals. Events have included fun classroom activities and dance parties.
Over at Harmony Hill, students participate in an end-of-year drawing for eligible students that has included big-ticket prizes such as Chromebooks, scooters and bicycles, which are either donated or provided by PBIS fundraisers.
The middle school is kicking off their PBIS with the “Woohoo Wagon,” a cart filled with fun prizes and snacks. Social worker Ms. Kinns and math teacher Ms. Benoit visit classrooms every Wednesday and ask teachers to choose two students who have demonstrated good behavior. Not only do the students get to choose two items from the cart, but so does the teacher.
They also implemented a Student of the Week program. Chosen students will have their photo displayed in the case outside the cafeteria and will receive a pass to the front of the lunch line.
From elementary-aged students to middle schoolers, PBIS is a great way to remind students the proper way to behave in school and incentivize them to do better. What a great way to kick off a new school year!