By: Caroline Larson
When people think about knights, traditionally, the first thing that comes to mind is men in armed suits fighting dragons and saving princesses. Being a knight usually has an honorary title awarded by nations with royal families. Knights are often shown in the imagination of any child and always save the day. Recently, Eisenhower Elementary has recognized some new knights, though, these knights don’t wear suits or slay dragons. They don’t save princesses or have honorary titles given to them by a king or queen. These knights wear everyday clothes and go to a normal school, living their everyday lives but also trying to make a difference.
In November 2019, the Eisenhower Elementary School kicked off the implementation of a program called SWPBS, School Wide Positive Behavior in School. According to Ms. Scully, a fourth-grade teacher in the elementary school, SWPBS is a systematic approach for proactive, school-wide discipline. Currently, the program is only being implemented throughout the elementary schools around the Warren Country School District. The purpose of SWPBS is to improve the school and prevent student behaviors all across school settings. There are five essential elements of SWPBS: 1.Building culture within the whole school that will serve as a foundation for social and academic success, 2.Preventing problem behaviors, 3.Teaching appropriate behaviors, 4.Using continuum of behavior support practices in order to prevent problem behavior, and 5.Actively using data to focus on achieving social and academic achievement outcomes.
In the elementary school, the SWPBS is known as the “EES Noble Knights Program.” NOBLE is an acronym that stands for Nurturing, Open-Minded, Be Extraordinary, Leader, and Engaged. “Each letter of the acronym is defined so students know the expectations of each category,” explained Ms. Scully.
Through displaying any of the qualities of a NOBLE Knight, students can earn tickets from any of the staff members in the elementary school. “The tickets are collected by grade level at the end of every week,” Mrs. Scully described. “Data is collected from the tickets and then the teachers receive the data information to use as reward incentives.” There are rewards for the cafeteria, classroom, and school wide behaviors.
Cafeteria Rewards: Random drawing will take place during the month for small incentives. For example, students could sit somewhere special with a friend. At the end of each month, two students per grade level will be drawn to have a NOBLE lunch with the principal. They get their name called and their picture on the Wall of Noble Students. They call this the Golden Sword Award.
Classroom Rewards: The classroom incentives are based on the classroom teacher’s discretion. For example, there may be incentives for earning five, ten, or fifteen tickets in a week. Five tickets may earn wearing a hat during class, alternative seating, or being the classroom leader. Ten tickets could earn one free test answer or being the teacher’s assistant for the day. Fifteen tickets could be awarded with ten minutes of a whole classroom game, choosing your own seat, or half of your homework completed.
School Wide Rewards: All tickets are put in a school wide container at the end of each month. There are a set of goals for the number of tickets collected. Rewards may include movie and popcorn, extra recess, or a school dance.
Golden Ticket Award: Every month, each classroom teacher will be asked to nominate one student from their classrooms who has displayed the most qualities of a Noble Knight. All the teachers will get together and vote for one person. The winner will have their picture displayed on the Wall of Noble Students and will be able to pick something from the prize box.
For non-rewarding behaviors, teachers follow a flow chart that describe minor and major incidents. A student can only get three minors in a week. The fourth minor behavior becomes a major.
Eisenhower Elementary’s staff is excited about the SWPBS, Noble Knight Program, and hope to create a positive school culture in which positive behaviors are taught and reinforced throughout the school. “We will be working together to improve academic and behavioral outcomes for all students within our school,” Ms. Scully stated. “We are all striving to be an EES Noble Knight.”