By: Cole Kell
According to pbis.org, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an approach that schools use to promote school safety and good behavior. With PBIS, schools teach kids about behavior expectations and strategies. The focus of PBIS is prevention, not punishment. Many kids struggle with behavior in school. While this may sound complicated, it is a proactive approach to establishing behavioral supports and social culture and a clear framework that can easily help transform student behavior and culture within school or classroom. In school, it helps students and staff learn life skills to overcome challenges and gain success.
This year, Eisenhower is in the beginning steps of introducing this program. Students have watched introductory videos in advisory and learned about the IKE Pride goals. The motto IKE Pride encourages all students at Eisenhower to interact with integrity, kindness, and engagement so that they are positively representing our school. Ms. Livingston helps to lead our SWPBIS committee and, together with Ms. Ludwig, provided some additional information to The Squire.
Squire: Can you explain what SWPBIS is?
Ms. Livingston: SWPBIS stands for School Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. It is a program used in many schools to reinforce positive behaviors within the school setting and improve school culture. Most, if not all, the schools in the Warren County School District have instituted the program. Some are a little further ahead than Eisenhower. Our goal is to fully implement the program next school year. Ms. Ludwig, Mr. Penley, Mrs. Holeva, Mrs. Richardson and I serve on the team for Eisenhower. Each school has its own motto as well. Ours is IKE Pride…Integrity, Kindness, Engagement and, of course, school pride. We have created a matrix on how each of these is reflected in different areas of our school.
Squire: What is the role of students?
Ms. Livingston: We are working on several aspects as far as the students are concerned. Last year, students from the journalism classes created videos to demonstrate behaviors in the cafeteria, hallways, classrooms, auditorium, etc. There will also be opportunities for students to participate on the core school team. That is something we are discussing now. They will represent the student body, and they will also help plan some of the different activities and incentives we will be doing.
Squire: What is the role of teachers?
Ms. Livingston: The teachers are learning how it all works. They are learning the system this year and offering up suggestions and ideas on how we can effectively roll out the program next year. We will be working with a new computer program at our professional development on Friday.
Squire: What events are planned to build IKE Pride?
Ms. Livingston: I am just going to say we have a lot of ideas on the table right now, and there are a few surprises in the planning.
Squire: What changes can students expect?
Ms. Livingston: I am sure some of your readers are already aware we started something called Minor Forms. These are for basically minor behaviors and gives students a chance to redeem themselves. For instance, you won’t automatically get written up for minor infractions. These would be recorded on a minor form. You have so many chances, and then it does become a regular discipline form. Now, major things like fighting and vaping, etc. are still on the regular forms and still result in severe penalties. There will also be incentives for the positives. Those are things we are working on within the team. The supports will help those students who may be having difficulties. For instance, if say a group of students is having trouble in the cafeteria, then that group may need a little more review in proper expected cafeteria behaviors. Instead of requiring the whole school or grade level to go to an assembly to address cafeteria expectations, the group who is having issues would spend some time reviewing the video and the rules. The expectations are posted in each classroom. Students will be able to track their incentives next year as well.
Squire: Is there anything else our readers should know?
Ms. Livingston: There will be more and more things revealed as we go through the process. Next year, we will kick off the full program at beginning of the year. If anyone has any questions, they can contact any of the team members.
In the future, more information will be shared with students to help make Eisenhower a more positive school.