This is how the school year kicked off at Meadowview Intermediate School in Sparta. In October, the students went through a boot camp where they were introduced to a common set of rules in nine different areas on the school campus.
"It's basically behaviors," said Paul Fischer, Meadowview Intermediate School principal. "Teaching behaviors to all students; expectations. So, that all students are on the same page. They all understand what behaviors should look like, sound like and feel like in our school."
The students have spent the entire school year practicing this new set of rules, like be quick, be clean and be quiet when using the restroom or stay right, be polite when walking the halls.
"You'll hear kids say, ‘hey, stay right, be polite.' It's been amazing how that has stuck with them," said Fischer.87966
To track the progress of the new PBIS model, Mr. Fischer has been collecting data all year on the number of behavior issues throughout the campus.
"The classroom was kind of the top area that we had the most issues with, but then the playground, the cafeteria and the bus were the other three," said Fischer.
The number of behavior write-ups peaked in January and February. So, the school held another mini boot camp to remind the students of what's expected of them.
"The Spring months, the data is actually… the numbers are going down as far as the write-ups in certain areas. So, that's promising," said Fischer.
Teachers and staff members agree... the new model has been effective.
"I think it's just helped us as a staff to become more cohesive with the way we look at things," said Jill Guns, Meadowview Intermediate School teacher. "Just how we handle behaviors and how we handle discipline issues."
The consistency built into this program along with the use of common terms is being credited for its success.
"We need to make sure we are repetitive with things," said Guns. "Our principal Mr. Fischer comes on every day and he does his morning announcements for us and he says one of our statements that we have."
Where does the school go from here? After collecting data for one year, the school can narrow in on a specific group of students who may need a little more help when it comes to behavior intervention.
"We've gathered data on students as a whole," said Fischer. "Those students who are getting 10, 15, 20 write-ups through the year. How are we going to address their behavior and their behavior issues. And that's the tier 2 part."
Tier 2 is for those kids who have been identified as "at risk" through a high number of behavior write-ups. These students will begin a check-in and check-out intervention program.
"They check-in with their teacher or an adult that we set-up that we feel would be a good fit for them and check-in at the beginning of the day," said Fisher. "'How was your night.' Get that one-on-one connection. ‘We want you to have a good day today. How can we help you do that?'"
The students will fill-out a behavior chart throughout the day and discuss the chart with his or her mentor during the check-out process.
"That constant building a relationship one-on-one with an individual and it's not always their classroom teacher because how they see them every day," said Fischer. "Maybe it's their counselor, maybe it's the school principal, maybe it's a custodian, just someone to build a relationship with so that the student feels like they're valued and that someone cares about them."
This is a feeling which is encouraging every student to put their best foot forward.
"We have gained so much as a school," said Fischer. "We feel that the relationships with the students have grown a lot. We still have a lot to learn, but we still... we see with that common language and telling the kids the rules from the get-go throughout the year they can just refer to that. So, we've really had a lot of positive feedback."
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