Dear Parents and Guardians:
St. George School strives to support the whole child. For this to happen, it is imperative that we maintain an environment that is supportive of growth. By setting clear social and behavioral expectations and directly teaching students those expectations, we can help create a positive learning atmosphere. Since the 2016-17 school year, St. George School has been implementing a school-wide behavior system called PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports).
What is PBIS?
PBIS is a framework to promote academic achievement and behavioral competence. This is not a curriculum or a program, but instead a team-based process for problem solving, planning, and evaluation. It is designed to help schools create, implement, and evaluate effective school-wide, classroom, non-classroom, and student specific plans.
What does PBIS look like at St. George School?
This is our crew qualities tree. You may be familiar with the trunk of the tree as those are the Habits for Success on which students are evaluated throughout the trimesters and appear as part of report cards. At the base of the tree - the roots - are qualities that we believe are essential to be members of the St. George School community. At the top of the tree are character traits in action. These are mindsets and activities that teachers value and incorporate into the curriculum and experiences at St. George School.
As a school, we have continued to explore and enhance how we help students gain the skills they need to effectively demonstrate these crew qualities. This includes our explicit social skills curriculum, Second Step, as well as character development discussions and activities that are embedded in the EL curriculum. Furthermore, as a school, we have begun exploring how students can set character goals and reflect on progress towards those goals.
Tokens & Above and Beyond Awards
Recognizing students for following rules, directives, directions, participating, etc, is one of the most effective tools for managing, promoting, and correcting behaviors. Children respond far better to positive reinforcement than negative. Numerous studies continue to support and validate this social dynamic.
Tokens: When staff members notice students or whole crews (classes) displaying any of the St. George School qualities, they may be awarded a token. Crews set token goals throughout the year and plan a celebration for the crew once they have earned their goal number of tokens. Past celebrations have included pizza parties, ice cream sundaes, pajama days, popcorn and movies, extra recess, tech time, Ruckus doughnuts, and more!
Above and Beyond: At St. George School, when students or crews go “above and beyond” regular expectations in terms of responsibility, collaboration, perseverance, and empathy, students or a crew can receive an Above and Beyond award. Above and Beyond awards are sent home, posted in the hallway, and acknowledged at our monthly Community Meetings to recognize their exemplary behavior.
Positive Interventions & Behavior Matrixes
PBIS also includes a school-wide system for positive interventions for when students are not meeting behavioral expectations. Students are given verbal reminders of expectations across school settings. At the PK-2 level, much time is spent teaching and reinforcing expected behavior. This continues at the upper grades and the 3-5 and 6-8 teams have also developed Behavior Matrixes which outline clear consequences for continued and persistent unexpected behaviors. This may include restorative meetings, calls home, loss of privileges, or dismissal or suspension from class. At the same time, the PBIS team works with teams to determine interventions and supports that can help students be more successful during the school day.
One of the goals of the PBIS Committee is to continue to share what PBIS looks like at St. George School. If you have any questions about PBIS, please feel free to contact Ryan Watts (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information and be on the lookout for a PBIS newsletter for current happenings within our school community.
The PBIS Committee
Jessica Berry, Amy Hufnagel, Julie Ryan, Austin Sousa, Tammy Upham, Ryan Watts, Kelly Webber, Lauren Wilgus