Wednesday, December 2, 2020

Positive Behavior Intervention Systems - by Jake Fitzgerald Asst. Principal GES

In 2018, the Ohio Department of Education began a new system for our state called the Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS). Although this is now almost 3 years old, many people are still unaware of what it is. This article is written with the intent of educating our district families about the background of PBIS, the implementation of the system at Greenville and how it is continuing to be used within our district.

According to the State of Ohio Department of Education (ODE), their purpose for trying to institute a PBIS system was to create a “schoolwide systematic approach to embed evidence-based practices and data-driven decision- making to improve school climate and culture to achieve improved academic and social outcomes and increase learning for all students”. This was adopted in November of 2018, by then Gov. Kasich, in House Bill 318. In this bill, schools were required to provide professional developments and/or state trainings to help train teachers. PBIS was required to be implemented by every school in the 2019-2020 school year.

Greenville was able to attack this head on and instituted a PBIS system called PAX. PAX is a universal preventative intervention system focused on student ownership of behavior. Almost all kindergarten – fourth grade teachers were sent to be PAX trained. While getting teachers and students to change their mind set from a punishment system to a positive behavior system is not always easy, Greenville  Elementary has had great student and teacher buy in. This has created a positive student and teacher community focused on doing good things.

As you enter our Elementary today, you will notice the elements of PAX everywhere. You will see teachers focusing on praising students for doing the correct things and many times their verbal praise is coupled with incentives. Some teachers give their own form of prizes called “Granny’s Wacky Prizes”. Another incentive you may see involves popcorn tickets being given to those with positive behavior. Popcorn tickets are then put into their classroom bucket, giving them a chance in a drawing to receive a bag of popcorn from the concession stands on Fridays. However, the prize most loved is being a “Wave Wonder”. Each month, one student from each class is chosen to have a special lunch with Mr. Fitzgerald and Mrs. Copas, and then Mr. Fitzgerald plays a game with those kids after their lunch. One student said, “Being a Wave Wonder was already the best thing of this school year!”. Another student said, “It was so much fun to be able to spend time with Mrs. Copas and Mr. Fitz. I loved playing Zombie tag with him!”. As you can tell, PBIS and PAX are no longer just an intervention system but rather have become the driving force for the positive culture of our school.

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