Story last updated at 5/16/2012 - 12:09 pm
Riverbend students are respectful, responsible, safe and kind. These are known as the Beaver Behaviors to the students, staff, and parents of Riverbend Elementary School. Riverbend is on its fourth year as a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports School.
PBIS is an internationally recognized school-wide behavior management system that focuses on providing students with positive interactions rather than negative corrections. PBIS provides evidence based proactive strategies for defining, teaching and supporting appropriate student behaviors that create a positive school environment. It is important because it introduces, models, and reinforces positive social behavior, which establishes a climate in where appropriate behavior is the norm.
There are seven main components:
An agreed upon and common approach to discipline
School-wide common language
A small number of positively stated expectations
Procedures for teaching the expectations
A continuum of procedures to maintain the expectations
A continuum for discouraging rule-violating behavior
Data collection for evaluating the effectiveness of the system
Since Riverbend's mascot is the Beaver, most of the PBIS components are based on the Beaver lingo. Beaver Behaviors are the school wide expectations of respectful, responsible, safe and kind. Beaver Tickets are used as a positive recognition system for students who are using the Beaver Behaviors in school. Beaver Ambassadors are a group of fifth-grade students whose main job is to introduce new students and families to Riverbend School and to be a mentor for new students. Think Time is a school-wide behavior modification strategy, where students are given a break as needed to reset their behaviors in class, on the playground or other common areas. A Beaver Behavior Club is established that provides students who are not successful with Think Time, an extra adult to positively boost his or her behavior once in the morning prior to class and again at the end of the day. Riverbend strives to provide a ratio of four positive interactions for every correction to and from staff, students and parents.
PBIS operates on the premise that positive behavior is taught and not simply just expected. At the start of each year and again at various times throughout the year, students are taught how to behave in all common areas with lesson plans that are specifically written for that purpose such as lunchroom, hallway and bathrooms. Also, in their individual classes, students are taught and practice class routines often, such as transition from one activity to another, sharpening a pencil during class, or how to ask the teacher for help.
Data collection is a huge part of PBIS and Riverbend collects data on major behaviors (office managed behaviors such as fighting or bullying) and minor behaviors (classroom managed behaviors such as talking out of turn or off task). Major behavior data is collected using the Office Discipline Referral (ODR) and minor behavior data is collected weekly using the Think Time forms. When data shows an area of the school, such as the playground, having issues like defiance, the PBIS team looks for ways to boost the positive behavior for that area, time of day, or in some cases individual students.
Riverbend Elementary School has shown huge reductions in the amount of ODRs over the past four years. The base line data taken prior to PBIS at Riverbend showed that it had an average of 5.8 office referrals per day in the fall of 2007. Once PBIS began, there has been a steady decrease in ODRs (they dropped in half in the Fall of 2008). In the Fall of 2011, Riverbend averaged 0.9 referrals per day. That means that 25 more students per week are now in class learning, not disrupting the learning process of others and spending more time on task.
Riverbend's PBIS Team is made up of representatives from all areas of the school including classroom teachers, special education staff, counselors, school administration and classified staff. The entire staff is dedicated to the success of PBIS because they see that it creates a positive environment, which is beneficial to learning.
For more information about Riverbend's PBIS contact the PBIS Coach, Todd Wicks, at (907) 463-1819 ext. 277 or look online at www.pbis.org