Implemented in BBSD’s Snyder-Girotti Elementary school in 2015, the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program continues to grow and meet with student and teacher success. PBIS is a proactive approach to establishing behavioral supports and the social culture necessary for students to rise to their highest level of potential in social, emotional, and academic development. Rather than first addressing negative behavior with punishment, one of the fundamental principles of PBIS is the prevention of negative behaviors through the recognition and promotion of positive behavior.
Snyder-Girotti vice principal, Mrs. Roberta Cimochowski, who leads the program, explains that three behavioral expectations –being safe, being responsible, and being respectful– are the school’s focal points. Specifically, PBIS is used to help intervene in areas of need, such as the cafeteria or school hallways. Students are praised and presented with a “tomahawk ticket” when they are observed performing behaviors that support any of the three expectations. Receiving a tomahawk ticket allows the student access to participate in a school– wide incentive. These quarterly incentives are designed to motivate all students to meet behavioral expectations. The program has been received well by both students and parents, who are given further information at Back to School night and during school assemblies. Additionally, the school has received two recognition awards for its first year of implementation and for continuing the program with increased participation and fidelity.
The data on PBIS notes that the gains a successfully implemented PBIS program make include reductions in major disciplinary infractions, promotion of better student-teacher relationships, improvements in the perception of school climate, and reductions in student bullying behavior. At Snyder-Girotti the PBIS program has expanded by creating an additional “Silver Spoon” award, which involves homerooms competing during their lunch period to receive recognition for cafeteria and an additional incentive. Future plans for the program include the creation of a PBIS store.