Our School Motto

Our School Motto

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

PBIS from a Parent's View on the Committee!

As a parent to a Kindergartner, my husband and I were having a hard time sending our daughter to school.  We wanted her to have a wonderful year meeting new friends, learning and having fun.  When, we went in for our orientation we received a pamphlet from Mr. Terko on PBIS.  For those of you who don't know already PBIS is an acronym for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports.  When he explained that the children would be learning the three rules of the school:  Be Safe, Be Kind & Be Responsible it made my husband and I feel so much better.  It was important to us that as parents we had our own rules being taught in school.  So, they are getting it at home as well as school.

I was so excited about this program that I acquired about it to a teacher friend who was on the committee.  I then spoke with Mr. Terko and explained my views on this and asked what I could do to help send this message across to parents, our community, friends, peers etc.  I was invited to a staff meeting about PBIS and is now part of the committee.  They opened their arms to my ideas and thoughts and I've been a member since October 2011.

One of our responsibilities is to incorporate behavioral data into a program called SWIS Data.  This helps us do comparing from months and years previously, so we can create reports to see where the problems are and what kind of behaviors are being reported.  This helps us target certain behavior problems, when, where and what is happening.  Our report for Oct., Nov, and Dec. had no change in the numbers of minor referrals in the classroom.  The team decided that we needed to get more specific in choosing our goal to effectively measure and make positive changes in behavior.  The data shows that most of the referrals are coming from "Obtaining Peers Attention."  This gives us ideas on how to target this particular goal.  How can we narrow "obtain peer attention"? (Examples:  Is it language based? sharing? need/wants for an object?)  We've asked the teachers to be more specific when checking off the referral form so it helps us monitor what's happening just before the behavior/referral.

Our new Goal for January and February based on Motivation and Location.  After reviewing the SWIS  Data more closely, we noticed that the most common "motivation" across all grade levels is to "obtain peer attention and the "location" was the classroom.  (which makes sense and is consistent with other schools as the kids spend most time in the classroom.)

So, how do we address the classroom and obtaining peer attention?

  • Re-teach skills around making friends, keeping friends, etc.
  • Continue targeting positive behaviors in the classroom with yellow buzzies but focus on how to appropriately get your friends attention.
  • Letters/info to families in "The Bell" to tell about our new focus and share ideas to reinforce at home.
  • Link information to the PBIS Blog
  • Offer online resources to staff and families
Here are the supporting ways we came up with to get your friend's attention in the classroom.

  • Each teacher discuss in Morning Meeting what it means to get a friends attention (expected and Unexpected:  What does it look like, sound like, feel like?  How do others feel when you get their attention in safe kind and responsible ways.  
  • Tell them why we are focusing on this area
  • Relate the discussions to "Be Safe, Be Kind and Be Responsible"
  • Use yellow buzzies to specifically reinforce/reward positive behaviors that support obtaining peer attention.  (Examples where given out via handout.  I will be obtaining them soon to attach to this blog post)
  • Provide a list of children's books that address these issues and ask teachers to read them at least weekly about the topic.
  • Could we do a school-wide project to display what we learned?  (where and who?)
  • We will send home ABS PBIS school magnets with some information to parents of our new focus on "Ways to get your friend's attention"
As you can see, how very important this committee and data information is to not only the school but to the parents.  Starting this program at an early age will help with guiding our kids to be a great friend, listener, responsible, kind, safe and behave in all aspects of life.  Hopefully, in the long run we will have less bullying, clicks, behavioral problems, and we can all get along.  Life is hard enough for everyone and by giving these tools to them at an early stage of life we can gain more respect, responsibilities and safe environments.

Please use this link to the ABS Library as a resource to check out the books on these topics.
http://www.cssu.org/site/Default.aspx?PageID=1000 to ABS Character Words books!!!  Also, the library has several books on making and keeping friends in addition to what you have at home.  The Guidance office and Special Educators are also good resources to get info from.

Please feel free to contact me with any questions or problems that you might be having.  If I can't answer you, I'll find someone who can.  It's a wonderful program and our children will only succeed in life by learning this both at home and in the classroom.  It's time to make the community and world a better place.

Treat others as you want to be treated.  It starts from within!

Shannon Clark
Email:  koalamyst@yahoo.com

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