Curriculum teaches and reinforces age appropriate behavioral expectations, with students earning “Patriot Bucks” for good behaviors
The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program will be rolled out in full force this fall to all Broadalbin-Perth students in pre-K through 12th grade. The goal of the PBIS curriculum is to help students learn the skills they need to succeed socially, emotionally, and behaviorally by setting clear age appropriate expectations that are reinforced district-wide.
Research shows that positive reinforcement is one of the best ways to change poor behavior and maintain appropriate behavior. Students “caught” exhibiting good behaviors at B-P are rewarded by staff with “Patriot Bucks,” which can be redeemed at the elementary level for fun activities like quarterly raffles, classroom incentives, leading P.E. warm-ups or even a VIP lunch table in the cafeteria. At the secondary level, students can use their bucks to purchase items at the school store, something that BPES also plans to offer students in PK-6 by mid-fall.
Kerri Barker, assistant principal at Broadalbin-Perth Elementary School, oversees the program for students in grades PK-6 and says there are countless benefits to the comprehensive approach that B-P is initiating.
“PBIS will be an ‘all-hands-on-deck’ initiative this school year, with the same behavioral expectations reiterated district-wide from classroom teachers, support staff, administrators, and coaches, as well as staff members from the food service, transportation and facilities departments,” Barker said.
From the moment a student starts their educational career at B-P, there will be consistency in expectations all the way through to their senior year.
“Raising good citizens requires us to place just as much focus on students’ social and emotional learning (SEL) as we do on their academics,” Barker added. “By nurturing both academics and SEL, we’re building capacity in our students to better prepare them for the world they will face after they graduate from B-P.”
BPES created a PBIS team to develop a Behavior Matrix called PATS (Patriots Act responsibly, Treat each other with respect and Stay safe) that prioritizes the district’s behavioral expectations of elementary students. The PBIS curriculum will be taught in classrooms using universal language, and concepts will be reinforced through signage posted in each school building.
Behavioral expectations are laid out for different settings within the school building, including the classroom, walking in the hallway, using the restroom, the cafeteria, outside at recess, on the school bus, and when gathered in a group, like an assembly or field trip.
Memorable acronyms in the curriculum make for easier learning and retention, including “THE YIPS” (Thank You, Hello or Hi, Excuse Me, You’re Welcome, I’m Sorry, Please and Smile), which lays out behaviors and actions that could result in a student receiving Patriot Bucks if the behavior is noticed by a staff member.
The program also introduces systems that families can help reiterate at home, including a common language for voice levels, with explanations as to which voice levels are appropriate in different social situations.
“Students thrive when they have consistent structure around them, especially at the elementary level,” Barker said. “Implementing PBIS is going to require participation from every B-P team member, as well as buy-in and support from our students’ families. The consistency of PBIS will help us cultivate a more positive learning environment that every student at B-P will benefit from.”