STRUTHERS — Struthers Elementary School was recently awarded PBIS Bronze recognition for the 2019-20 school year.
The PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) program is a proactive effort to create a safe, consistent and positive environment. It is an evidence-based, three-tiered framework to improve and integrate all of the data, systems and practices affecting student outcomes every day, according to its website.
The Bronze recognition acknowledges the achievement of Tier 1 success in establishing “a foundation of regular, proactive support while preventing unwanted behaviors,” according to PBIS’ website.
Struthers Elementary School implemented Tier 1 by establishing behavioral expectations and communicating them to its students. Signs around the school state positive behavioral expectations for students, and teachers spent time explaining each set of expectations to their classes.
Each day, students affirm the expectations after the Pledge of Allegiance, promising: “We will be ready, be respectful, be responsible — we will be positive.” The signs in the school guide students to ways in which they can meet the expectations through specific behaviors, such as being respectful by listening when an adult is speaking or being responsible by eating their own food and cleaning their area in the cafeteria.
Implementing COVID-19 safety protocols in the fall was made simpler with the foundation of PBIS in place, Assistant Principal Joanie Jones said.
“Students knew how to respond to expectations set for them, so additional expectations to stay 6 feet apart and wear masks was an easy adjustment for even our youngest students,” Jones said in a news release. “Our students listen to the guidelines requested by our team, resulting in a safe learning environment which has enabled us to provide continuous in-person instruction at our elementary school since the start of the school year.”
PBIS was implemented at Struthers Schools in 2017. With the framework of Tier 1 in place, the Struthers Elementary School PBIS team is working with State Support Team Region 5 and Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence to build the Tier 2 practices of handling interfering behaviors. Tier 2 includes targeted interventions for groups of students who need additional guidance to meet the behavioral expectations outlined in Tier 1.
“We’re committed to the success of all students in our school,” Jones said. “PBIS has enabled us to create a strong foundation of positive behaviors in our schools, enabling teachers to teach more effectively. We look forward to making an even stronger impact as we move forward with targeted interventions in Tier 2.”