This is a guest post by Dr. Shanna Spickard of Milan Middle School in Milan, Michigan.
Our school has been doing PBIS since 2012 as a teacher-developed and led practice. In the fall of 2017, Milan Middle School added PBIS Rewards to the program. We were looking for a 21st Century way to transform our hard copy signature card and wooden token reward system. PBIS data was hard to track, not all staff were invested, and only a small population of students expressed interest. We knew there had to be a better way. So, we started our search for a solution.
PBIS Rewards gave us the opportunity to make our PBIS initiative completely digital! From a community grant, we were able to fund the program for the first year to pilot it. The success was so great that we have continued to use it and see the value of it this year. We use PBIS Rewards in a variety of ways.
I have to give a shout out to Mrs. Kristina Collier. It was through her vision and research that we found and successfully launched PBIS Rewards at our school.
At Milan Middle School (MMS) we use the reward points, which we call Pride Points for behaviors that follow our PBIS expectations of safety, respect, and responsibility. We also reward students who are demonstrating the six pillars of character. Students can then use their points to purchase items from our school “Big Red Den” store. Popular items are logo swag, such as lanyards and mini portfolios, as well as suckers, “first in lunch line” pass and private lunches with friends in the conference room.
Using PBIS Rewards for Referrals
We also use the referral tracking component of PBIS Rewards. We have both minor and major referrals. These are different from office referrals, which we track in our student database. Students receive a minor referral when they are breaking our PBIS expectations in all of our common areas: lunchroom, media center, offices, and hallways. Actions such as running, horseplay, loud volume or inappropriate words, cell phone use, throwing, etc., earn a minor referral. When a staff member sees one of these violations, she or he has a conversation with the student about how that action goes against our PBIS expectations and then enters the infraction into the PBIS Rewards App.
We also use the App for major referrals. These would include a classroom violation where the teacher feels that the student needs a reset or time out, but not an office referral. This might include disrupting class, being rude to an adult or another student, not doing work, etc. The staff member enters the violation into the App, which automatically notifies a staff member in our Reflection Center (RC). The student is sent to RC and completes a “ticket” sheet/form which permits them to get back into class.
What is amazing about this PBIS Rewards App is that it has empowered ALL staff to speak with students about misbehavior. In addition, the ease of the reports and data analysis is helping our PBIS committee make decisions based on data.
Rewards, Raffles, and More
We offer additional rewards at the middle school, as well. These include getting $2 off of dance/open gym days and getting into the last dance of the year for free with no referrals. The first Friday of the month, students without referrals get entered into a random drawing to spin the prize wheel that has local gift certificates and other fun items on it. We have students check their accounts and turn in orders for the Big Red Den at the beginning of each week in enrichment, so they are aware of their rewards.
All in all, PBIS Rewards has been a positive and helpful tool to add to our PBIS program. The customer service, PBIS training, and support are exceptional!
About Shanna Spickard:
Dr. Shanna Spickard (@SSpickard) has served as a middle school principal for the last 13 years and has been in education for 21 years total. Currently, she is the principal at Milan Middle School, part of Milan Area Schools in Milan, Michigan. Shanna is an active member of Michigan Elementary and Middle School Principals Association (MEMSPA) and has served many leadership roles with the state association for the past 11 years. For 2018-2019, she serves as NAESP state rep. In addition to her middle-level work, she also is an Education Leadership graduate instructor for Concordia University.