You’re almost there – the end of the school year is approaching! At this point, you and your students have been together for several months. You’ve built positive relationships with students and have seen them grow academically, socially, and emotionally. Now, you must begin the process of ending your time together.
The weeks leading up to the last day of school can seem both painfully long and alarmingly short. Maybe you feel as if you weren’t able to thoroughly cover everything you planned to teach. Maybe you finished ahead of schedule and are watching the calendar just as much as your students are. Either way, savor these last few weeks with your class.
End of the School Year for Students
For most students, the end of the school year is an exciting time. Close out this chapter of their educational career with end-of-year activities, such as:
The last days of school are a great time to look back on the progress students made over the year. At first, students may focus solely on grades as a measure of progress but encourage them to dig deeper. This is a good time to remind them of the class-wide “aha” moments you may have experienced together. Even the more personal markers of progress, such as improvements in handwriting, can and should be included in their assessments.
What kind of legacy does your class want to leave for incoming students? A class project can help them flesh out this idea. Instead of building a time capsule that they’ll come back to in the future, consider building a “Words of Wisdom” document to encourage the students who will follow in their footsteps. Undertake a kindness project that spills out into the whole school or community. Choose community service projects that can impact others over a short period of time. Design and paint a mural, either in your classroom or somewhere on campus (be sure to get the OK from your admin). Whatever you choose, your students will likely end the year with a positive feeling.
As you approach the last day of school, take some time to host an awards ceremony in which each student in your classroom is recognized. Think beyond the standard superlatives often used to recognize achievements. It’s likely your students are well aware which of their classmates are most athletic or have the best grades. Instead, give out awards for personal qualities such as kindness and hard work, or fun categories like Biggest Backpack or Brightest Smile. You can even tie some of the awards to your PBIS initiative and recognize students for points earned by exhibiting your school’s core values.
School Store Shopping Blowout
Even with regular school store shopping days, your students may have points balances from your PBIS initiative. The end of the school year is a great time to host a blowout sale in your school store and let kids spend every point they have! If your school traditionally does fun and games on the last day, that’s a perfect opportunity to hold raffles for coveted incentives and let students spend points to participate in exclusive games. Let them spend every point they have so the next school year starts off with a clean slate!
End of the School Year for Teachers
For many educators, the end of the school year is a bittersweet time. After all, you’ve spent the past several months with your students. You’ve seen them learn and grow and you’re excited to see where they’ll go. However, you may also be a little sad that your time together is coming to an end. While you might be looking forward to summer break, there are a few things you should do before the school year comes to an end:
The end of the year is a good time to review your lesson plans, while they’re still somewhat fresh in your mind. What worked? What do you need to update? Do you need to create new ones? Reflect on the things that went really well for you and your students over the school year. If you’ve kept notes about your successes and challenges, these reflections can help you to come back stronger in the coming year.
Plan a Clean-Up Day With Students
By the end of the year, all those bright, shiny new school supplies have seen better days. Plan a clean-up day to help students clean out their desks, cubbies, or lockers. While you’re at it, have them help you with tidying up the classroom, as well. Just be sure not to plan this day until the very end of the year, or you will have to cope with excited and distracted students until the very last bell rings.
Plan a Clean-Up Day on Your Own
Returning your room to its pre-decorated, blank-canvas state is typically one of the last acts you’ll perform before you leave for the summer. Pack up your supplies and store them where they won’t be disturbed during the summer. This is also a good time to assess supplies and create a spreadsheet of items you have on hand. When it comes time to prepare for a new school year, having this information will help you to determine what supplies you will need to buy.
If you have a classroom store that students use for PBIS points, the end of the school year is a good time to assess the items you stock. What items or privileges were hits? Which ones weren’t? Close out your store with a big blowout sale and help your students spend their points.
The first two weeks of a new school year can be pretty intense. Prepare for that at the end of the current school year. Save yourself some time and frustration by making the copies you need for the first two weeks. This can include supplies lists, classroom rules, and PBIS expectations.
Plan the First Week
Getting off on the right foot at the beginning of a new school year is critical. Careful planning and preparation, while the current year is still fresh in your mind, will help you to launch the new year successfully.
Closing Out PBIS Rewards
The end of the school year is important for your PBIS initiative, too. Your school’s year-long focus on positive behavior has likely improved school climate and culture across the board. What better way to celebrate the closing days of the school year than to hold a special event that’s all about PBIS? Games, raffles, and shopping will help students spend their points before the end of the school year.
For schools using PBIS Rewards, the end of the academic calendar means closing out the year and getting prepared for a clean slate in the coming year. Don’t worry – the system will guide you through the end of the year, beginning four weeks ahead of your last day. That’s when admins and teachers will all receive an email reminding them that the end is near. (To be fair, they probably already have it marked on their calendars!) They’ll receive another notice two weeks out, followed by a third one a week later. These emails and app notifications are meant to encourage them to print out the reports they will need before the system resets at the end of the school year.
PBIS Rewards generates a standard set of End-of-Year reports. You can find this list in our support site article. Any custom reports that admins or teachers wish to have will need to be printed out before the end-of-year school reset.
About Leftover Points
The end of the school year gives everyone – students, teachers, and admins – the opportunity to reflect on the progress made during the year. Once your school year is processed in PBIS Rewards you will no longer be able to award points, run raffles, create referrals or events, or use school and teacher stores for that academic year.
However, sometimes students are unable to spend all of their points before the end of the year. While PBIS Rewards DOES allow schools to “roll over” unused student points into the upcoming academic year, you may want to consider allowing all points to expire. Beginning a new school year with zero points balances for every student allows everyone to start with a clean slate. It is especially helpful for new students to begin at the same level as everyone else.
Want to know more about closing out PBIS Rewards at the end of the academic year? Read the whole support site article for all the details!
Need a better way to manage your PBIS initiative? Want more accurate data? PBIS Rewards enables you to digitally manage PBIS in your school, regardless if you’re in-person, virtual, or a combination of the two. Contact us for more information!Request a Demo