Using PBIS Rewards to Prepare Students for a Successful Future
Many people assume that PBIS is only for elementary and middle school level behavior intervention – but PBIS can work well at the high school level too!
George Washington High School in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, has a diverse student population with students from 70 countries, and 40 languages are spoken on campus! The school offers an International Baccalaureate Program, Dual Enrollment for college credit, career and technical education, AP classes, internships, and apprenticeship programs. As one of 331 schools in the School District of Philadelphia, they have been a PBIS school and have used PBIS Rewards for the past four years.
It Takes a Village – Encouraging Buy-In From Staff and Families
At first, it was a challenge to get teacher buy-in for digital PBIS management with PBIS Rewards. The school organized a PBIS team that includes a representative from each department, including custodial staff and students. They created shirts with the phrase, “It takes a village” surrounding a heart, which symbolizes the team’s mission and support of the PBIS initiative. Twice each week, the staff has a community meeting, in which information is shared about PBIS and the school’s initiative.
Additionally, PBIS is discussed in staff meetings throughout the year, including highlights of the positives of the initiative. Staff members who were reluctant to use the software to recognize students have been able to see the benefits of PBIS Rewards. Individuals who were on board with PBIS Rewards from the beginning have also encouraged their fellow staff members to use the system. Increasingly, staff members have adapted to the digital format of PBIS Rewards, using the software to recognize students and award PBIS points. To encourage this growth, the school rewards staff members for using the system.
The PBIS team includes a parent representative who is also a staff member in one of the school’s Autistic Support classes. This dual perspective is beneficial in the continuing development of PBIS at the school. As a parent, this PBIS team member sees the benefits of PBIS for ALL students, especially those in special education who may struggle with behaviors.
By The Numbers
Ramping Up Engagement With PBIS Rewards
100% of the students at GWHS are considered economically disadvantaged and qualify for the district’s free lunch program. The school is committed to preparing, ensuring, and empowering all students to achieve their full intellectual and social potential in order to become lifelong learners and productive members of society.
One project that brought staff and students together was the creation of a PBIS Game Room/Relax Room. The school made a large room available as a lounge area for students and the students transformed it into a safe place for relaxing and playing games. There are various seating areas, tables with chairs, electronic tournament basketball game, video games, charging stations, popcorn machine, bean bag toss, a large connect four game, table top games, decks of cards, chess and checkers, etc. throughout the room. The room is decorated with inspirational posters and with PBIS norms throughout. The school has a no-phone policy, so one of the attractions of this room is that students can use their phones during their lunch period in the room. Students must have 400 points to enter the room during their lunch period, and there are special events planned for this space each month for students who earn enough points to attend these events.
Get Your School Engaged With PBIS by Using PBIS Rewards!
PBIS Rewards has been central to encouraging students and staff alike to participate in the school’s PBIS initiative. Because the software makes it easy to quickly recognize a student, staff members can award points to students anywhere, anytime. The school holds a kickoff at the beginning of each school year to get the school community excited and engaged in PBIS. At the end of the year, the school hosts an end-of-year carnival for the whole school to celebrate their PBIS efforts.
George Washington High School has seen higher attendance rates and greater academic achievement, with more students on the honor roll.
In the four years that the school has been using PBIS and PBIS Rewards, staff members have noticed an increase in engagement among students. Within that period, the school has seen higher attendance rates and greater academic achievement, with more students on the honor roll. In the 2021-22 school year, 86% of the student population did not receive any out-of-school suspensions and 72% of students graduated within four years.
We’d love to share more — contact us today!