How do you give your PBIS initiative the best chance for success?
Wright Junior High School is a Title I school in Richmond, TX that serves a uniquely rural population in the Houston metropolitan area. It is a relatively new school, having recently completed its third year of operation.
Establishing PBIS in a New School
PBIS at the middle school/junior high school level can be challenging. Developmentally, students at this level are questioning rules and testing boundaries, and it’s important to outline school values and expectations in a way that acknowledges their burgeoning independence. Despite the challenges, middle school students still respond favorably to recognition of their positive behavior and get excited about appealing incentives specific to their age group.
Establishing a new school is complex, especially when it comes to building culture and climate. Staff turnover is often high in the first few years of a school’s existence, as expectations, guidelines, and policies are continually shifting. Still, the establishment of a new school can be the perfect opportunity to create a positive school culture in which both staff and students thrive.
In its three years of existence, Wright Junior High has had two individuals serve as principal. The most recent principal, Thomas Graham, introduced positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) as part of his first year at the helm.
Almost right away, there were challenges to establishing a PBIS initiative at Wright. A high staff turnover rate made it difficult to train staff and secure buy-in. In the beginning, the school jumped into using PBIS Rewards with very little training, encouraging staff members to explore the software on their own. There was no mandate to use the software, and the staff was reluctant to accept the concept and instill it as part of campus culture.
Embracing PBIS at Wright Junior High School
PBIS gained a small bit of footing at Wright thanks to students and families who were excited to welcome PBIS as part of school culture. The staff members who elected to use PBIS Rewards
began by recognizing students for positive behaviors and awarding points through the software. Students were excited to receive the points, and the school quickly realized that they needed to provide a way for students to spend their points.
During the first year with PBIS Rewards, students were able to redeem points to participate in events at the school. For the 2023-24 school year, Wright plans to have a physical school store that
provides needed school supplies, in addition to events, that the students can use their points to purchase.
The establishment of school values and recognition of positive behaviors have been fully embraced by students and families alike.
It is this excitement, paired with increased training opportunities, that has driven greater staff adoption of the software. For the 2023-24 school year, PBIS Rewards has been established as a mandatory part of the school environment.
As PBIS has progressed at the school, it’s caught the attention of district leaders, many of whom have taken the opportunity to highlight PBIS at Wright.
Powering PBIS With PBIS Rewards
The ongoing progress of PBIS at Wright Junior High School has been made easier with PBIS Rewards. Because PBIS Rewards is a fully digital PBIS management system, staff members can use a smartphone, tablet, or computer to recognize positive behavior anywhere, anytime. Student points accumulate accurately in student accounts and balances update automatically when students make a purchase. Every single data point is tracked in the system, allowing teachers and administrators to view a variety of reports.
For a new school establishing standards for their culture and climate, PBIS Rewards streamlines and simplifies the process. All the information is at the fingertips of staff and admin, allowing them to make informed decisions about adjustments to the initiative.
Whether you are a brand-new school or a seasoned school, PBIS and PBIS Rewards can help you profoundly change your school’s climate and culture! Contact us to learn more!