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How PBIS Increased Our Attendance And Decreased Discipline

Gainesville City Schools has dug deep into PBIS, Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, for all students P - 12. During 2015-2016, groups of teachers and administrators from each school were trained to help with the PBIS mission. During this training, a clear, consistent message was conveyed as a need for all students, and the group developed the 4 Rs - Ready, Respectful, Responsible, and Role Model. The 4 Rs are used daily to remind students of the high expectations throughout the school and on the bus. These are also shared with parents as way to help reinforce the high expectations.

At Centennial Arts Academy, a K-5 elementary school, the PBIS program began as a grassroots effort. A team saw a need and started a plan to help. Centennial Arts Academy had positive incentives in place for excellent behavior. However, these efforts were not connected to specific expectations. Thus, the team worked on a plan to communicate the behavioral expectations and at the same time reward students displaying the expected behaviors. The team developed expectations centered on the 4 Rs for all areas of the school and bus. These are posted in each area of the school, classroom, and bus. At the end of the year last year, the team purchased low cost items called “Spirit Sticks” to help reward students. At the beginning of 2016-2017, the school started with a PBIS pep rally, explaining the high expectations and prizes to be earned. Throughout the year, teachers teach lessons regarding the desired behaviors, reinforcing as needed. The school norm is now teaching academic standards and desired behavioral expectations. One example of an incentive would be our “Caught Doing Good” slip. The slip is used to highlight a student demonstrating Ready, Responsible, Respectful, and/or Role Model behavior. Each morning the slips are read over the morning announcements, and students can come to receive a “Spirit-Stick.” Then, the student’s name is put up on the principal’s club for another drawing later. The students love hearing their named called and earning these low cost incentives. Another incentive for students is the awards for Attendance, Behavior, and Classroom performance (or our ABC ceremony), which coincides with our PBIS data.

As we closely look at the data, we consistently see students rising to the top and meeting those high expectations. Naturally, we want to reward those students for their hard work. Throughout the year, the team meets regularly to review the data and provide needed interventions or to make changes to better the system in place. Since its implementation, we've already seen great success. We were honored to receive the Highest Student Attendance award for GCSS with an impressive 97% attendance rate, and our incidents dealing with major consquences have drastically dropped by 65%.

Some next steps for us would include firming up our plan for the lunchroom and to improve communication. Regardless, the PBIS structures that are currently in place are truly making a positive impact. The priority at Centennial Arts Academy is to provide students with a safe, caring environment while maximizing learning. As One Gainesville, we will inspire, nurture, challenge, and prepare our students as we educate them to be successful in a 21st century global society. #Weteachwithheart

Chad Crumley is a guest blogger for GPB Education. He has been an educator for 16 years and has held leadership roles since 2007. Chad has been an assistant principal at Centennial Arts Academy in Gainesville City Schools for the past 2 years. He enjoys elementary students and the fun they have each day. As a father, Chad... more