William Beatty students acknowledged and rewarded for positive behaviour
PARRY SOUND - William Beatty School is rewarding its students' good behaviour and positive interactions with a new program, Positive Behaviour Interactions & Supports (PBS).
Grade 7 William Beatty teacher John Stallard is held up against the gym wall with duct tape after a dozen Grade 7 and 8 students paid 20 yellow tickets each to participate. Students were allowed to watch the shenanigans for 10 tickets each. Staff give kids tickets as rewards for good behavior.
Cody Storm Cooper/Beacon Star
Part of the school-wide concept has teachers and staff changing their focus from reactive to proactive by teaching and recognizing when students do the right thing, said William Beatty vice-principal Steve Krause.
According to its website, the program was established, "by Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education to give schools capacity-building information and technical assistance for identifying, adapting and sustaining effective school-wide disciplinary practices."
William Beatty teachers and staff visited other schools who use the PBS program and decided to implement it at the school.
"For us it's about changing the culture and getting that positive focus, because so often it's so easy to pick on the students who are not doing what they're supposed to be doing," Krause. "And then the 80 per cent of the kids who are doing the right thing, don't get any kind of acknowledgment. Not that we're ignoring those misbehaviours, but those are dealt with in a different piece of the program, because it is a school-wide program so it has various components to it."
In place for a little more than two months, part of the program is teaching the students expectations and when those expectations are met, they are rewarded with tickets, which can be cashed in at one of the school's "stores" for anything from a stick of gum, to soccer balls, books, pens, or an iPod.
Additionally, the students can save up their tickets to attend special events such as a trip to the Strand Theatre with classmates, or the tape the teacher event last week.
"(The tickets are) given to students when they've done what the expected behaviour is and have been taught that behaviour first hand and when they've displayed that behaviour then the tickets are just a way to show the kids that they have made the right choice," he said.
After students have "mastered" a behaviour, such as walking properly through the halls to get to class, a new behaviour is taught, and rewarded, Krause said.
"The targeted behaviours we've been working on is how kids enter the school building, transition from home to school - we taught all the kids and then we rewarded them right away.
“It’s gone really well - at bell time kids line up quickly, they all have designated spots, then they get rewarded - they have tickets when they get in the door,” Krause continued. “(The second target behaviour is) how do we walk through the building so it’s not just chaos in the halls? We want to have mastery of each behaviour before we move on so we can keep rewarding that behaviour as well as start some new ones,” he said. “When you verbally praise kids when they’re doing the right thing, then you’re likely to get that repeated behaviour.”