(Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support)
Foster an intrinsic understanding of behavioral expectations within the VES/VAMS community to build relationships and create a positive learning environment for all.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) at Viroqua Elementary
“The Viroqua Way”
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an approach to teaching and supporting positive behaviors, responding to problem behaviors, and creating a safe and positive school environment in which all students can learn. The foundation of PBIS at Viroqua Elementary is our four building-wide expectations:
I will be Respectful
I will be Responsible
I will be Safe
I will be Kind
We call this “The Viroqua Way.”
In addition to our behavior expectations, PBIS at Viroqua Elementary has four other major components: 1) Teaching expected behaviors; 2) Acknowledging expected behaviors; 3) Responding to problem behaviors; and 4) Creating a positive school climate through community celebrations.
Teach, Model, and Practice Expected Behaviors
At Viroqua Elementary, we teach students the behaviors we expect to see. Our philosophy is to teach behaviors in the same manner that we teach math or reading. Using our Behavior Matrix, located above, our teachers create lesson plans to teach students about the expectations in each area of our building. These lessons are taught in the first few weeks of school and reviewed throughout the school year.
Blackhawk Hero Acknowledgement System
When students display the positive behavior that we expect to see, staff members acknowledge the positive behavior. Sometimes we do this through verbal praise or positive body language, but sometimes we will give the child concrete praise, called a Blackhawk Hero slip. The student turns the slip in for a chance to win a weekly drawing. If the student is chosen as that week’s Blackhawk Hero winner, he or she may choose from a variety of privileges. Some of these privileges include: saying the Pledge of Allegiance on the announcements, helping out in another classroom, and having lunch with a friend in the classroom. We use the Blackhawk Hero slips frequently to encourage behaviors we would like to increase, and stop using them when students are consistently acting in “The Viroqua Way.”
Respond to and Track Problem Behaviors
In addition to acknowledging positive behaviors, we have a system for tracking and responding to problem behaviors. If a student is not behaving as we would expect, the teacher reteaches the expectation, provides a logical consequence if necessary, and records the behavior on a Behavior Communication Form. The behavior is recorded as either “minor” (off task, running in hallway, etc.) or “major” (physical aggression, defiance, etc.). All major behaviors are referred to the office for office staff to manage. In addition, if the student has three of the same minor behaviors in one day, he or she would be referred to the office as well (three minors equal a major).
The final component of PBIS is our community celebrations. As a school, we work together toward earning a celebration through our Blackhawk Hero Acknowledgement System. When we reach our Blackhawk Hero goal, the entire school earns a celebration. Everyone is invited to participate as we are all an important part of Viroqua Elementary!
Check In Check Out
As mentioned above, we are consistently tracking and responding to problem behaviors. When the data shows that a student has displayed 5 minor or 2 major behaviors within 30 days, they are recommended for Check In Check Out (CICO). We expect that 10-20% of our students will participate in this program throughout the year.
Through CICO, students are provided with a greeter (an adult in the building who is not their regular classroom teacher) who checks in with them in the morning and out with them at the end of the day. This gives students a positive start and end to the day and helps them form a stronger connection to school.
When they check in with their greeter, they will be given a Daily Behavior Checklist. At designated times throughout the day, the classroom teacher will talk with the student, provide feedback about their behavior, and record their score on the chart. Along the way, the classroom teacher will help them learn to accurately self-assess their own behaviors. At the end of the day, they check out with their greeter and calculate their total score. The Daily Behavior Checklist is then sent home for parents to review, sign, and return.
Throughout this process, we track how successful students are in the program and make adjustments if needed. Students exit CICO when they have maintained an average score of 80% after six weeks of participation.