Schools across the nation do a lot of things to encourage good behavior and learning habits in kids. We institute program after program to make a difference. A lot of time, these programs fall under their own weight because we don't constantly work at them to keep them going and improve them. I have been in many situations where we had a PBS (Positive Behavior Support) or PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Support) program that didn't work because the application of the program was uneven. Some teachers and administrators in the school pushed it hard and others did nothing to support the program. They were destined for failure.
At East Naples Middle School, we have an impressive PBS program. Kids are encouraged everyday to do their best. Behavior expectations are taught explicitly, we celebrate achievement and we reward positive behaviors. Once a month, we have a grade-level awards assembly to celebrate the kiddos who achieved great things during the previous month. This regular recognition system allows kids to see tangible recognition for their hard work. Roughly every six weeks, we also have a PBS day. Our PBS day is a half day when kids can choose their activity and go play for that half day. It is based on criteria determined beforehand and kids are aware of the expectation.
Tomorrow is our second PBS day of the year. In the afternoon, kids will go outside to play soccer, basketball, and run track while other kiddos will be in the computer labs playing games or working on projects. The kids get to choose. There will also be snacks, common student areas and other bonuses for kids. It is a really cool day for the students.
This program is applied evenly and consistently. Our principal laid out the expectation and all teachers are on board. We organize the activities each time and set things in motion. This is a team effort and it pays off in a good school climate, happy kids and happy teachers. The way the PBS program at East Naples Middle School is done is a good model for other schools.