APS Column: PBIS Model and Practices at the Middle School Level

Published 5:21 pm Friday, March 8, 2024

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By Nichelle Guillaume

Dean of Students at Ellis Middle School

Here at Ellis, we are committed to the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework to support students’ behavioral, academic, social, emotional, and mental health needs. PBIS assists in improving student academics, behaviors, and overall school climate.

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With that said, students have the opportunity to participate in fun PBIS events as well as earn PBIS rewards throughout the year. So far this year we have had some wonderful opportunities to reward students and show appreciation for positive behavior. 

One fun event is the PBIS dances we host a few times a year. Students come to dance, play games, and eat food. In one of our gyms, we hold the dance. In another gym we set up fun games and activities for students who would like to participate in this event but do not want to dance. Last, we always have food for students. This includes concession food with hotdogs, pizza, candy, chips, etc. Sometimes we even ask local food trucks to come.

The dances are a great way to allow our student body to relax, have fun, and know that we appreciate their positive behavior.

Another opportunity for our students is our Zero Tardy Parties at the end of each quarter. These parties celebrate all the students who make it the entire quarter without being tardy to any classes. Students are given a ticket to use during lunches to get a special treat which may include ice cream, cake, cookies, and root beer floats. Each quarter we have on average 200 students who earn this reward, and in a few weeks, we will get to celebrate students again as quarter three comes to a close on March 22.

Last year we also put on an incentive afternoon which included fun activities for students during an afternoon of school. The students who were able to participate must have completed all of their practice work and assessments for each class. Some of the fun incentive options included a movie, gym activities, board games, video games, and refreshments. Students picked which activity they would like to participate in for the afternoon rather than being in class.

This was a great opportunity to reward the students who work hard in school each day to stay caught up on their coursework. While we have not had an incentive day this school year yet, we are still having conversations about other rewards for our students.

Celebrating the positive behaviors of our students is a wonderful way to show appreciation to our students who come to school and model our Packer Core Values on a daily basis. PBIS allows us to reward those students who are responsible and resilient learners, communicators, and contributors. At the middle school level, we believe it is important to start shaping our students to make a difference in the world, PBIS assists with supporting students in multiple ways and improving the school climate. We are proud to have such wonderful students that we get to celebrate throughout the year with fun activities.