Last Friday afternoon I had the opportunity to visit my neighborhood elementary school, Meadowbrook in Golden Valley, part of the Hopkins School District. I was conducting an evaluation of their second year of PBIS implementation. Because we are a PBIS school, I conduct evaluations for other PBIS schools in their first or second year of implementation. The Meadowbrook students and staff were well versed in their three rules/expectations of We Are Kind, We Are Safe, and We Are Ready and the climate and student behavior positively reflected those expectations.

Here at Rice Lake, we are in our 4th year of PBIS implementation. We started out learning about PBIS and implementing some strategies in 2010-2011, was part of the Minnesota PBIS co-hort #7 during 2011-2012 and 2012-2013, and now during this year, 2013-2014, are in our first year of sustainability.

PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. We are engaged in PBIS to affect our school climate, identify and teach expectations, and recognize the positive contributions of students. We use our Roadrunner mascot and have created a theme of “Rice Lake Roadrunners Model Respect, Learning, and Responsibility” or RLR2 for short. We have adopted a motto this year of “All Aboard the RLR Express.”

PBIS allows us to identify, teach, and model expectations, establish a calm, respectful school environment, and use data to make necessary changes. One way that data has influenced us at Rice Lake is that for the past few years we noticed that a majority of our student behavior incident reports were coming from the playground, particularly during the last ten minutes of recess. To respond to that and to effect change, this year we flipped our lunch and recess. Now, students have recess first and lunch second. This change has drastically reduced the number of behavior incident reports issued during recess and teachers spend less class time processing issues that happen on the playground. With this change the playground is safer and students spend more time engaged in learning.

One of the more enjoyable parts of our PBIS work is recognizing students for being respectful, engaging in learning, and showing responsibility. We do that by issuing “Right On Track” coupons to students for demonstrating RLR. Teachers recognize students in their classrooms and we draw the name of a deserving student from each grade level container housing the earned Right On Track coupons. The picture in the blog is a display of our weekly honorees. We also recognize one student from each class as the Citizen of the Month and they receive a treat and certificate and their family members are invited to school to celebrate.

Being a PBIS school is a great thing and has made a difference in the climate and culture of our school. Keep up the great work, Roadrunners!

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