By JAN LARSON McLAUGHLIN
BG Independent News
It’s hard to teach science theories, sentence dissection, or just about anything when kids are acting up. So Bowling Green City Schools are adopting a program called PBIS – Positive Behavior Intervention Supports.
The program provides consistent rules throughout the district and reinforces positive behaviors by students.
In order to have good learning environments, “we have to get the behaviors under control,” Crim Principal Melanie Garbig said during a recent board of education meeting.
Each school in the district has a PBIS team, spearheaded by the guidance counselors, with the goal to have the program fully implemented next year. The program reinforces the same expectations to all students – from preschoolers to seniors. Students are reminded to be responsible for themselves, respectful of others, and safe in their schools. That common language will follow the students every year of school.
“Those expectations are going to be the same,” Garbig said. “I think it’s going to make a difference.”
The PBIS program focuses on positive reinforcement. Students caught being good are given “pride” slips. “Pride” postcards signed by teachers, are addressed to children and mailed to their homes.
“It’s a way to celebrate the positive behaviors,” said teacher Stacey Higgins.
Posters stating expectations of students are placed around the school, defining good behavior in the hallways, cafeteria, playground, bus, or during assemblies.
To trick is to make it fun to behave. Crim staff and students made a video showing examples of bad and good behavior. The twist was that the teachers were the ones misbehaving, and the students were schooling them.
The video shows teachers messing around during lunch, running in the halls, banging on bathroom doors, throwing items in the classroom, and climbing around the seats on the bus. The students then get their turn of exhibiting the right way to behave in each setting.
“Obviously there’s more to education than reading and writing,” said school board member Paul Walker.