New PBIS Program Promotes Positive Behavior

(Focus is excited to showcase the work of the Marshfield High School journalism club! This article comes from junior and editor, Bailey Cichon.)

Marshfield High School launched a brand-new program this school year to promote positive behavior in and out of the classroom: PBIS.

Assistant Principal Michael Devine explains, “PBIS stands for positive behavioral interventions and support; it’s something that we are using to teach students behaviors that will help them in the outside world.”

“The PBIS program is not exclusive to Marshfield High School. I would guess that 80-90 percent of schools in the state of Wisconsin have some sort of PBIS program,” continued Devine. “It’s part of this matrix program where the school is trying to incorporate appropriate behaviors and reward and teach appropriate behaviors.”

The mantra of the expectations set by PBIS is Act responsibly, Be respectful, and Commit to achieve (ABC). Matrixes displaying the detailed expectations for student behavior have been placed in the classrooms.

MHS started a couple of programs to promote positive student behavior, one of which is TOP Tigers. TOP Tigers is open to every student in the school regardless of grade level. Every week, two students are nominated by a different academic department.

“The criteria for being a TOP Tiger is not just based on academics. It can be somebody with outstanding academic achievement but it can also be somebody who has overcome an obstacle or challenge, somebody who is respectful or responsible, somebody who displays leadership, or someone who displays positive lifestyle choices,” explained Devine.

TOP Tigers are rewarded with a congratulatory letter to their parents and a ten dollar gift card. Licensed TOP Tigers receive parking in the staff lot (closer to the high school) for a week. TOP Tigers also have their photo displayed in the front office until next week’s TOP Tigers are chosen.

“It’s just an example of a program catching kids doing good things as opposed to if a student does something bad, they get a detention,” said Devine.

“Do I think it’s been successful? I think it’s been positively accepted by the students I deal with when they get called in for a TOP Tiger award. It takes time for a new type of cultural program to become popular in a school and we’ve just rolled it out this year. But I think it would help the whole academic environment if we had positive behaviors going on in the school.”

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