South Adopts New Behavior Program
South Salem has integrated two new systems that will help regulate the student body, PBIS Points and BIFs.
PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support. The PBIS website describes PBIS points as “an automated, schoolwide management solution that helps your school eliminate paper tickets, create a digital token economy, and transform your PBIS program.”
Students can earn points by doing things they are expected to do, such as sitting in their seat before the bell rings, being prepared for class, and being on time to class. Teachers scan student’s ID cards and transfer points to their account.
Students can check their point balance by downloading the PBIS reward student app on their smartphone or by following the link on the South Salem website. PBIS allows students to rack up their points to buy prizes through their school’s store. Through south’s store, The Rose Garden, students can purchase scented bubbles (for 12 PBIS points), pens (for 24 PBIS points), and playdough (for 8 points). Prizes range from a $25 gift cards to Firehouse Subs, La Hacienda Real, WILCO, and Natural Grocers, all for 1250 PBIS points to a stamp for only 10 points.
Each teacher has a store where they can sell special prizes in exchange for PBIS points. Currently, Brian Eriksen has a 1,000,000 reward which entails a “free day.”
Michelle Howard, South’s behavioral specialist, and her team have worked towards integrating better systems for improving student behaviour for the past 2 years. “2 years ago we started the ground work and last year we made the ROSE requirements posters,” Howard said. After getting a new computer program, SWIS [School Wide Information System], they were able to statistically know who, when, and where the most problems occured. This program costs the school $3,500 per year.
These changes led to the BIF. A BIF [Behavioral Intervention Form] is basically a new name for a referral. “Isn’t referral a harsh word?” Howard said, “BIF sounds nicer.” Howard wishes that the new name will lead students to recognize that an intervention is not punishment, it is help.
With all these changes, Howard forsees a better environment at South. She explained that there are three tiers to the student body. 80% of students are tier one, low-risk students. 10% are tier two and 5-1% are tier three, high-risk students. “My goal is to bring tier two students down to tier one so [administration] has more time to build relationships and help tier three students,” Howard said.
Using PBIS Points and BIFs, Howard and her team are working towards a safer and more helpful environment at South.