To create safer, more caring learning environments, the Rush-Henrietta Central School District is implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. As part of this program, each Rush-Henrietta school has established clear rules for appropriate behavior. We’re teaching these expectations to students and will reward them when they respond appropriately. PBIS works by identifying, monitoring, teaching, and reinforcing districtwide expectations, which are:
- Be responsible
- Be respectful
- Be trustworthy
- Be caring
- Be ready to learn
Each of our schools has used discipline data to determine which behaviors most inhibit our student’s ability to feel comfortable in school, reducing the likelihood they will make the most of their school experience. The data, along with new lesson plans, support each school’s behavioral matrix. The matrix is a chart displaying desired behaviors on the left-hand side, and places we want to see this good behavior – such as the hallway, library, playground, cafeteria, and auditorium – along the top. Expected behaviors are consistent in all of our schools, but the settings might differ at elementary, middle, or high school levels. For example, the playground is a logical location for an elementary school, while locker rooms might be more appropriate at the high school.
The behavioral matrix communicates the five essential student behaviors referenced above that we expect in all of our schools. It gives descriptions of what these expectations look and sound like so students understand what we expect of them. We know that the vast majority of students will respond appropriately to our efforts and consistently follow behavioral expectations.
Each building’s matrix is posted in schools, on the district Web site, given to students, and sent home to parents. By sharing the matrix in this way, we have provided a common language that is useful at home and at school, and from building to building. We encourage families to modify their school’s chart and use it at home. Rush-Henrietta has produced an informative video explaining more about PBIS and why we believe in it. For more information, visit www.pbis.org.