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Creating a positive climate at Pine River-Backus Elementary School with ROAR

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R-O-A-R

Let me hear your Tiger ROAR!

R-O-A-R

Let me hear your Tiger ROAR!

Responsible, Responsible!

On-Task, On-Task!

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Always Safe, Always Safe!

Respectful, Respectful!

R-O-A-R

Let me hear your Tiger ROAR!

ROAR!

If you happen to visit Pine River-Backus Elementary School on the last Friday of the month, you would most likely hear the Tiger Pride ROAR rap echoing from the Performance Gym at 8:30 in the morning.

As you enter the gym, you would be witnessing our Tiger Pride ROAR Rally that has become an event that students anxiously await every month. During our ROAR Rally, we perform our Tiger Pride rap, review our school-wide behavior expectations, and give out Tiger Pride ROAR awards to students and staff.

Our PTO has donated backpacks for prizes and also generously designed and purchased ROAR T-shirts for all of our students.

As a school, we are in our second year of implementing PBIS-SW, which stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports- School Wide.

PBIS is the application of evidence-based strategies and systems to assist schools to: increase academic performance, increase safety, decrease problem behavior and establish positive school cultures. It includes creating consistent expectations with consistent reinforcement, common language and procedures, and common understanding of the expectations.

In other words, we are teaching children appropriate behavior and providing support to sustain that behavior. We have established four overarching expectations that reflect the needs of our school community: Responsible, On-Task, Always Safe, and Respectful. You will see our Behavior Expectations posted throughout our school building.

We taught expectations in the fall in all locations of the school, including classroom, hallway/locker area, playground, bathroom, lunchroom, library/computer lab, assembly and bus, and we have been practicing them throughout the year.

The final step in PBIS is to recognize students when they are displaying those appropriate behaviors. Each teacher has been nominating one student monthly for a Tiger Pride ROAR award. Starting this week, all teachers and paraprofessionals will be giving out Tiger Tickets to students to recognize them for practicing our ROAR. The tickets go into a container outside my office. Once a week, a ticket will be pulled for a prize.

Also, when the container is full, we will have a school-wide celebration for all students. This is a public way of saying thanks to our students for a job well done. Recognition of good decision-making and achievements on the part of students and adults goes far in helping one develop positive self-worth and motivation to achieve.

The most important component of PBIS at PRB is our ability to track behaviors through access to SWIS. SWIS (School-Wide Information System) is a web-based information system designed to help school personnel use office referral data to design school-wide and individual student interventions.

SWIS is currently being used in more than 8,000 schools. Every month, we share building data with staff including the Big 5: average referrals per day per month, referrals by problem behavior, referrals by location, referrals by time, and referrals by student. We then use that information to decide what type of behavior interventions we need to implement school-wide, or with individual students.

This aligns with our Response to Intervention program that we use in determining interventions for reading and math. We know that behavior issues impact academic performance and overall school climate. By using the SWIS system, we make data-based decisions to help all of our students be successful.

So, please ask your children what the ROAR is, and I guarantee that they will be able to tell you. But more importantly, I hope that by “ROARing” in school, they will eventually be successful and productive citizens for the rest of their lives.

Jackie Bruns is the Pine River-Backus Elementary School principal.

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