Pine River-Backus Elementary School staff and students have had a very different start to the year. While there are many changes with procedures, routines and rules, our efforts and desire to create positive learning environments for our students have not changed.

We continue to focus on creating a Safe and Collaborative School. One way is through school-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS). The goal of PBIS is to instill and promote positive behaviors in our students throughout all areas of our school: classrooms, lunchroom, school bus, playground, hallways/locker areas, bathrooms, library, computer lab, arrival/dismissal time, and during assemblies.

ROAR stands for being Responsible, On-Task, Always Safe & Respectful. From our teachers and paraprofessionals, to our custodians, to our bus drivers, to our cooks, we all expect and encourage students to behave appropriately at all times.

We had our first ever "virtual ROAR Rally" last week. We safely recognized more than 40 PR-B Tigers who were nominated by staff for having an outstanding month of September. The ROAR Rally was streamed live and recorded on YouTube so family members were able to see their students recognized.

Our PBIS team plans to hold our monthly ROAR Rallies virtually for the entire school. These recognition assemblies help our school instill a sense of pride in our youngest learners as well as motivate others to be the best they can be.

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The research shows that schools who successfully use PBIS school-wide strategies see a decrease in behavior referrals and an increase in positive behaviors. Ultimately our hope is the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports will also continue to have a positive effect on our student achievement and self-esteem at PR-B.

We also continue to do a "Good News Call Of The Day." Staff members nominate a student for going above and beyond to show Tiger Pride. I will make a call home to a family member with the student. The student tells their parents/guardian why they were nominated.

It is such a fun feeling to hear Mom and Dad celebrate through the phone with their students. Parents deserve to hear the good news from school and we love to deliver it. Pictures of these students, as well as many other ways we celebrate our students, can be found on our school Facebook page or by following @rickauliePRB on Twitter.

The Tigers are off with a ROAR this year! We wish them all the best of luck during the 2020-2021 school year.

Rick Aulie is Pine River-Backus Elementary School principal.