Prairie View has its “Three Big Expectations.” In Brooklyn, kids help drive the “Energy Bus.”
At Netherwood Knoll, “Everyday Superheroes” show their powers through emotional regulation and spreading kindness, and at Rome Corners, students’ good deeds can earn a spot as a contestant in “Mr. Z’s ROAR Assemblies.”
While they’re all done in a spirit of fun, the activities have become ways for Oregon School District educators to introduce and reinforce Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, part of the district’s long-term focus on students’ social-emotional learning.
PBIS is a systematic method of a reward-focused, proactive approach to schoolwide behavior, and OSD began using it around a decade ago. Since then, PBIS has evolved independently at the schools over time – particularly when it comes to the younger grades like elementary (grades K-4) and intermediate schools (5-6).
While there are more games and PBIS-related contests in the elementary and intermediate grades than there are at the higher levels, the foundations and concepts are similar. That helps the district coordinate the implementation of the concept as its students eventually funnel into OMS and OHS.
It’s all part of a larger structure to help social-emotional learning, said district student services director Candace Weidensee. She said PBIS – which models and reinforces expected behaviors for students, rather than focusing on incorrect behavior and punishments – is a “method of addressing those skillsets the child hasn’t come in with.”
“We teach reading, math, academic subjects – the difference now from when we went to school is we’re also needing to teach behaviors,” she wrote the Observer in an email. “We probably needed it back then. We just probably didn’t do it.”