December 30, 2013 — Getting caught making positive choices led to some serious “bling” for Middle School students in the week leading up to December’s holiday break. As part of the school’s positive behavior program called PBIS—Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports—students earned “Bling Bucks” from teachers every time they were caught following the rules, being kind, and doing the right thing. In turn, students got to spend their “Bling Bucks” on donated items in the Bling Bucks Store just a few days before the holiday recess.
Students spent their Bling Bucks on gifts for family members, or treats for themselves. Staff members donated all kinds of new and gently-used items to the Bling Bucks Store—including games, artwork, hair accessories, costume jewelry, books and more.
French teacher Stephanie Ruel sewed almost two dozen colorful cosmetic bags and stuffed each with small hand creams for the store. Several sets of hats and mittens were made and donated by special education teacher Suzanne Carpenter's mother.
The Bling Bucks Store has become an annual effort at the Middle School, which launched the research-based PBIS program in September of 2012. The program uses a building-wide instructional approach to behavior and classroom management to help schools improve their educational climate. "Success" in the program is defined as more time being spent on academics and less time being spent on behavioral problems.
Being "On Target" with the three pillars of the program has been the major focus of the program's roll-out. Responsible, respectful, and safe behaviors are key to PBIS, and students are rewarded throughout the year for being "caught in the act." When a staff member sees a student doing the right thing, that student gets a "Target Ticket," which is entered into weekly drawings for prizes. During the month of December, “Target Tickets” become “Bling Bucks.”
Art students created large poster boards to be hung around the school, encouraging students to behave positively. Students practice the expected behaviors during fire drills, assemblies, hallway passing, and more.