Thursday, November 18, 2010

News from Connecticut: No more tickets

Last year, I linked to the blog of Aimee in Connecticut, who was trying to convince her school district not to adopt PBIS, the same school-wide behavioral rewards system that we have here in Iowa City. Now she reports that, after a change of administrators and input from parents and staff, the school has decided to shelve the most objectionable aspects of PBIS in favor of an approach that’s more consistent with her community’s values. An excerpt:

At that informational meeting what was outlined is not the “canned” version of PBIS with extrinsic rewards at its core. Rather, it was very encouraging to hear that the committee has been mindfully tailoring a program specific to our needs as a community of learners. In particular, BCS will not be using a system of external motivators. We seem to be taking the best parts of PBIS - consistency, information gathering, well articulated expectations - and combining them with a more responsive format. Noted were the importance of building positive relationships, providing meaningful learning experiences, and meeting the needs of the full array of students - those behaving regularly to those who struggle daily with behavior.

It was explained that teachers will have autonomy to decide what classroom management works best for the students in their classrooms. Teachers are being encouraged (and hopefully supported), to reduce (and even eliminate) the reliance on “class-wide” punishments/incentives such as needing a certain number of stars for the class to get a reward. Students have shared how detrimental this type of system is for developing a positive, caring community.
Read the full post.

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