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Why WVES's New Program Rocks

By Kelly Cole

It’s a new school year, with a new school, and a new school-wide program. Everyone who comes into contact with a child attending Wyalusing Valley’s Elementary School (WVES) is participating in a program that will encourage children for making the right choices and push them to have great behavior throughout the school year.

On Monday, Aug. 29, the entire staff at WVES gathered in the cafeteria to prepare themselves for the first few days of school as well as the entire year. On the agenda was a new program they were implementing, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS).

PBIS is a prevention program that uses behavior techniques to provide safe, supportive learning environments, promote positive life skills and reduce negative behavior. It is a means to help students maintain appropriate behavior while in school and also learn to incorporate this in everything they do outside of school. The program will allow the staff at WVES, parents and those in our community to work together to help our students know what is expected of them and to receive the necessary supports to develop appropriate behaviors and engage in learning. PBIS also is designed to help improve the school environment and safety.

Here is a breakdown of what this program looks like at WVES:

? A leadership team has been established of 16 WVES staff that has helped develop and direct the implementation of the PBIS strategies.

? There have been behavioral expectations and consequences established for all the students.

? Positive reinforcement is being used to support the students when they meet expectations.

? Data will be collected and entered into a program where teachers are able to pull statistics for their classrooms, grades, etc.

? There are signs throughout the school that have the expected behavior listed.

? The children have received a card where any staff member may comment for the appropriate behavior choices. Parents are also a very important part of this program.

It is essential that the expectations at school be supported at home to reinforce skills, provide consistency and avoid confusion for the students.

Parents can do this by:

? Learning more about the PBIS program from either your child's teacher or someone on the leadership team.

? Reward your children in the same way that the school is doing when they are successful in choosing the right behavior.

? Participate and volunteer as needed with any PBIS activities.

? Show your child that this program is as important to you as it should be to them.

? If you know a community business that may want to help with donations, etc. you can help educate them about the program.

? Communicate with your child’s teachers about any concerns or questions you have in regards to your child and/or the PBIS program.

? Remember…get involved.

On Friday, Sept. 2, children noticed that every staff member— from the bus drivers to the cafeteria staff—wore the same yellow shirts throughout the day in support of the new program. It showcased the Rams Rock Rules of Good Behavior: Respect Everyone; Aim High; Make Good Choices; Stay Safe. Under each of these rules it is broken down as to what behavior would be expected wherever you are located in the school. This includes the bus, cafeteria, playground, hallways and even when the children are on field trips. It is a simple setup that will allow the youngest student at WVES to understand the program. The students were introduced to the program, so that they would be ready for it to start on Tuesday, Sept. 6.

Each group was enthusiastic during the presentation and began to implement what was expected of them during that time. WVES music teacher Tonya Boatman came up with a song called Rocking Rams that the students learned on Friday that incorporates the rules of good behavior. Different staff members also participated in skits that showed examples of the right way to behave to receive good marks on their cards. It was orchestrated in such a way as to leave an impact on each child and to leave  them wanting to succeed.

Once the cards that each child receives are filled, the students will place that in a box in their classroom. It is hoped that each student will fill at least two cards during the week. There will be a drawing held at the end of the week in each classroom where one child will win a prize that has been donated by a community business. This should encourage all students to do their best, so that they can have the opportunity to pick a prize.

The following businesses have jumped onboard with donations to help make the PBIS program a success: Cargill, Genesis Salon, Who Knew? Consignments, BZ Michaels’s Beauty Salon in Laceyville, Century Farm Meats, Wyalusing Ace Hardware, Eb's Market, LeRoy's, Keystone Theatre, Dietrich Theater, Dandy Mini Mart, Burger King, Advance Auto Parts, Billy’s Pets, Roof’s Wholesale Co., Jurnack’s, Naturally, M's Produce and Wyalusing Collision Repair. If your company would like to make a donation to the program, you can contact Keri Pickett at kpickett@wyalusingrams.com.

If you should have any questions about PBIS, you can contact Pickett or any of the leadership team at the WVES at (570) 746-1206. The team is made up of: Yvonne Kelly, LuAnn Simcoe, Priscilla Hanzok, Joe Darrow, Annette Oswald, Shelly Ciprich, Sarah Ackley, Emily Alt, Denise Delamarter, Katrina McMahon, Lee Hulsizer, Katie Carr, Sue Kilmer, Tonya Boatman and Lori Mapes Finnerty.


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