Schools that implement school-wide systems of positive behavior support focus on taking a team-based system approach and teaching appropriate behavior to all students in the school. Schools that have been successful in building school-wide systems develop procedures to accomplish the following:
1. Behavioral Expectations are Defined. A small number of clearly defined behavioral expectations are defined in positive, simple, rules. Reedley High School’s Pirate Pride Commitments are:
Respect for self, others and surroundings
Honorable to self and others
Success for All
2. Behavioral Expectations are Taught. The behavioral expectations are taught to all students on campus, and are taught in real contexts. Teaching appropriate behavior involves much more than simply telling students what behaviors they should avoid. Specific behavioral examples are:
- Being respectful means raising your hand when you want to speak or get help.
- Being respectful means using a person’s name when you talk to him or her.
- Being respectful means following dress code guidelines.
- Being honorable means to be on time.
- Being honorable means cleaning up after yourself.
- Being successful means to be prepared with assignments and materials.
- Being successful means to follow and respond appropriately to adult direction.
- Being successful means using appropriate language in and out of the classroom.
Behavioral expectations are taught using the same teaching formats applied to other curricula. The general rule is presented, the rationale for the rule is discussed, positive examples (“right way”) are described and rehearsed, and negative examples (“wrong way”) are described and modeled. Students are given an opportunity to practice the “right way” until they demonstrate fluent performance.
3. Appropriate Behaviors are Acknowledged. Once appropriate behaviors have been defined and taught, they need to be acknowledged on a regular basis. RHS has designed a formal system that rewards positive behaviors. “Caught demonstrating Pirate Pride” are immediate forms used by the individual teacher, as a tool of encouragement and a student motivator. “Pirate Bucks” are awarded to encourage and reinforce positive behaviors demonstrated on a consistent basis.
4. Behavioral Errors are Corrected Proactively. When students violate behavioral expectations, clear procedures are needed for providing information to them that their behavior was unacceptable, and preventing that unacceptable behavior from resulting in inadvertent rewards. Students, teachers, and administrators all should be able to predict what will occur when behavioral errors are identified.