System with a mission


Daniel Brown, Staff Reporter

By Daniel Brown

Staff Reporter

PE copyThe general student population here at McCluer North has seen or heard about the PBIS ticket program that teachers and faculty members partook in the last couple of years; the basic concept of the program was to reward students who were noticed doing a good deed. To encourage the student body to improve or continue their behavioral habits, PBIS tickets were passed out, that could be bundled and saved for prizes and treats. The tickets were distributed pretty much everywhere, from the classroom to the cafeteria, though the overall behavioral trend remained constant when compared to previous years. The entire PBIS system itself was sound, but the execution lacked enthusiasm.

In response to these reports, several meetings were held to analyze the incentive program they had in place. It was at one of these meetings that P.E. teacher Ms. Steinhoff had the idea that would not only reward students who do the right things, but also get every student in the school involved with the program.

“The point of this PBIS system is to help our teachers to make each and every student to feel special,” Ms. Steinhoff said. “Our goal is to recognize each student by the end of his or her high school career, and to help decrease the number of discipline issues with a more connected form of initiative.”

Starting Feb. 3rd, 16 hand-selected students from the P.E. department will be representing their department as PBIS Ambassadors, or also called the Chosen Ones. These students will receive a special lanyard with “MN PBIS AMBASSADOR” imprinted on in. After this week, several other departments in the school will join in selecting their choice of students. Teachers are encouraged to congratulate these students, which may help the quiet students to better communicate with their teacher, thus creating a more open environment for learning.

English teacher Ms. Hall is good friends with Ms. Steinhoff, and shares her enthusiasm with the new system that’s soon to take effect.

“Everyone likes to be congratulated, especially when it is from someone you didn’t expect.” Ms. Hall said.

Bottom line, this revised PBIS system Ms. Steinhoff created is designed to hit three targets with one shot: To not only reward everyone for their good behavioral efforts and decrease the number of detentions and referrals, but to also help teachers prepare a way to improve their classroom for everyone.

“If a student isn’t engaged in my class but works incredibly in another’s class, I can call and e-mal that teacher and ask about their tactics,” Ms. Steinhoff said.
“This way we’ve opened a door to communicate with other faculty members on what is working for them.”

One of the concerns that both students and some faculty members had about the previous system was that it didn’t exactly get the quiet student involved in the available incentives. With a few modifications and some of Ms. Steinhoff’s input and ideas, a majority of students will be guaranteed their chance to be recognized for their accomplishments.

At the end of each school week, the PBIS Ambassadors will have the chance to leave the classroom to take a group photo with Dr. Hopper before retiring their lanyards for the next round of students. When the cycle of recognition starts moving from student to student, each goal of seeing a decrease in behavioral issues may start to finally come into view.