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B.L. Miller receives PBIS Bronze recognition

Shown are B.L. Miller staff members involved in implementing PBIS. (Submitted photo)

SEBRING — B

..L. Miller was awarded PBIS Bronze recognition for the 2019-2020 school year on Dec 15.

PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support) was implemented at Sebring B.L. Miller Elementary School in September 2018. This tiered framework of evidence-based practices is based off of systems found to be effective in similar contexts with similar populations.

At B.L. Miller, the PBIS Tier 1 implementation of PBIS first ensured making sure the team designed a matrix that demonstrates every location in the school and the positive behaviors expected and listed by location. Tier 1 also explicitly designates the PBIS Team, the monthly dates for the team meetings, the agendas for each meeting, and the final outcome for team meetings – earning the Bronze PBIS Award.

“By earning the Bronze Award, we are ensuring all staff and students know and agree to ‘Our Promise,'” explained B.L. Miller Principal Heather Whipkey. “Our Promise is to be Responsible, Respectful, Safe, and Positive.”

Students understand what is expected of them and are reminded of these goals throughout the school. Signage posted in the hallways, cafeteria, and even the restrooms encourages students to behave in a positive manner.

Signage posted in the hallways, cafeteria, and even the restrooms encourages students to behave in a positive manner. (Submitted photo)

“Our staff looks for the good in each and every student. Teachers and support staff have done a tremendous job of recognizing students who make good choices or demonstrate our promises,” said Betsy Walsh, a B.L. Miller kindergarten teacher involved in the school’s PBIS team.

Every B.L. Miller student has the opportunity to earn weekly rewards in the Kids Going Places (KGP) program. Each grade level has different criteria that can earn them their KGP card for the week. Every Thursday, students who earned their KGP card get to participate in reward days, which have included extra recess, special snacks, and special spirit days such as pajama day.

In addition, the B.L. Miller team hands out “Purple Positives” to recognize exemplary positive behaviors through PBIS. “If we see extraordinary behavior or a student going above and beyond what is expected of them, the staff member can write a ‘purple positive’,” Walsh explained. These cards contain specific and meaningful feedback. Students then submit these cards to a locker in the cafeteria. During lunch periods, the lunch staff reads a few of the Purple Positives aloud to the entire cafeteria. The student receives a prize and the Purple Positive is mailed home for their family to receive. Walsh said, “Students get very excited when they earn a Purple Positive.”

“As a result, students feel safe, valued, and connected to our school community,” Walsh explained.

Bronze acknowledges the achievement of Tier 1 success, targeting universal prevention. This core program lays the groundwork for success across the general student body. The school must screen, monitor and assess student progress in order to receive recognition for this program.

With the strong universal supports of Tier 1 in place, B.L. Miller is ready to implement intensified interventions to meet student needs for Tier 2 and Tier 3.

“Every child and staff member has the right to a positive and safe learning environment,” said Whipkey. “PBIS awards are earned by proving quantitatively, to guarantee that award winners are committed to our positive atmospheres and learning.”

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