At Copper Basin K-8 School in San Tan Valley, faculty and staff members are well-trained with how to deal with students who require academic interventions to achieve success in the classroom.
Now, those same faculty and staff members are in the first year of implementing a nationally-researched behavior program that addresses behavior at the school with framework outlined by Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS).
According to Principal Jim Bock, Copper Basin students are encouraged to meet four expectations – Safe, Respectful, Responsible, and Empathetic. Students who display those expectations are praised and/or are awarded “Dusty Tickets,” which qualify students to win prizes.
“If we see a student displaying one of those expectations we hand one of those (tickets) to the students,” Mr. Bock recently explained to the Ledger. “The idea is for a student to collect as many tickets as her or she can.”
At the end of each day, the students submit their collection of tickets.
Each morning, during announcements, Mr. Bock pulls the names of student from the collection of tickets from the previous day and awards prizes that include a free hat day, a front-of-the-line pass, a free homework pass, or pencils and pens.
According to Bock, many faculty members found the prizes were “cool but not cool enough,” especially among older students.
As a result, donated funds in addition to other donations from teachers, staff members and parents were used create game room with air hockey and foosball tables, as well as a mini-basketball pop-a-shot-hoop, two flat-screens televisions with X-Box One, and a pair of lounge sofas for sitting comfort.
“It’s not going to be an everyday thing, probably a random once-or-a-twice a month deal,” Bock said. “We’ll pull students in there by grade level when their name is pulled.”
Students will have access to the game room for thirty minutes. Bock believes the game room provides a better incentive.
Copper Basin faculty and staff are trained, according to PBIS guidelines, to address students who don’t meet expectations, which includes using positive interventions.
“I think it’s been wonderful,” Bock said about the new program. “We started off really well. We asked for staff and parent feedback on the program and learned that the students are talking about it at home. The parents have been very positive.”
Bock acknowledged the referral count at the school has decreased, which was to be expected.
“We can hone in on the few problem areas,” he said. “I feel like that is really beneficial to the continued improvement of the program.”