Creston, Iowa EAST Presents: A Respectful Video About Behavior

   

Creston, Iowa EAST Presents: A Respectful Video About Behavior
8/14/2013 4:28:14 PM

EAST students instrumental in Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports initiative.

If we lose love and self-respect for each other, this is how we finally die.”

-Maya Angelou, American Poet

The 2010-2011 school year has been one of change for both the students and staff at Creston High School and Creston Middle School.  This year the district has introduced the concept of PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) to all students in grades 6-12 in hopes of changing behaviors that are inhibiting the learning potential of students. 

The PBIS concept has six main focus areas including the gym, the hallways, the bus, the parking lot, the bathrooms/locker rooms, and the commons.  According to the information provided by the Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports working jointly the United States Department of Education, PBIS is effective for a variety of reasons. 

According to their website, “One of the foremost advances in school-wide discipline is the emphasis on school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Instead of using a piecemeal approach of individual behavioral management plans, a continuum of positive behavior support for all students within a school is implemented in areas including the classroom and non-classroom settings (such as hallways, buses, and restrooms). Positive behavior support is an application of a behaviorally-based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all children and youth by making targeted behaviors less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional.

In the past, school-wide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behavior is an important step of a student's educational experience. Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding. The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.”

The EAST classes have played a large role in the implementation of this new philosophy.  In August, prior to the school year starting, the Creston High School faculty was given the task of acting out both appropriate and inappropriate behavior in the six aforementioned areas.  EAST students then edited the footage into a 20 minute video that was shown to every student on the first day of school regarding what the new expectations would be.

The response from the student body was tepid at best so the EAST classes were asked to redo the video and make it more student-friendly and entertaining.  In addition, the EAST classes were asked to make graphic illustrations to be hung around the school aptly demonstrating what the expectations were.  EAST students were required to act out different scenarios for both the illustrations and the videos.  The EAST students used multiple video cameras, digital cameras, Adobe Photoshop, Final Cut Pro, and a green screen to complete the project.

When students returned following winter break, they were greeted by more than 30 signs depicting proper PBIS expectations and a 15 minute video of quality acting and editing by their peers.  The students were very receptive to the video and the local AEA even asked for a copy of the video for their library. 

It will take time to see whether or not the new initiative will be successful but if the response from the student body to the second video was any indication, the first step is definitely going forward.

 

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