As we transition into a new year, and a new semester, the EHHS administration is hard at work to implement a new PBIS policy for the fourth and final quarter of the 2018-2019 school year. This policy involves a tiered system of privileges for students based on criteria such as attendance and discipline. The administration staff decided to take this route after continued misuse of the LMC during study halls and throughout the school day in general.
PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. It is a national and district wide initiative that is designed to promote and recognize positive behaviors that occur in the schools. For the past few years, PBIS at EHHS has followed this procedure: students receive nominations from teachers for doing something positive, and once a month, one nominated student is given a prize. However, teachers are not recognizing students who always do the right thing because they are always doing the right thing. In an effort to reward the overlooked students who are positive on a consistent basis, the administration is creating a system to replace this. Mr. DeNuzzo said, “We’re trying to develop a tiered system based on everyday good behavior. [For example,] if you’re not failing any classes and below a certain number of absences and tardies, then you’re in these set of privileges, which are the highest ones: access to the media center, lunch in the courtyard.” He continues to explain that the middle tier would have certain privileges as well, while the lowest tier would consist of little privileges. Additionally, all students will receive lanyards to wear their student IDs, and a card identifying the student’s PBIS level will be attached to that as well. The plan is to launch this by the fourth quarter and continue it into next year.
Platinum is the highest tier, gold is the middle tier, and blue is the lowest tier.
Interestingly enough, the administration has a secret weapon to help formulate their plan: students. Mr. DeNuzzo’s advisory consists of the class officers of each graduating class. During the most recent advisory period, Mr. DeNuzzo, Mrs. Harkins, and Mr. Hughes proposed their working plan and asked the officers for suggestions. Senior class president Olivia DelBasso said, “The administration pitched the idea to us during advisory and wanted our input on what the criteria should be for each level. We threw around ideas about basing it off of grade averages, activism in clubs, discipline, and attendance. It feels good to have a say in things that directly affects us students.” The administration enjoyed hearing the feedback from the officers and will use their advisory discussion as a strong factor when finalizing the plan.
People started inquiring about this in response to the closing of the LMC during study halls. Over the years, the LMC has became more of a place to hangout than a place to study, which is not its intended purpose. “I would go into the media center last year on occasion and I would see kids with their earbuds in not studying. Then I would go back and do a random spot check of those kids and their grades, and I’m looking at them failing a couple classe
s,” said Mr. DeNuzzo. Consequently, the LMC is no longer open during study halls for the time being. Librarian Mrs. Goraieb completely agrees with this decision. Someone needs to be monitoring the study hall students, and it is impossible for her to co-teach several classes while doing that. Also, her secretary, Ms. Celentano, only works three hours a day so she cannot be there to do that the entire time either. Ever since this new rule went into effect, more teachers have been bringing in their classes to do silent work, which pleases Mrs. Goraieb. “This is not a hangout. It is not a place to be chatting with your friends. If you want to come in and work silently or read a book, that is where we want to head [in],” said Mrs. Goraieb. After the new PBIS policy comes into effect, the LMC will most likely be open for students in the platinum tier.
This entire plan is still in the works and nothing is finalized yet. More information will come at the beginning of the fourth quarter when this is expected to roll out.