EHHS faculty and staff have been hard at work to provide a more rewarding system for positive behaviors in and around the school community. The EHHS PBIS team has created a new and updated incentive program. The new updates began on February 12, 2020, with new requirements for the different reward levels.
The PBIS team put this program in place last year to reward those students who go above and beyond every day. Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS) is a federal initiative to recognize students who are spotted doing something positive. Currently, EHHS students who receive a positive referral are put in a raffle, and a winner is drawn every Friday. Last year, EHHS piloted a more detailed reward system with social and academic privileges. The EHHS PBIS team believes the updates to the more detailed reward system will help students become more motivated to achieve higher academic performance, improve attendance, and better student behavior. If a student receives high honors, no more than two absences, and no disciplinary referrals, then they would be considered for the platinum card, making them the highest level. A student who receives honors, no more than four absences and one disciplinary referral would be on the gold card. This year's updates are based on quarters so you have a chance with every new quarter to receive a higher card level. After the PBIS team changed the requirements from last year, Mrs. Juliet Goraieb, EHHS librarian and member of the PBIS team, stated that this year they, “[L]owered the grade standards. Last year the requirements were much higher and we saw fewer students able to get [the incentive].” This year, an additional 120 are eligible based on the new requirements for the updated program. A student who is not eligible for a card who believes they should earn one needs to fill out a form for administration to review. All students have access to the form on the school website. The form will have an almost immediate response time.
When the cards are distributed, students must wear them at all times along with their IDs. Students can wear them in a lanyard, have them in their wallets, or keep them in their pockets. Students need to have them on their person for security reasons. If a student's grade drops during a quarter, that quarter card may not be affected unless it is an administrator's decision to revoke the student's card. The screening process for each level is redone every quarter. If during a quarter, a student receives a referral, is caught with drug paraphernalia or gets into a fight, the student and their card will be under review by the administration and they will decide whether or not the card will be revoked and/or what consequences might follow.
The EHHS PBIS team gave a test run last year during quarter four. During that time, students expressed to members of the PBIS team that they felt they weren’t being given rewards for doing well every day. PBIS team members such as English teacher Mrs. Elizabeth Grabski encountered that issue and stated that “Students had often expressed their frustration with not being recognized within the school for doing the right thing.” The PBIS team discussed ways to improve the new system and make it open to more students. The PBIS team wants to have as many students as possible on both platinum and gold cards. Mr. Vincent DeNuzzo, EHHS Principal, stated, “My hope with the new program is for all students to strive for greatness.”
Since last year's standards were difficult to obtain for many students, the PBIS team has improved the standards for this upcoming year so that more students would be involved. The future direction of this program is unknown but they are hopeful it will be a huge success. The PBIS team and fellow administrators hope that the program will be used for many classes in the years to come. You can also view the PBIS teams presentation on the PBIS Incentive Program privileges here.