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New Jersey Positive Behavior Support

September 27, 2019

Schools throughout Clifton are promoting positive student behavior and enhancing the school atmosphere through a program that rewards attributes such as respect for teachers, responsibility, and preparedness, and good manners.

The New Jersey Positive Behavior Support in Schools (NJPBSIS) initiative works with individual schools. NJPBSIS trains administrators and teachers to implement school-wide interventions. The interventions focus on promoting positive student behavior, improving the school's sense of community, and supporting students who may need extra help.

The program begins with faculty and staff working with students in the younger grade-levels at the beginning of every school year. Teachers and administrators model positive behavior by introducing students to "expectation stations" throughout the school in areas such as classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, restrooms, and the cafeteria. Positive behavior includes arriving to class prepared and on time, addressing one another respectfully, safely walking through halls, and using good manners in the cafeteria.

Students in the upper grades continue their practice of positive behavior. Staff members who witness students demonstrating positive actions reward students with "tickets." The students can enter their tickets in weekly prize drawings.

The following schools are currently using PBSIS model:
CHS Mustang Academy Grade 9, CCMS and WWMS, Elementary Schools 2, 4, 5, 13, 16 and 17

The following schools are in the current PBSIS training cohort:
Elementary Schools 9, 11, and 14

Each school generally begins the year with a kickoff or pep rally for the students to "catch the spirit" of positivity.

Jennifer Lucas, Principal at School Two, said, "On Friday, September 13, School Two had a pep rally to kickoff PBSIS. Students wore their grade level colors as they answered questions about expectations, competed in Minute to Win It games, and were awarded bright buck tickets."

School Four started the school year with the "Be a School Four Star" program. "The universal team kicked off our Be a School 4 STAR program earlier this month. Students are encouraged to make Smart choices, be Thoughtful, Ambitious, and Respectful. Students are earning STAR Bucks throughout the week and look forward to spinning the Wheel O' Prizes on Friday mornings. Our team is preparing for our first pep rally on October 24!" commented Joelle Rosetti, Principal at School Four.

Steven Anderson, Principal of School Five, said of their kickoff, "The School Five Family learned all about being an All S.T.A.R.! We believe in Safety, Teamwork, Acceptance, and Respect! We Are... All STARS!"

Bracken Healy, School Nine's Principal, is eager to begin implementing PBSIS in his building. Mr. Healy's school is in this year's PBSIS training cohort. "School Nine will begin the implementation of Bulldog Bucks this school year. Students will be rewarded for making positive choices both in and outside of the classroom."

Dr. Rachel Capizzi said that School 13's PBSIS kickoff was a success. "At our first School 13 Day of the year, excitement was high as we had our first ticket pulls from each classroom," described Dr. Capizzi. "Winning students were able to choose a friend to take to extra recess. Students whose tickets are pulled every Friday morning get to go shopping at our PBSIS store after lunch. At our Mustang Monthly Meeting, we gave certificates and restaurant coupons to our Jr. Mustang PRIDE winners. These students are chosen because they consistently make good, kind choices and display excellent character, even when no one is looking."

While School 15 has not yet formally adopted a PBSIS program, Dr. Luginda Batten-Walker is thrilled with her school's initiatives in promoting a positive climate for learning. Dr. Batten-Walker stated, "On October 1st we kicked off our PRIDE Assembly. Students earn PRIDE tickets for being Positive, Respectful, Involved, Dependable, and Empathetic." School 15's HSA provided all of the PRIDE prizes.

The Freshman Academy at Clifton High School incorporates PBSIS into their day-to-day operations. Susan Schnepf, Vice Principal at Clifton High School, spoke to parents and guardians of CHS freshmen at Back-to-School Night on September 19. Mrs. Schnepf outlined the fundamentals of PBSIS as well as the expectations for students in the Freshman Academy.