Yokayo Elementary and Grace Hudson Elementary School were recognized for successful implementation at the Gold level and Pomolita Middle School for implementation at the Silver level. All UUSD schools are currently working toward Gold level implementation. There are over 10,500 schools in California; only 308 schools received a Gold level award, and 755 received Silver level awards.
“These awards are the result of hard work and perseverance by our staff,” said Katie Sommer, UUSD Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services. “It’s tough to achieve a Gold or Silver level award; the requirements are very stringent. I am extremely proud of the hard work our staff put in and their strong commitment to PBIS implementation.”
PBIS is a framework for maximizing the selection and use of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices that support the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral skills of all students. This framework helps students develop and learn social, emotional, and behavioral skills, along with academics. Simply put, it’s a way for schools to encourage good behavior and improve student learning.
Specific methods are used to support students and are matched to the level of support needed. Universal Practices are experienced by all students across all settings to establish a predictable, consistent, positive, and safe school climate.
Targeted Practices are designed for groups of students who need more structure, feedback, instruction, and support than Specific Practices can provide. Indicated Practices are more intense and individualized to meet the challenges of students who need the most help and support.
Yokayo Elementary uses a national character education program called Character Counts at their school. Character Counts uses what they refer to as the six pillars of character. Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship are used to help students be successful at school and in their personal lives. All students learn the meaning of these character pillars and have expectations related to them that they must live up to socially and academically every day. Teacher and parent involvement with any PBIS programs is vital, so Yokayo parents and staff developed their own set of expectations too.
Grace Hudson Elementary’s PBIS program focuses on three rules, Be responsible/Ser responsable, Be respectful/Ser respetuoso, and Be Safe/Ser seguro. Staff explicitly teach the behavior expectations associated with the rules. Students that perform well are recognized with awards called Bravoletos that they can use on rewards when they demonstrate responsible, respectful, and safe behavior. Students can also receive Student Action Reports based on infractions of these rules. Like any great PBIS program, the consequences for infractions are well defined, and everyone should know what they are.
WE ROAR! is the battle cry of Pomolita Middle School’s PBIS program. It’s an acronym for Wellness, Empathy, Respect, Organization, Attitude, and Responsibility; the values that Pomolita students, staff, and parents are expected to follow. Teachers hand out tickets for students who demonstrate the values of WE ROAR that can be used at the student store for school supplies or school spirit items like shirts and bracelets.
There are many benefits to a successful PBIS program for students, families, and educators. Schools with a robust PBIS system often see reductions in disciplinary infractions, antisocial behaviors will become less frequent, and substance abuse can decline. Research has shown that a positive impact on grades may also be achieved when successful PBIS programs are utilized.
“Congratulations to the students, parents, and staff at Yokayo, Grace Hudson, and Pomolita. It means a lot to get recognition like this from the organization that validates the best programs in the State of California. We actively teach behavioral skills right along with academic skills at all UUSD schools, and it’s exciting to see that our district-wide PBIS implementation has produced a reduction in suspension rates over a relatively short time. I look forward to the impact this will have throughout Ukiah Unified as we move forward,” said Jason Iverson, UUSD Director of Student Services.
The California PBIS Coalition is a collaborative organization using evidence-based, culturally relevant practices to build the capacity for all stakeholders in the implementation of PBIS as a multi-tiered system following the National PBIS Blueprints for professional development, implementation, and evaluation. To learn more about PBIS, visit https://www.pbis.org/.