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Fort River Creates Positive Atmosphere for Students
Submitted by kochn on Thu, 11/08/2012 - 3:44pm.
The Fort River Elementary School has been hard at work improving the safety practices of students and strengthening a positive in-school environment.
On October 17th, the Amherst Police Department brought the Safe Roads Initiative to Fort River, as police officers taught students about pedestrian and bicycle activity, and led an assembly about safety on the streets. The initiative is more than just a one-act play; next month parent volunteers from the Fort River community will continue the teaching of safe outdoor habits. In the spring, the school will also take younger students on a walk to actively practice outdoor conduct in a fun way.
In addition, students at Fort River are working to make the school environment a better place as they actively pursue PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Intervention Systems.
“PBIS is built around four core values that we established by polling: Work hard, Act Responsibly, Very respectful, and Everyone safe,” said Vice Principal Kristen Robinson. The values form the acronym WAVE, which has been turned into a major focus around the school.
Each grade has contributed its own specific art project regarding WAVE, and the art is now displayed throughout the hallways of the school. The motto “Catch the WAVE” has become a prominent fixture in the school atmosphere.
Workshops and different lessons regarding the core values have been run. As each lesson is completed, the students get their “passports” stamped to prove that they are actively pursuing the PBIS goals and are contributing to the school. The sixth graders are tasked with distributing the stamps around the school in hopes that they will be role models for the younger students. In addition, in the spring a new campaign will be launched. Every time a teacher sees a student “Catching the WAVE” (acting responsibly or helpfully in regard to PBIS), the teacher will stamp a postcard and send it to the student. “The kids will actually receive the post card in the mail, which is pretty cool,” said Robinson.
PBIS will be enforced throughout the year, and hopefully will be a guide moving forward. PBIS is not unique to Fort River, and it is used by other elementary schools in the district, and the district is hoping to expand the initiative to the higher grade levels as well. PBIS can be adapted to fit any school – the core values can be changed to fit the school’s needs.
“All schools can use PBIS,” stated Robinson, “but it is going to have a different look everywhere you go.” Whatever its form, PBIS is helping the Amherst schools take a step into the future.
Last updated November 13, 2012