Mountain Valley High School PBIS Team recognizes students for positive behavior

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RUMFORD — The Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) Team recognized Mountain Valley High School students for their positive behaviors at a school-wide assembly.

Team member and Freshman Academy teacher Marsha Burns explained, “At MVHS, we have four keys to success – be safe, be respectful, be responsible and be involved. These students have demonstrated through their actions that they understand these character traits. They earned the most blue cards during the trimester.”

Burns then called the students to the stage. They were freshman Abby Harding, senior Tucker Phelps, junior J. T. Greene and sophomore Hannah Pierce.

Blue cards are the way teachers at MVHS recognize students for positive behaviors. For example, teachers may send a blue card home when a student helps another student or when a student makes a choice to support a positive school climate.

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PBIS is a way of teaching students expectations for their behavior in a positive way.

Math teacher Sarah Knowlton explained the program, “The theory behind it is that if you teach, model and reinforce positive behavior you will see a change in the environment in your school. It also focuses on acknowledging positive behaviors more often than you point out what kids are doing wrong. It is a balance between trying to encourage positive behaviors while understanding students will still step out of line and there are consequences when that does happen.”

PBIS offers a tiered approach to teaching behavior. All students receive the basic interventions such as teaching and modeling lunch line behavior, auditorium behavior and general behavior.

Knowlton added, “You would expect 80 percent to be successful. Then tier 2 is targeted interventions to support 10 to15 percent that need a little more. Then you have very intense interventions for the 5 percent of the students whose behaviors cannot be changed with the other interventions.”

She concluded, “The whole idea is that you approach things from the positive side to improve interactions between adults and students alike.”

In addition to Burns, members of the PBIS team include math teacher Sarah Knowlton, librarian Mary Gamble and assistant principal Al Cayer. Michael Phelps, who works for the Fitch Company, is a community member on the team.

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