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Positive Behavior Support (PBS) systems are grounded in evidence-based strategies shown to increase student academic performance and safety, and decrease problem behaviors; the result is a positive school culture. This is the third of a four-part series where the What’s Right in Education partner post focuses on B.T. Washington High School’s award winning PBS system. Part 1 of our series focused on the school’s expectations that every student matters (read post here); and last week’s focus included results from three assessments used in the school’s PBS model (read post here).

Students at BTWHS are rewarded and recognized as a result of their (positive) behavior aligned with school-wide expectations for behavior and measured using formative and summative assessments. Individual students are rewarded with “Cat Scratch” cards like the one below. These cards hold a cash value of 50 cents for student s to use in the school’s Cat Shack, a store run by students in the E-Commerce/Marketing Academy who are members of the DECA chapter; the store offers school spirit items. Students may also use multiple cards for a non-cash value (e.g., 5 cards equal lunch with teacher/leader) in classrooms where implemented by a teacher.

Cat Scratch

School-wide reward and recognition events are held each 9 weeks in a culminating “Cat Scratch Fever” event. Each nine weeks offers a behavioral focus for students, for example, the first nine weeks for this school year was a “Dress Code Referral” contents by class, the second nine weeks included both “Dress Code Referral” and “Tardy Referral.” The winning class – seniors for 1st nine weeks and juniors for 2nd nine weeks – earn attendance to the “Cat Scratch Fever” event. The first event this year was Movie Madness where students enjoyed a movie, popcorn, drinks, and pizza!

PBS reward and recognition does not end at the individual student or class level. Assistant Principal Jeremy Tompkins recognized and thanked “all educational stakeholders” contributing to the success of the BTWHS program and its students in the school’s Wildcat Quarterly in February 2013.

TompkinsRtI Coach Rosie Cooper also shares “up-to-date” progress with her colleagues, thanking them for their continued support of PBS:

Faculty EmailReward and recognize to provide feedback to recognize good behavior. We often express what students do wrong, but seldom reward and recognize good performance (Pilcher, 2012) or in this case good behavior. Similar to most people, students respond when they are recognized.

Special thanks to Ms. Rosie Cooper for providing the content for today’s blog. Join Studer Education in celebrating her leadership of the bronze distinction PBS efforts as RtI Behavior Coach and ISS Coordinator at Washington High School. We appreciate Ms. Cooper’s willingness to share with the What’s Right readers what makes Washington’s PBS program award-winning. This is the third of a four-part series running each Friday (ending May 3) about Washington High School’s PBS program.




Positive Behavior Support (PBS): School-Wide Expectations (Part 1 of 4). Read post here.

Positive Behavior Support (PBS): Formative and Summative Assessments (Part 2 of 4). Read post here.

Visit the B.T. Washington High School website at http://www.BTWash.org. For more information about Washington High School’s PBS program please contact Ms. Rosie Cooper, M.A.T.L., at RCooper@Escambia.K12.FL.US.

Pilcher, Janet. 2012. Who’s Engaged? Climb the Learning Ladder to See. More information about the book here.

“Our Partner” posts feature teachers, leaders, schools, and districts to share “what’s right” in education. Join us each Friday to celebrate these great educators, leaders, and institutions.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the fifth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.