Oct 8, 2018

Sycamore Creek Receives Ohio PBIS Bronze Recognition

Sycamore Creek Elementary PBIS committee is recognized for bronze state recognition

Monday night the Board of Education recognized Sycamore Creek Elementary for being named a recipient of the Ohio PBIS Bronze Recognition Award for 2018.

Each year the Ohio PBIS Network recognizes and identifies schools for their quality and fidelity of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) implementation. Schools are eligible to receive awards at the bronze, silver, or gold level of distinction. 

PBIS is a process for creating school environments that are predictable and effective for achieving academic and social goals. It is a research-based framework for teaching and supporting positive behaviors for all students. The school-wide approach focuses on building a safe, positive environment in which all students can learn.

This program has five core components: community connections, clear expectations, comprehensive instruction, consistent systems of acknowledging and correcting behavior, and supportive structures. Adopting and implementing the PBIS requires long-term commitment and consistency from school administrators and staff members.

“PBIS is important because it sets that common expectation for everybody. Teaching the character elements, like respect and responsibility, go along with that. We’re still teaching students about being respectful and responsible along with math and reading and the other subjects,” said Principal Nikki Arnold.

Sycamore’s H.E.R.O (hard working, enthusiastic, respectful, organized) expectations encourage students to be ready to learn, follow classroom procedures, use kind and encouraging words, cooperate with others, do their best work, and keep classroom spaces clean.

“If students aren’t behaving, they aren’t learning. If students are disrupting classes, then no one is learning,” said RacQuelle Major-Holland assistant principal and chair for the PBIS committee at Sycamore Creek.

Sycamore Creek has used PBIS-like strategies and procedures since it opened in 2009-2010, said Arnold. About four years ago, the entire school district adopted the PBIS framework and evidence-based strategies.

“The procedures we implemented from that very first year are still the procedures, with some tweaks, that we use today,” Arnold said.

Arnold was the assistant principal in 2009-2010 when the school opened, but left the school for three years. When she returned to Sycamore Creek, she was amazed that the same procedures were still in place.

PBIS strategies are highly concentrated in the everyday routine and procedures, Major-Holland said.

“Tier one of PBIS would be the universal interventions that we have for everyone in the building. Our everyday procedures would be one part of that as well as having award programs in place, such as the bucket fillers program. It is a proactive part of discipline. You want to teach the expectations, reward the students when they are following those expectations, and hopefully consistently doing what they need to do,” Major-Holland said.

At Sycamore Creek, students work to be “bucket fillers” by doing something positive or for reflecting the H.E.R.O expectations. Every week students are chosen and recognized as the Bucket Fillers of the Week. Being a bucket filler also means students are not being “bucket dippers” (someone who is mean to others or bullies others).

“Our H.E.R.O core values are the foundation. We have H.E.R.O posters throughout the building so students know them. At certain checkpoints during the year, the teachers will go back to re-teach and model the H.E.R.O expectations,” Major-Holland said.

“For the bronze recognition award, they look to see if you have mastered Tier one of three, which would be the universal intervention. So, all our expectation videos, posters in the hallways, and the students knowing and being able to speak to what a H.E.R.O is, all of that is on Tier one,” Major-Holland said.

The next step for the school is to master Tier two of PBIS implementation, also known as silver recognition, said Major-Holland. The hope is to reach 100 percent on Tier two by the end of this year.

Sycamore Creek will also be recognized for its distinction at the 2018 Ohio PBIS Showcase on November 29-30 in Columbus. 

The author of this story reached out to Sycamore Creek Hero, Super Sycamore, for a quote about being a H.E.R.O but he said he was too busy stamping super work at the school.