School promotes behavior program

Zachery Antaloczy, 12, dressed as Michael Jackson, right, joins Pico Canyon sixth-graders as they dance to "Thriller" for the Pico Canyon student body gathered for the PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) kickoff assembly at Pico Canyon Elementary School in Stevenson Ranch on Tuesday, October 30, 2081. Dan Watson/The Signal

Students at Pico Canyon Elementary School had a thrill Tuesday as they promoted their school’s newly established Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports program.

Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports, or PBIS as it’s more commonly known, is a program that district leaders believe will help students achieve social, emotional and academic success.

Similar to their peers across the SCV, Pico Canyon held a kick-off assembly at the beginning of the year to inform students of the new expectations and released a video last week that discusses the intricacies of the program and features television host Mark Steines and Norbert the dog.

On Tuesday, students were encouraged to wear their spirit gear to the PBIS Husky Pride Kickoff Assembly, which featured an appearance from Harry the Husky, a “Thriller” dance and other fun activities.

“Every single student was so excited today,” assistant principal Diane Diamond said. “They were all thanking me in the halls at lunch, and they were really, really thrilled with the way we celebrated our program. It’s great to see that positive energy.”

Many students come to school unaware of what the appropriate behavior is in a school setting, Diamond said, but PBIS acts a guide so teachers and staff can promote the correct behaviors and address the problem at the root.

“Instead of benching them and giving them consequences, we reteach, redirect and remind what the procedures are,” Diamond said. “I always say, ‘Thank you for walking,’ and they instantly start walking because they want to follow the rules but sometimes forget.”

It’s all about positively reinforcing the right behaviours until it becomes second nature to students, Diamond said, adding that she’s grateful for the teachers who are embracing the program. “Without their support this wouldn’t be possible. They’re in the classroom making the greatest impact,” whether it’s by handing out pride stickers, revisiting classroom expectations or setting weekly challenges that relate to being fair, kind and having proper behavior in the cafeteria and restroom.

“We’re going to continue to find ways to motivate students to make good choices,” Diamond said. “It’s just about making sure that we keep setting goals to implement the program with fidelity.”

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