teaching behavior expectations

ELLSWORTH, MICHIGAN – Earlier this month Ellsworth Elementary unveiled their new positive behavior incentive program to students in grade K-5.  The program, known locally as Lancer Values, emphasizes teaching positive, pro-social behaviors to students and has been developed as part of the national PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) program.  ECS has focused on three specific Lancer Values:  Value Safety, Value Others, and Value Self.

“PBIS is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success,” said ECS Principal/Superintendent, Aaron Gaffney.  “For the past six-months a group of teachers and staff here in Ellsworth have been working towards developing and tailoring the PBIS program for what fits in Ellsworth.”

Teachers spent the fall developing school classroom lessons to teach school-wide behavior expectations.  In conjunction with expectations and lessons the team also developed a reward and support system for students.  “The focus of PBIS is taking the time to teach, reinforce, and if necessary re-teach what is expected of students from a behavior standpoint,” said Gaffney.  “All too often we assume that students know what is expected of them.  This program focuses extensively on making sure that students and staff truly understand what we’re looking for.”

The PBIS program in Ellsworth has been developed in collaboration with CharEm ISD.  In addition to providing funds for training and some supplies, the ISD has also provided the district with a trained coach and facilitator, Sara Weaver.  “CharEm has been instrumental in helping to facilitate this process for us in Ellsworth,” said Gaffney.  “Through a multi-year grant we have been able to tap into the knowledge and experience of an established trainer.  This assistance has been invaluable to us in developing our program.” Throughout the remainder of the 2018/19 school year the district plans to continue teaching and developing the school-wide expectations at the elementary school.  Currently there are plans to expand the program to the middle/high school for the 2019/20 school year.