Alfredo Andrews Elementary School Principal Andrea Hobson was on a roll ensuring that students get the message on the appropriate behavioral expectations on the school’s campus, the bus stations and on the bus. Hobson and assistant Principal Cheru Ross, along with faculty and staff members safely tuck students alongside the hallway of the St. Croix Career and Technical Education Center (CTEC) as they rolled out the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) initiative for School Year 2017-2018 on Thursday, March 15. “We are BLAZERS, and no matter where we are, we have expectations for behavior,” the principal said loudly. “We will play, learn and grow together. This day is dedicated to re-enforcing the Alfredo Andrews school-wide behavior expectations that should transcend to CTEC and beyond.”
Students wore their PBIS shirt with jeans or school uniform bottom. Those who did not have PBIS shirts, wore t-shirts in the color assigned to their grade level. Students then took turn by grade beginning with Kindergarten students showing their fellow students how to behave appropriately through several skits and other performances. The skits targeted the behavioral expectations in the bathroom, classroom, cafeteria, play area and on the bus.
St. Croix District PBIS rollout activities for School Year 2017-18 have been ongoing. All elementary schools in the district adopted a matrix to follow when rolling out the PBIS message on good behavior. According to PBIS Coach Yolande Greene who coordinates the V.I. Department of Education program in the St. Croix District, “PBIS is a program for preventing, reducing and replacing problem behaviors by employing a three-tiered framework.”
Greene is pleased with Alfredo Andrews rollout. “Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding, “ the PBIS Coach said. “The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.”
PBIS is established by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education to emphasize “school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments.” www.pbis.org . The Virgin Islands Department of Education’s State Office of Special Education (SOSE) implements PBIS policies for the school districts.