Behavioral program makes huge waves in DOCO schools

Behavioral program makes huge waves in DOCO schools
Faye Roberts
Faye Roberts

ALBANY, GA (WALB) - A program called PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, is making huge waves in Dougherty County Schools. The goal is to change the way education systems handle disciplinary incidents and turn them into positive actions to cut down on unnecessary discipline.

Traditionally in schools, staff members focus on isolating a problem such as sending the student to detention or some other form of punishment. and with repeated use the problem is expected to be resolved.

Advocates of the PBIS program believe those actions are short-term solutions and ultimately will not address the important issues such as why the behaviors are occurring. Advocates of the system also believe these actions generate a negative environment.

The program attempts to use preventative measures by focusing on the entire student body.

For example, if a student is disruptive in class due hyperactivity, instead of scolding the student, the teacher will give that child something active to do such as running school errands, so they are helpful rather than distracting.

Northside Elementary staff member Faye Roberts says it helps display leadership to other students. Roberts says since they started the program they have seen a shift in student behavior and students have become more productive within the classroom.

"I have students pulling on my pants leg in the hallway, 'Ms. Roberts, are you going to use me for PBIS this year?' And I tell them 'You know what, you are already doing it. You are setting an example for the other students,'" said Roberts.

Over the last six years Georgia's PBIS members have trained over 400 schools with thousands of other districts using the program nationwide.

"We get contracts with the parents and students, get their word that they are going to be on board with us trying to help for a good, successful school year with their students to make sure they are academically ready for the next grade level," said Roberts.

Monday at 1:00 p.m. Northside will have their PBIS kick off rally. Student leaders, cheerleaders and the drum line will be at the school to help encourage students to stay out of trouble.

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