TERRELL CO., GA (WALB) - School just kicked off less than two weeks ago in Terrell County, but already they're focusing on keeping students in the classroom and out of the office.
The school system has now implemented a new initiative in its classrooms. The main goal of PBIS, or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support, is to reduce discipline rates and increase learning.
Assistant principal Kareem Sanders says through PBIS, staff will focus on teaching students how to be model students through character education lessons.
"Sometimes kids have to be taught how to act, and as educators, we focus so much on teaching academics that we sometimes have to focus on teaching the desired behavior and what we want the model student to look like at our school," Sanders said.
Sanders says the initiative has been a success in other school districts like in Dougherty County. Over the course of a year, he says it has significantly reduced the number of office discipline referrals in several of it's schools.
A large part of the PBIS program focuses on reinforcing positive behavior, which Cooper-Carver Elementary School does by rewarding students with Greenwave Bucks. Those "bucks" can be used to buy rewards like a homework pass or lunch with a teacher or principal.
Sanders also encourages parents to get involved in the process by following the same practices at home, and getting more involved in their student's education.
"We are an extension of the home, in reference to teaching manners and teaching being respectful and being responsible," Sanders said, "and being safe and just caring about one another."
The program kicked off in Terrell County Elementary, Middle and High Schools just last week. It's still in the roll-out phase, and Sanders says they'll be sending out more information to parents in the coming months.