By: Dr. Gregory W. Betts & Mrs. Joy Fuller
Culture and climate are crucial to the success of any school district and require intentionality and collaboration to define/create it. Westside Community Schools continues to focus on the whole child to maximize student engagement and achievement.
Westside utilizes a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBiS) framework to teach behavior and social skills. The expectations at all Westside Community Schools are to Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible. This approaches behavior in a proactive rather than a reactive manner. These school-wide behavior expectations and all students’ behavior needs are targeted through various standard practices, procedures, and plans.
Westside Community Schools has been using the Boys Town Well Managed Schools (WMS) philosophy since the 1990’s. This is a consistent way of building relationships and shaping student behavior supporting the PBiS framework. This structure provides teaching interactions based on appropriate social skills and appropriate methods of interacting while creating a positive culture and climate.
First-grade teacher, Joy Fuller uses this model in her classroom and develops a deeper understanding of Well Managed Schools (WMS) every day. The social skills lessons allow her to deepen her students’ knowledge of how to interact and be respectful of each other. The WMS model will enable her to be consistent with the language and corrective teaching she uses in her classroom, and her students appreciate the consistency. A phrase you might hear in her class would be, “Right now you are (label the negative behavior), it would be helpful if you (label the positive behavior).”
The Well Managed School Model fits well under the umbrella of PBiS and each is built on forging relationships with students. Mrs. Fuller has the privilege to be a trainer of the Well Managed Schools model as well as serve on the Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBiS) building team. Because she wears both hats when they discuss their schoolwide behavior models, she can use her training in the Boys Town Well Managed Schools to bring ideas to the table when they talk about supporting students and staff.