FAIRBORN — Fairborn Baker Middle School will be receiving a special honor from the Ohio Department of Education for its successful implementation of the Ohio Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) program during the past three school years.
The middle school is one of 88 award-winning schools to receive the Bronze Level recognition from the PBIS State Support Team at the 2017 Ohio PBIS Showcase in Mansfield, Ohio on Nov. 30. According to the Ohio Department of Education, a total of 110 Ohio schools are being recognized for their success in implementing PBIS, including those schools that are receiving Gold and Silver Level awards.
Dr. Sue Brackenholf, Director of Curriculum and Instruction at Fairborn City School, shared the exciting news with the Fairborn City Schools Board of Education, during Thursday, Nov. 2 school board meeting. According to Brackenholf, bronze level awards are given to schools that show a successful implementation of a comprehensive system of behavioral supports at the first level. The essential elements in this level are consistently applied across all school settings, including classrooms, the cafeteria, hallways, restrooms and the playground.
PBIS holds all students to the same expectations and focuses on praising good behavior and rewarding students who are doing the right things. However, there are real consequences for those students who misbehave. Activities, such as walking the hallways or lining up for lunch or recess, are easier for students because they know what is expected of them. Brackenholf noted that data has shown that PBIS has improved student achievement and behavior and the overall school environment.
“Baker Middle School is our exemplary school in the district for leading the PBIS program. We expect, as the school continues with the program, it will receive a silver and a gold level award,” Brackenholf said.
Baker Middle School Principal Brad Holt thanked the school board for giving him the opportunity to talk about the success of PBIS at Baker Middle School. He also recognized Dr. Brackenholf for bringing the PBIS program to the students in the school district and MH Aide Deborah Plummer and Baker Middle School Assistant Principal Andrea Ferguson for doing a tremendous job getting the program up and running.
“Our staff has bought into it. Our students have bought into it. The award we will be receiving is a testament to all the hard work that everybody has been done over the past three years,” Holt said.
Holt held up a replica of the bronze award banner that will be display on both the inside and outside of the Baker Middle School building. He also read aloud an acknowledgement letter from the Ohio PBIS Network. In 2015, Ohio first recognized schools that are model examples of strong PBIS. In 2017, Baker Middle School applied and earned the recognition as a bronze level school, according to Holt.
“This is a great program. It is the pillar, the foundation, the expectation, the modeling, and the collective effort of the administration, teachers, and students,” said Holt. “Again, this is a fabulous program, and Baker Middle School is the hallmark of Fairborn City Schools and the hallmark of the State of Ohio.”
In conclusion, Dr. Brackenholf pointed out to the school board members that the implementation of PBIS has significantly reduced the behavior problems in the school district and out-of-school suspensions over the past three years.
“What is great about this program is that the teachers look at behavior data, and they are owning their role in trying to change the atmosphere in the schools, such as the way they respond to it and in the way they model,” said Brackenholf. “There is active, direct teaching on the skills we want to see in the hallways, cafeteria and the classroom.”
Linda Collins is a freelance writer for Greene County News.