Submitted by Clare Wurm, Technical Assistance Provider

Winthrop is officially a Cohort Four school, but, as usual, they’re ahead of the curve. The leadership team was eager to begin their school-wide PBIS program and worked hard to roll it out months before the grant dictated. Their program is based on SPARKS -- Self Control, Participation, Accountability, Respect, Kindness, Safety. The team was mindful about including the whole staff in the SPARKS rollout. Teachers, paraprofessionals, school staff and community partners who provide enrichment courses were included in the preparation and planning.

stairs with math facts printed on the risersClimbing the stairs at Winthrop provides opportunities for positive math behaviors!Tickets are given to students who exhibit positive behavior based on SPARKS. It is evident that teachers are using the recognition process. The adults we see wear rolls of tickets around their necks, or have a stack in their pocket, just waiting to be handed out. Students’ tickets go into a daily raffle. Winners can choose from toys, trinkets and coupons for special events, like lunch with the principal. The types of raffle prizes have changed based on feedback from students. Monthly town meetings are another opportunity to recognize positive behaviors.

Teachers report that behavior has improved since SPARKS was implemented, and they continue to monitor behavior by examining SWIS data. The leadership team is enthusiastic about SPARKS and is awaiting further training in order to incorporate Tier II and III systems of support.

Published: November 20, 2015