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Here at Randall K. Cooper High School we have Jag SWAG! Our school-wide expectations are: Be Safe, Have Work Ethic, Be Accountable and Give Respect. We have developed matrices and implemented PBIS expectations for all common areas as well as classrooms. Students have responded well to the teaching of expectations and the rewards system in place.
Prior to the beginning of each school year, all teachers and staff are trained on the expectations and provided with lesson plans and a PowerPoint to teach to our students. The first few weeks of the school year, students are abuzz with Jag SWAG. From texts and calls, to Facebook posts, the word was out in Boone County that school would be different this year for RCHS students. Many students felt the expectations were silly and unnecessary, however they were trying everything they could to make sure they collected Jagitudes. (Students are rewarded with Jagitude tickets when they are “caught” doing something good.) As the school year has continued, students have bought into the system and realize the benefits of it. Not just the prizes they can win, but the clear-cut rules it presents. Signs are clearly posted throughout the school detailing the expectations in each area, and it’s hard to argue when all you have to do is point to the sign to remind a student of the rules. Many students are glad that the expectations are there and are being enforced. As one student said, “In the past teachers didn’t really say what the guidelines were, and this year they have something to base it on. So they have a clear way to show what rules to follow. What is allowed and not allowed.”
Using the SWIS data system we can track specific data. We have seen a significant drop in the number of daily referrals to the office since the implementation of PBIS. Total office referrals for 2013-2014 are down 29% when compared to office referral data from 2011-2012. Our number one issue is tardiness. We have surveyed students and faculty members to see what concerns or issues are top in their minds and are using that information to impel us into new focus areas.
PBIS has been an integral part of our building, and will continue to grow and shape our building expectations and successes in our future. One of our parents sums it up nicely, “I believe that Cooper’s school wide “positive attitude” is a valuable asset to our school. Too many children today are not given, or, are given very little positive affirmation. School may be the only place many students hear something positive. I’ve witnessed students going out of their way to open a door, pick something up, or even say “thank you” that otherwise would not be considered by many. Recently, I read a book discussing how many schools have gotten away from Character Education which by definition is meant to “develop student mortality, suggesting that moral values and positive character traits, such as honesty and citizenship, should be emphasized, taught, and rewarded.” This school wide program encompasses this from every aspect and I hope that it continues for a long time.”
This is Cooper High School Jag SWAG!