Program rewards good behavior at Illinois school

It's a school-wide effort to start the year back on good terms.

Posted: Aug 20, 2018 6:56 PM

HUTSONVILLE, Ill. (WTHI) - It's a school-wide effort to start the year back on good terms. From the time a student steps on the bus or walks through the doors of Hustonville Schools, the day will start with positivity.

As 5th Grade Teacher Joe Stambaugh shares, "Practice respect, Accepting responsibility, Working together, and Safety first."

These are traits of Hustonville, Illinois School’s PAWS Program. It's based on a PBIS system, which focuses on rewarding the good, instead of reprimanding the bad.

Stambaugh says, "You want to acknowledge students for good behavior and doing the right thing. We really want to promote positive relationships."

Whether it’s helping another student pick up dropped books, being kind and not bullying, or showing up on time, the program promotes good actions all around. It's setting things up for a bright school year, and an even brighter future for students.

Superintendent Julie Kraemer says, "Helping them understand we expect you to be in the classroom ready to go when the bell rings, just like an employer expects you to be on time to start work. If we can engage those soft skills now, that will carry on and make them more employable."

Administrators and teachers at Hustonville can agree that by putting the PBIS system back in full force, they'll be able to serve the students to their best abilities.

Stambaugh shares, "Us teachers being mindful of the words we're speaking to our students and being positive about it. It's so easy to snap. We don't know what goes on at home but we do know when they walk through our doors we have a responsibility to be that light for them to be that positivity."

Superintendent Kraemer says bus drivers, secretaries, teachers, and administrators all got a refresher on the program before students returned to classes. She says while there wasn’t a large discipline problem to begin with, the PBIS program did cut down on disciplinary actions significantly.

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