Throughout the 2016-17 school year, several Fairmont staff members and students gathered to develop a plan to encourage good habits at Fairmont. The solution that the group decided on was Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports or ‘PBIS’.
According to the PBIS website, this program provides social, emotional and behavioral support. PBIS is said to improve social, emotional and academic outcomes for all students.
Fairmont Principal, Tyler Alexander, believes this is a great way to keep the school on track for success.
“It is a program designed to give students and teachers the tools to behave in a way that is expected at Fairmont,” Alexander said. “It will continue to educate staff and students through many other ways during the year as well.”
One main focus on Alexander’s radar is the hallways. He notes that having 2,500 students in the halls between classes can get hectic.
“Hallways are our main push, trying to teach good habits instead of just saying their expectations,” he said.
Alexander started the year off by encouraging teachers and staff to support his implementation of PBIS. Jessica Stickel, Fairmont English teacher and Yearbook adviser, has been working on trying new approaches to support PBIS.
“I have been much more present in the hallway than I normally am, which is really great for me because I get to interact with students in a more casual setting,” Stickel said. “I have also tried to be more focused on teaching my freshmen what I expect instead of just telling them. Plus, I have given a lot of side hugs, high fives, fistbumps, and smiles.”
Student are also seeing the implementation of PBIS through morning instructional videos about hallway and parking safety, posters in the hallways, and even Twitter posts. While Twitter is not necessarily tied into PBIS, Alexander states that it does go hand in hand with the new initiative.
“Twitter in general is a great tool to show what is going on around the school while students are focusing on their own 7 classes and 7 teachers,” he said. “Twitter is such a cool way to show what is going on in the other 150 classes.”
He also emphasized that while PBIS is a new thing for high school students, the student input and feedback he has received has been extremely positive.
“I have received tweets about the hallways that have told me that this has made our school a more positive place,” he said. “This shows us that we have mature students that are heavily focused on education.”
The best is all that Alexander wants for Fairmont. He made sure to emphasize that PBIS is not a backup for the past, but a way to keep Kettering on the path of success.
“I want the student body to know that PBIS is not here because we thought we were headed in the wrong direction, rather it is to build a great culture and introduce our school as a focal point in the state of Ohio.”
Follow Mr. Alexander on Twitter: @KFHSPrincipal
Learn more about PBIS at: https://www.pbis.org/