When Champlain adopted Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) over a decade ago, many months were spent establishing the “Pathway” system. It took years to refine practices for effectiveness and alignment. The Pathway listed steps for educators to address misbehavior, and are likely familiar to most Champlain families going back a long time:
- Give a verbal gentle reminder of the rule.
- Give a verbal redirection to follow the rule.
- Direct the student to the take-a-break chair in the classroom.
- Direct the student to sit in the buddy teacher’s classroom.
- Contact the main office and request assistance.
- Bus Violation
- Physical Aggression/Fighting (with injuries)
- Property Damage
- Technology Violation
- Threatened or Posed Danger
- Bullying, Hazing, or Harassment
- Repeated Minor Behaviors
Families may be interested in the role of Burlington’s School Resource (Police) Officers, who serve as excellent consultants on issues faced by children, families, and schools. In addition, the Burlington Police Department abides by a longstanding agreement to partner with school officials on the most concerning behavioral issues, primarily at the middle- and high-school levels.
Two areas that our faculty has agreed upon are (1) teaching and reinforcing school-wide expectations consistently across our school, and (2) reintegrating students to class after a Pathway 5 or 6. By moving the Student Support Center to the main office, children can access higher levels of support and focus more on the goal reflection, reconciliation, and learning to improve behavior. When students have a Pathway 5, they can expect to come to the Student Support Center and experience the following:
- Sit quietly and not interact with anyone.
- Deescalate, re-regulate, and show respect.
- Discuss what the issue was and what they need to do differently.
- Follow directions and practice a replacement behavior through role playing.
- Complete a reflection form to improve their behavior and share with their teacher.
- Complete school work.
- Reflect on the misbehavior and plan for restoring relationships.
When complete, students will be brought back to class, instructed to sit silently in the take-a-break chair, and wait for the teacher to talk with them and read the reflection form.
The teaching of target behaviors launches during assemblies. With the help of our fifth-grade assembly leaders, Marina Twohig, Jane Laramee, and Ava Rolland, both October assemblies have addressed common behavior practices. On Oct. 30, their presentation focused on Champlain’s common expectations for walking throughout the school building:
- Hands by your side
- Staying in a line
- Facing forward
- Walking feet
- Staying on the right side
- Whisper or be silent