When everyone cooperates and politeness fills the room, the mood is happier and more conducive to learning.
The students and staff at Williston Elementary School have done such an extraordinary job with the Positive Behavior Support (PBS)ee^program that recently they were honored as a Silver Level Model School for their efforts by the University of South Florida.
PBS is a system that rewards students for their good behavior.
At Williston Elementary, the criteria are based on PAWS which stands for Positive Attitude, Always Respectful, Willing to Learn, Shows Responsibility.
Celeste Greenlee, school counselor and PBSee^coach, said since its implementation in 2006, there has been significant change as administration has seen office referrals decline one-third every year.
Students who meet the PAWS goals are given Wildcat Cash, paper markers that can be redeemed for trinkets at the PBS store each Friday, or saved for bigger rewards as the year goes on.
“Wildcat Cash cannot be revoked,” Greenlee said, adding some students save it for months before cashing in.
The program is flexible and teachers are encouraged to adapt it to make it fit their own unique classroom setting.
Dr. Rosalind Hall, director of ESE and Student Services for the Levy County School Board, said earlier this week that she is very proud of the faculty, staff and students of Williston Elementary for achieving the state honor.
“Iee^am elated,” she said, adding that much of the program’s success goes to the teachers who made it happen and followed through with its implentation.
Greenlee also credits the late Sherry Scott, a third grade teacher and one of the program’s original team, with the school’s success.
“I would hope that our Silver Level Award could honor her memory,” Greenlee said.
“Iee^believe in it,” Hall said. “It’s all about the kids.”
Hall agreed with Greenlee that the beauty of the program lays with the teacher’s ability to mold it into something that will identify behaviors that can be turned into success stories.
“Now we’re going for the gold,” Hall said.
Williston Middle School also was recognized as a Silver Model School, Hall said, noting that only Cedar Key School and Chiefland High School do not currently participate in the program.
Volunteers are needed to help operate the PBSee^store from 8:30 a.m. until noon Friday.
“We need more community involvement,” Greenlee said. “We all share the responsibility.”