Park Elementary, which received its notice just last month as a Silver Award winner in the implementation of the US Department of Education’s Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program, uses the Praxis Institute’s PAX Good Behavior Game® as part of the school’s PBIS practice.
PAX is a universal preventive intervention designed to encourage self-regulation, self-management and self-control in students. According to Praxis Institute, the strategies employed by PAX create a nurturing environment, positively affecting the electrical, neurochemical, neural connectivity and epigenetic makeup in youngsters.
“I use table points and class stars within my classroom to tie into our reward system,” said Jennifer Kreuz, a Grade 2 teacher at Park Elementary. “My students can earn five points as a table to get a star and can also earn a class star as a whole class for a group effort like traveling quietly in the hallway.”
At Park Elementary, positive behaviors are identified as Park Behaviors, and students demonstrating this behavior are referred to as Park Leaders. Among other strategies,the school’s implementation of the PAX system includes holding up two fingers to form the peace sign.
“We use that sign throughout the school for students to take a deep breath and prepare to listen,” said Kreuz.
Once Kreuz’ class earns 20 stars, the students vote on which type of party they want to have, and she ensures that the party is implemented as soon as possible. Recently, students had accumulated enough positive behavior stars to earn a party of their choice.
“My class chose to have stuffed buddies for a day,” said Kreuz. “Their other choices included a board game, pizza or pajama party. I provided popcorn and juice because what is a party without snacks!”
In support of the Water for South Sudan global initiative to create access to and monitor safe drinking water for rural areas of South Sudan, Chardon Middle School Grade 6 students (Left photo: L-R front to back row) Jordyn McKimmy, Maria Medved, Adeline Timko, Jarod Butler and Lauren Casalina smile proudly on October 2 with the day’s accumulated Stall the Teacher coin donations for the drinking water initiative. Stall the Teacher is CMS’ fun-spirited incentive for sixth grade students to donate high quantities of coins to Water for South Sudan, resulting in their teachers being “stalled” as they total their classrooms’ donations each school day.
Munson Elementary guest reader Tiana Vancura (Center photo) reads the book “The Wonky Donkey” by Craig Smith to Mrs. Jennifer McClintock’s Munson Elementary Grade 1 students, including Vancura’s own son, Noah (L), who looks on listening in awe.
Trying her best by working hard in the classroom, Ms. Kristen’s Tiny Toppers Pre-K student Mackenzie Yonosik, 4 (Right photo), is full-on concentration as she practices printing her name.
Book Loaning Generosity Reaches Across County Lines
When Timothy Velotta, now in his third year as Principal of Chardon Middle School, began planning the school’s 2019-2020 One School One Book program, he reached out over the miles for assistance from a familiar school in hopes of saving costs for CMS’ PTO.
To ensure success of OSOB, a nationwide program that is intended to boost literacy and promote a sense of community, a school will typically need to secure its own funding to provide each student and staff member with their own personal copies of the book plus related materials for group use.
Mr. Velotta’s previous experience as Assistant Principal at Brecksville-Broadview Heights Middle School had included development and implementation of a OSOB program centered on the book “Rules” by Cynthia Lord. With plans for “Rules” to serve as CMS’ OSOB book for the current school year, Mr. Velotta contacted BBHMS in hopes of borrowing books and Team Day materials.
And BBHMS certainly delivered.
“We borrowed everything from them – over 900 books plus materials for team day,” said Mr. Velotta. “We just had to tweak it to make sense for our Grades 4 through 7 population and gather Team Day materials for one more grade level since we had enough for three Grade levels at BBHMS.”
This county-to-county sharing was such a success that Mr. Velotta said he is now reaching out to other middle school principals to see if they could all work together to create a rotation of OSOB supplies and regularly share amongst each other to save costs on the initiative for all.
“Without BBHMS’ support, we would have had to ask the CMS PTO to spend $4,000 on books plus an additional $600 on materials for Team Day,” said Mr. Velotta. “Thank you to our colleagues and friends at BBHMS for lending us over 900 books and lots of supplies for CMS’ successful OSOB program.”
Pictured In Cover Photo: On September 27th at Park Elementary, second grade students in Ms. Jennifer Kreuz’ class celebrate their positive behavior via a stuffed buddy party, a reward the students earned through a point system Kreuz uses as part of the Praxis Institute’s PAX Good Behavior Game®. PAX is just one of the school’s utilized methods for implementing the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports program, training for which was funded by the US Department of Education.