Positive behavior on campus

Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports is district's new discipline policy

Grace Sanders, Cactus Chronicle

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TUSD is all about positivity.

Over the past two years, the district has slowly incorporated Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) into all of its schools.

Currently, however, there is no stable way of funding the district’s behavior policy.

THMS’ PBIS store, where students can turn in “Badger Bucks,”—a currency given for positive behavior—are all funded by parent and Badger Foundation donations.

The store will soon initiate fundraising programs to be carried out by the PBIS club.

Catherine Comstock, the Consultant for Climate and Culture Coordination at TUSD, noted that many schools are struggling to fund PBIS programs on their own.

“It’s been kinda every school on its own brainstorming. How to get the funding for the different kinds of incentives,” Comstock said.

Eventually, she hopes that each TUSD school will be given a budget allocation of $3,000 to $5,000, to specifically to fund their PBIS programs.

Using these figures, the TUSD budget would need to allocate between $267,000 and $445,000 for all 89 TUSD schools. It is unclear where this money would come from.

While the programs may be underfunded, Comstock said that she has already seen improvements in behavior across the district.

“What we see at schools with really effective PBIS programs, is that we have fewer incidents of low level [aggression] incidents such as defiance and disrespect. We want to create an environment where students feel safe, like [school is] a safe place to go, they don’t have to worry about fights, being threatened, or humiliated,” Comstock said.

According to Comstock, as of the first quarter of the school year, the district’s behavior reports have already shown a decrease in reports of aggression, somewhere between 300 and 400 incidents.

Andrea Valenzuela, the Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) facilitator at THMS, agrees that the program has been effective so far, but notes that there is room for improvement.

“The negative that I heard, is that not all of the teachers are using [the system] on a faithful, regular basis,” Valenzuela said.

Valenzuela however, didn’t mention issues with funding.

While Valenzuela and Comstock support and believe the system is working, junior Grayson Alt sees flaws.

“I think it’s a nice system, but I don’t really think it’s that successful. Nobody enforced the lanyard thing after the first month,” Alt said.

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Positive behavior on campus