Principal Hart has announced that the school has introduced an incentive program that will award “Bulldog Bucks” for positive behavior and academic performance.
Here is Dr. Hart’s email explaining the program, with light edits to add formatting.
Garfield High School has introduced a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system known as Bulldogs Bucks. This is part of our existing Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and operates as a Tier 1 universal intervention targeting all students.
What is MTSS?
Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a framework we are building at Garfield to make sure all students get the help they need to succeed in school. Think of it like a three-tiered cake, where each layer offers a different level of support:
- Tier 1: This is the base layer and is for everyone. Here, we focus on teaching good behavior and academic skills that every student needs. It’s like the foundation of the cake that supports everything above it. The Bulldogs Bucks program falls under this tier, which means it’s for all students and aims to encourage good behavior and academic achievement across the board.
- Tier 2: This middle layer is for students who might need a little extra help. If some kids are struggling even after getting the support from Tier 1, they can get additional resources here.
- Tier 3: The top layer is for students who need specialized, one-on-one help to succeed.
So, when we say Bulldogs Bucks is a “Tier 1 universal intervention,” what we mean is that it’s a program designed to benefit everyone in the school. It’s part of the foundational support to help all students do well academically and behave positively.
How do Students Get Bulldog Bucks?
Staff can award Bulldogs Bucks to students based on several criteria. These include achieving high scores of 85% or above on tests, projects, and other assessments. They can also be awarded for demonstrating good behavior in class such as maintaining focus, completing classwork on time, and participating constructively in discussions. Additionally, students showing leadership skills or positively influencing their peers can also earn bucks.
What are Bulldog Bucks Used for?
Once students earn Bulldogs Bucks, they can exchange them for various rewards. A prize menu will outline the different types of individual and group rewards available. These rewards are designed to be meaningful and aligned with promoting further positive behavior. Bucks cannot be deducted once awarded, and they must be handed out in increments of one to keep the system fair and consistent.
Why Is It Important?
The PBIS system aims to achieve three primary objectives:
- To boost academic performance by providing a tangible reward system for high achievement.
- To improve the general classroom environment by positively reinforcing desired behaviors.
- To foster a more supportive and cohesive school culture by recognizing and promoting leadership skills and positive peer interaction.
Parents can support this initiative by discussing Bulldogs Bucks with their children, reinforcing the importance of the positive behaviors that are being rewarded, and encouraging them to participate fully in the program.
Evaluation and Adjustments
Data will be collected to regularly assess the impact of the Bulldogs Bucks program on academic performance, behavior, and school culture. This will allow for any necessary adjustments to be made to ensure the program’s continued effectiveness.