Fort Dodge Middle School, in its first year of existence, is operating under Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. PBIS is a positive school-wide focus on behavior for students and staff. Research has shown it is much more effective for adults to spend time acknowledging the positive things students are doing, than to only point out negative behaviors using punitive measures.
At FDMS, we follow the 4 B’s: Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Safe. These are the same four expectations that the early learning center and all four elementary schools in Fort Dodge use, so we are building consistent language throughout the district. PBIS helps students and staff understand what it means and looks like to follow the 4 B’s in all areas of the school: classrooms, hallways, restrooms, cafeteria, and even on the bus.
Once the students are taught behavior expectations, staff work to “catch students being good” or following the expectations by handing out Dodger Slips at FDMS and Buzz Slips at the lower grade levels. Students receive slips for following the 4 B’s during the school day. At FDMS once a student receives a Dodger Slip, their name is entered into a drawing for prizes such as: local gift certificates, ice cream or other small treats. PBIS drawing winners get to have their name read over the intercom or during a school assembly so that they are recognized by their peers for their positive behavior. Students are not the only ones who win during PBIS drawings either, 6 FDMS staff names are drawn to give away rewards such as: a preferred parking spot, a bottle of pop, an extra day to wear blue jeans or a chance to have the principal teach your class for 30 minutes.
It is the goal of PBIS to focus on positive things with behavior, use positive language when speaking about behavior, and always try to refer back to our 4 B’s: Be Kind, Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe so that students all hear a common language. We understand that in order to mold our middle school students into future productive and caring citizens, we need to incorporate teachings that address behavior, social skills and character education. PBIS offers a framework for our students and staff to work through that process.