Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports
The basic premise of our behavior program is that we want to simultaneously teach and reinforce with our students our standards for behavior in our school. This includes student behaviors in the classroom, in common areas, at recess and on the school bus. The three primary components of this program are:
- Common language and expectations established with the entire school community, communicated regularly with the students.
- Ongoing teaching, reinforcing and reminding students about the expectations and standards for positive behavior.
- Regular recognition of students' efforts in all aspects of their day-to-day behaviors during the school day.
At Meridian, we teach our students to SHINE! SHINE is an acronym for the five behavior expectations that we teach and practice consistently.
S - Strive for Excellence
H- Help Create a Safe Community
I - Include Others
N - Navigate Challenges
E - Embrace Mistakes
We use a token system that rewards students for demonstrating SHINE expectations in all locations throughout the school day including the cafeteria, classroom, hallways and playground. Students will be issued a "Good For You" award for their positive behaviors, and with their teacher's help, they will keep them in their classroom. As students reach their individual goals, they will have an opportunity to 'cash-in' their awards. The rewards are determined by each grade level. These rewards can include an office prize, class reward and recognition from an administrator. Whole classes that exhibit SHINE behavior can earn a "Yahoo!" award. Those are collected and 'cashed-in' for larger class or school-wide prizes such as pajama days. Additionally, teachers select one student per semester to receive the "SHINE Student of the Semester" Award for overall excellence in demonstrating the SHINE expectations. Finally, beginning in January 2021, students will attend a weekly, virtual "Meridian Mustangs' WOW Wednesday" assembly where one SHINE expectation will be reviewed each month and a correlating "Attitude" will be taught. At the end of each month, teachers will select two students from their class that excel in the month's SHINE and Attitude focus to receive our "SHINE'ing Mustangs" Award.
For students who seem to have difficulty remembering our behavior standards, they'll receive a WHOA! form which is simply a reminder that they need to slow down, think before they act, and be safe in our school. Our goal is to promote a safe and orderly atmosphere for learning. These gentle reminders are intended to help students identify an area where they may be struggling to follow the school rules.
This program is in addition to our district-wide discipline policy which is intended for more serious disciplinary offenses. If a student violates a safe schools policy, is extremely disruptive in the classroom, threatens to physically harm (or actually does harm) another student, they will receive a district referral. The discipline matrix located in the back of our student and parent handbook reflects the range of consequences for any such action. If a student receives a discipline referral, the school administration will adhere to our district's due process standard which includes a thorough investigation into the incident. Parents will be notified in the event a discipline referral is written to a student. If parents are unable to be reached by phone, a letter will be sent home with the student explaining the incident.
Classroom Behavioral Standards
Teachers will also be implementing our Positive School-wide Behavior Support System, but each classroom or grade level may have an additional policy explaining in depth the particulars of their policy. We want to work with our students to make sure they know our school-wide and classroom behavioral expectations and each grade level's policy will clearly reflect that philosophy.