Cougar Pride mascot at CES school PBIS assembly
CES students listen to school assembly on positive behavior.

Students can thrive with the best teachers and educational materials, but if a peer starts causing disruptions, learning can suffer.

It could be a class clown, an upset student or a school bully.

Campbellsport teachers are committed to creating and maintaining a positive, safe learning environment where all students can reach their highest potential. Here’s how they’re doing it:

  • This summer, 63 teachers volunteered to take non-violent crisis intervention training. It’s an 8-hour class on how to anticipate and avoid problems, and handle any that arise.
  • This fall, all teachers across the district will practice a system called PBIS or positive behavioral interventions and support. PBIS models and rewards good behavior in all settings, whether it be in he classroom, hallway, bus or play ground. The 2013-14 school year will be the third year PBIS has been used in the elementary schools and the second year at the middle and high schools.
  • Last winter, the 7th and 8th grade faculty helped lead an anti-bullying event, called a Courage Day Retreat, in which students learned how important it was to stand up for themselves and each other to prevent bullying.

Results show such efforts are making a difference

Eden PBIS Paws Pride hallway painting
Eden students win rewards for "Big Paw" goals

“We have seen a decrease in behavioral referrals,” said Judy Hoeppner, district director of curriculum and instruction.  Hallways are quiet, which enhances learning inside the classrooms.

The elementary schools kick off the PBIS program at the start of the school year by having the students tour the building and learn the expectations for behavior in each space. (See chart of rules below this story.) Throughout the year, students get tickets “when staff see them doing something particularly well,” Hoeppner said.

Students reimburse those tickets to win items or activities, from erasers to small group pizza parties, Eden Elementary Principal Mike Ruhl said.  When the entire classroom meets behavior goals — Eden calls them “Big Paw goals” — the class gets to pick a reward like a dress-up day.

“There has been a very positive response to PBIS, and it has achieved our goals in providing an environment that is conducive to learning,” Hoeppner said.

Meanwhile, staff continues to train on the latest, best practices to keep schools safe and positive.

The non-violent crisis intervention training is legally required by the state, but Campbellsport has invested in it as a proactive measure. Many school districts contract with the educational cooperative agency CESA 6 for the training,  but in Campbellsport “we are able to use an in-house expert,” Hoeppner said. Campbellsport Elementary School special education teacher Jenny Vant Hoff is a trained instructor.

Teachers and support staff are trained how to recognize early signs of student agitation or frustration and how to de-escalate it, including what to say to students to help them re-focus.

“We’re going to keep a calm atmosphere that is very safe physically, as well as emotionally,” Hoeppner said. “Then we can really focus on the instruction and student interactions, not student behavior and discipline.”

Last Updated: 1/17/16