Middle school highlights PBS plan

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— Administrators and teachers from Steamboat Springs Middle School gave a presentation highlighting the Positive Behavior Support plan during Monday's School Board meeting.

Assistant Principal Jerry Buelter offered reasons for PBS' implementation.

"We are looking at increasing positive behavior in school rather than look at the negative," Buelter said.

The idea behind PBS is to be proactive when teaching students what is acceptable and unacceptable behavior instead of waiting for problems to arise. The plan is to reward students for positive behavior instead of focusing on negative behavior.

"Teaching expectations and rewarding students for following them is more positive than waiting for a problem to occur before responding," Buelter noted during his presentation.

Heidi Chapman-Hoy, a middle school teacher, is a staunch supporter of the plan and highlighted the need for a student to have the chance to openly reflect on his or her inappropriate behavior.

The students adopted the "Know the Code" moniker, tying in to the popular motto at the Steamboat Ski Area.

Buelter acknowledged more than 80 percent of middle school students understand proper behavior, and he was hopeful that the 15 percent who experience consistent behavioral problems with his or her peers and teachers would be identified and helped to change.

The middle school is the only district school following PBS, and teacher Sally Howard expressed the middle school's desire to be sanctioned by the Colorado Department of Education, which supports PBS. In order to do that, at least one district school would have to get on board with PBS.

"We want to be sanctioned by the CDE," Howard said. "If we are sanctioned, CDE will provide training for coaches. It would be really helpful for us."

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