Northwest Local School District is proud to announce that Taylor Elementary is the recipient of the Ohio Department of Education’s (ODE) 2020 Ohio PBIS Bronze Recognition Award. Schools across the state were recognized for the support and intervention practices they put in place for students using the Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) framework for the 19-20 school year.
While this is Taylor Elementary’s first time being awarded for their PBIS model, the work being carried out within the school has been taking place for quite some time. For Lori Riehle, Principal of Taylor, making sure that students feel and understand that they are socially and emotionally supported is key. “From the moment our students walk into the door our staff is checking in with our students to help them acknowledge, address and overcome the social and emotional challenges that they face daily,” said Riehle. “We find that students come to school with so many things on their minds that often impacts their ability to learn. Our staff understands the importance of helping our students get into a good space emotionally before learning can really happen.”
On a typical morning, students start the day in their classrooms by acknowledging how they feel using weather to identify their mood. Students can choose from sunny, partly cloudy, cloudy or stormy. This method of identification allows teachers to better understand how the student identifies emotionally, the best way to interact with the student throughout the day and it allows students an opportunity to share what they are experiencing and feeling. “This type of communication is imperative for both teachers and students,” said Riehle. “Our teaching staff is also encouraged to share how they are feeling using the weather strips as well. It is essential that our students understand how to engage with their teachers that day. We have found that this type of dialogue helps to foster a culture of empathy.”
For Taylor Elementary, creating a system of positive and proactive support starts with pulling together a team of staff members across all grade levels. The team meets regularly to review behavioral data, problem solve, and monitor the positive practices and reward systems in place to create a climate of support and prevent behaviors which interfere with students’ learning opportunities. It starts with establishing and communicating clear expectations and taking the time each day to review, practice, and discuss the reason behind the expectations with students, staff, and families. At Taylor, this team is headed up by Mimi Pierce, School Psychologist and PBIS Building Coordinator. “Over the past couple years we have developed several supports to help students learn the importance of self-regulation and to encourage and reward students who implement what they learn.” said Pierce.
These systems include monthly bulletin board posts to acknowledge exceptional student work, student shout outs on the daily announcements, and the chance for a student from each classroom to earn something from the Wheel of Prizes for following expectations. These systems are not just limited to in-person learners, but include those who are working remotely from home. This year, the Taylor staff recognized the students who consistently engage in online learning by creating yard signs that read “This Taylor Tiger is virtually unstoppable!” Teachers then went to each student's home to present them with the yard sign and to congratulate them on their hard work. “Our students were so surprised and excited to see their teachers in person acknowledging their hard work. These types of out-of-the box ideas have really proven to be a motivator for students to keep striving for greatness. It is very important to us that our students participating remotely know they are still a part of the Taylor Family,” said Pierce.
Taylor Elementary PBIS Team
Yard Signs Created For Remote Learners
"This Taylor Tiger is virtually unstoppable!”