WAPS elementary schools receive statewide PBIS recognition

Students smile on the steps outside of W-K elementary

Mrs. Rivers class at W-K Elementary was rewarded for their positive behavior with extra recess. 

Winona Area Public Schools elementary students have been dedicated to being respectful, responsible and safe for the past three years. 

Their hard work is now being recognized on a statewide level.

The three elementary schools in WAPS — Washington-Kosciusko, Jefferson and Goodview — were each recognized as a 2022 Sustaining Exemplar Cohort School by the Minnesota Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Leadership Team. 

The Minnesota PBIS Sustaining Exemplar Recognition recognizes schools that are implementing, sustaining and achieving positive outcomes through PBIS. Each school filled out an application that required outcome data, action plans, sustainability efforts and more. 

Goodview students pose with their principal

PBIS was first implemented at the elementary level in WAPS in the 2019-2020 school year and has grown in popularity among students, staff and teachers. PBIS is an approach for helping schools select and organize evidence-based behavioral interventions that enhance outcomes for all students. The underlying theme is to teach behavioral expectations in the same way schools teach academic subjects.

When students regularly meet behavior expectations, the celebrations begin. Students are rewarded with orange “Way to Go” tickets, or called to the principal’s office on a “Positive Office Referral.” There are classroom-wide awards as well, which leads to students encouraging one another to meet behavior expectations. These classroom awards can be redeemed for things like extra recess, popcorn parties and more. 

Each school also regularly recognizes staff members, which models for students that it is important to recognize and celebrate all of the people in our lives who are promoting good behaviors.

As of August 2021, 829 Minnesota schools were in training or completed the two-year cohort training. W-K, Jefferson and Goodview were three of the 46 schools statewide to be recognized as a Sustaining Exemplar Cohort School.