PBIS in rural areas

Posted on 20 Jan 2009 in School Behavior | Comments Off on PBIS in rural areas

I was at a wonderful K-12 school in rural northern Arizona two weeks ago. They have been planning PBIS this school year and struggling somewhat to get buy-in from all staff.

Route 66 sign

Route 66 sign

Part of the reluctance to buy-in to yet another program is the track record we have in education for jumping onto bandwagons. This is especially problematic in districts with a high administration turn over. Although no school is immune from turn over, rural and low income schools are especially at-risk. At this school in particular, there have been numerous administrations with each one brining their own ideas and program to this small comminity. As the only school in the region serving students from up to an hour’s bus ride away, there are a lot of problems to overcome in bringing the community together.

For this school, the high school teachers were perceived to be reluctant to jump on board to PBIS. However, once the system was fully explained and the benefits to the whole school pointed out, the high school teachers were the first to embrace the concept of PBIS and contribute to implementation ideas.

As this is a rural school with a cowboy culture, the high school teachers thought that the PBIS expectations of Caring, Respect, and Responsibility could best be embodied by a branding iron logo showing CR2. This graphic will be the corner stone to sell the concept of PBIS to the students and the community. Because this idea came from the teachers and not the administration or an outside expert like myself, this bottom up development of PBIS certainly has potential for sustainability.

I wish this school luck in continuing with their Action Plan and implimenting the ideas they have for PBIS in their school.