School Faculty Celebrates ‘Twistin’ Good’ Behavior

Bush Elementary School is using a “twist” to reward positive behavior. You can’t walk down a hallway at Bush School without seeing staff members complimenting a student on their good behavior. With Twistin’ Good tickets, a Good Behavior Staff Team and rewards such as having the opportunity to read to someone special, Bush School staff is working hard to create a fun, positive atmosphere within their entire school.

The school has put into action PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports), which is an organized, data-driven system of interventions, strategies and supports that positively impact school-wide and individual behaviors.

“PBIS focuses more on the positive behaviors, rather than the negative,” said Bush Elementary School first-grade teacher and PBIS Coach, Amanda Sischo. “If you compare behavioral expectations to reading expectations, students have to be taught how to read. They also have to be taught how to behave in a respectful, responsible and peaceful manner in order to become good citizens. With help of Bush School staff, students are directly taught how to behave in the classroom, cafeteria, restroom, hallway, in an assembly and on the bus. By catching these positive behaviors building-wide and throughout the day, students become excited to be recognized and rewarded for “doing the right thing’ at school.”

Students love the Twistin’ Good tickets, which recognize either an individual student or a classroom for “doing the right thing.” Tickets can be earned in many ways, for example, helping a friend or walking quietly in the hallway. Each week, students are recognized in their homerooms with a random drawing. The more Twistin’ Good tickets a student receives during the week, the better his or her chance to win a weekly classroom reward, which are non-tangible incentives. Student rewards include: becoming a teacher’s helper for a day, assisting the custodian, helping with morning announcements or a positive call home. Each month, the winning classroom also receives a special surprise like a recent visit by Superintendent Tim Mains to read a book and have an informal conversation with the class.

Bush School holds monthly Behavior Celebration Assemblies where the entire student body and teachers are recognized for “doing the right thing.” At a recent assembly, the staff performed the “Thriller” dance to the excitement of the students. Along with a special treat for the whole school, another 20-30 names, both students and staff, are pulled from a bucket to receive a special reward often donated by the local community. Recent donations have included backpacks stuffed with school supplies, books or a BPU donation of yo-yos.

The Bush School Twistin’ Good Behavior Team consists of staff representatives from the entire school. The team meets once a month to collect and analyze behavioral data for the entire building. If the team notes behaviors that need support, they will focus on those particular behaviors and flood the area with Twistin’ Good tickets to reward the positive. Special thanks to the Bush School Twistin’ Good Behavior Team who have worked hard to make the program a success: Amanda Sischo (PBIS coach), Dan Bracey (principal), Vicky Connor (kindergarten), Laurel Schwartz (second grade), Mary Neuman-Ceminilli (third grade), Tiffany MacCallum (fourth grade), Lori Messina (special education), Beth Wilfong (paraprofessionals), Gina Cusimano (school counselor) and Gary Schaffer (psychologist).