A new store at Fremont High School allows students to reap the benefits of simply doing their part to be responsible, respectful and safe while in the classroom.
The FPS Positive Behavior Interventions and Support Program (PBIS) added a new incentive program by way of a PBIS Store.
The PBIS Store allows students to redeem tickets earned in the classroom to collect a variety of prizes like snacks, school supplies, gift cards and other incentives.
“It works kind of like an arcade store,” Special Education Teacher Julie Mann said. “We have different items that are worth certain amounts of tickets and then they can use those tickets to purchase those items. “
Mann’s special education students work behind the counter at the PBIS Store — which is open for about two hours over the lunch period every other Friday — exchanging tickets for various items including everything from potato chips to nail polish to having the principal making a positive call home to the students’ parents.
“Not everything is a tangible item—and we are learning as we go what items sell and what items don’t,” she said. “We’ve added some cosmetic items, hygiene products, snack items go really fast. We also sell homecoming tickets, reserved parking—and even allow students to leave class a few minutes early with teacher permission.”
Along with working behind the counter, Mann’s students also receive tickets and are also regular customers at the store.
She added that her students’ alternative curriculum creates more opportunities for her to award students with tickets — compared to student in general classes at FHS — and that she rewards tickets for a variety of positive student behaviors.
“The kids get tickets whenever they do something above and beyond —if they help someone out, or help clean up a mess or they just do something that is not general stuff,” she said. “A lot of our specific curriculum is focused on developing life skills — working on maturity and independence.”
Mann said the implementation of the PBIS Store has been a learning process, but the program has already created positive learning experiences for her students — through both the awarding of tickets and their involvement learning how to interact with other students when working behind the counter.
“This is brand new, so we are still figuring it out as we go,” she said. “But it is definitely worth the experimentation and is a good extension of the PBIS program so far.”
PBIS was introduced to the FPS district in 2014 when it was awarded an annual federally funded, approximately $750,000 School Climate Transformation Grant.
The objective of the five-year, $750,000 per-year grant, was to keep students safe while improving their overall learning environment in kindergarten through 12th grade as part of the PBIS program.
PBIS is an evidence-based, data-informed process that works to increase student achievement, school attendance and school success while decreasing negative student behaviors.
The ultimate goal is to create more effective learning environments for students, and staff as a whole, by working with teachers to monitor and support the PBIS system, which instills in students the ideals of being responsible, respectful and safe.
“PBIS is essentially a framework for student supports,” FHS PBIS Coach Kody Christensen said. “It’s all about instructional practices that create preventative, proactive and supportive learning environments for students. Really it’s trying to encourage positive behaviors by creating environments that decrease opportunities for students to exhibit inappropriate behavior.”
Christensen said the creation of the FHS PBIS Store — and corresponding tickets that are used to purchase items at the store — is more about incentivizing teachers to have positive interactions with their students and less about “bribing students with prizes.”
“The ticket is really just a reminder for staff members to have some sort of positive interaction with students — and with that interaction being really specific about what it is they appreciate about what the student did, or how the student is behaving or how the student is taking control of their learning and their actions,” he said. “The students’ being able to use the tickets is just an added bonus.”