Sixth- and seventh-graders filed into the gymnasium at the temporary Pepperell Middle School on Friday morning for an hour of games, dancing and prizes during the school’s positive behavior intervention and support kickoff.
Most commonly known as PBIS around the school, the system encourages students to do good deeds and in return they receive points which they can redeem for trips and treats, technology teacher Kim Baker said.
“The kids notice when they get those points and focus on their behavior,” she said. “They make more of an effort.”
The school used to give out Dragon Dollars to kids for good behavior, but teachers had to physically carry around the “money” Baker said. Now, the PBIS points are kept on an app for the first time ever, which helps parents and students follow along throughout the year. Teachers can also scan the student’s ID badge if they see them around the school doing good deeds, Baker added.
“That way you don’t even have to be a teacher of the student to give them a reward,” she said.
During the first full week of school, students had been learning about each word in the PBIS program and how it relates to F.I.R.E. — friendly, integrity, respectful/responsible and engaged — which is a Pepperell specific program. The kick-off was meant to cap-off the week’s lesson by having fun.
Pepperell Middle cheerleaders led their classmates in “The Git Up,” “The Cupid Shuffle” and others during the kickoff. The cheerleaders also monitored the “walk around cool” game, which made students jump into groups of two to five at a moment’s notice.
At the end of the kick-off students collected snacks and headed back to their daily schedule in the former McHenry Primary building.