July 19, 2019


DBS on VPR for PBIS DATE: 11-25-2014

November 25, 2014- Dothan Brook School [DBS] has been featured on Vermont Public Radio [VPR] for its award-winning ability to use Positive Behavior Interventions and Support [PBIS] with students.

As a substitute teacher in the district, I had the opportunity to participate in the program during a recent day in a Kindergarten classroom at DBS. When I arrived in the cafeteria for lunch duty, the lead teacher gave me a stack of Otter Bucks and I was tasked with dropping the bucks into cups on each table to reward good lunch room behaviors exhibited by students. I smiled as circled the room and observed students’ attentiveness towards each of us Otter Bucks bankers: they sat up straighter, faced forward with their legs under the table, made eye-contact, smiled, and happily swung their feet while enjoying their lunches and humming along to the music, a particular treat for the day. The remarkable feat? These were K-3rd graders, and no child was left out, wondering where to sit or ostracized for eccentric lunch foods packed by parents, and no one spoke above a standard “indoor voice” level.

Back in the classroom, students were rewarded individually for good naptime behavior; after recess, a couple of students received Otter Bucks for exceptional behavior on the playground.

Although critics of this rewards-based PBIS may worry about kids depending too much upon external versus internal motivating factors, the reality is that DBS students are an intrinsic part of the reward system and thus engage in a process that reinforces their individual choices and builds internal motivation to drive future, positive behavior choices. That is, they are aware of the behavioral expectations in each space, from classroom to playground to gymnasium to auditorium, and when they choose to act accordingly, those good choices are rewarded.

As you reflect on what motivates your own positive behavior choices, listen to the full story on VPR.net at the following link: http://digital.vpr.net/post/be-good-school-and-earn-some-bucks

-Alexis Nelson