Henrico schools expanding student positive support initiative

The goal is to make students feel valued and acknowledged so they perform better in class.
Published: Sep. 28, 2022 at 5:08 PM EDT
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HENRICO, Va. (WWBT) - Henrico County Public Schools is implementing a student support system in more than half of its learning facilities.

It’s called the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support (PBIS) framework. The goal is to make students feel valued and acknowledged so they perform better in class.

This behavioral framework is not necessarily new to Henrico schools, but school leaders say they see successful results, and that’s why they’re now expanding it across the school division.

Fairfield Middle School Principal Gena Jones says the focus is to reward students for following rules rather than punishing those who break them.

“By making them feel special, making them feel welcomed and accepted, that’s how we know they’ll achieve greatness,” said Gena Jones. She says her students are rewarded for demonstrating good behavior.

“For going above and beyond in the classroom, or being nice to a peer, helping out the teacher,” said Gena Jones.

Each school across Henrico honors students in its fashion.

At Fairfield, it’s a positive phone call home, a shoutout on the morning announcements, pizza parties and “rise tickets” to the school store.

“Our rise tickets are color-coated by grade level and are awarded to our students by our teachers, administrators, or any adult on campus,” Gena Jones said.

One ticket earns a free snack or school item. She says they’ve given out over three hundred tickets since the school year started.

District-wide, Henrico School’s Student Support and Wellness Specialist Dr. Matthew Jones say they’ve seen an overall increase in student attendance and a drop in disciplinary write-ups over the last year.

“Establishing that culture of appreciation and excellence is crucial,” Dr. Matthew Jones said.

Dr. Jones says 51 Henrico Schools currently implement PBIS. He says the school division’s goal is to have all 74 learning facilities adopt this behavioral framework by 2024.