At Northwest Chinese Academy, we are always striving to improve our students’ school experience, whether through big school-wide improvements such as our move to the new campus, or on a smaller level such as when our teachers adjust their teaching style and materials for the benefit of the school.
An important improvement being adopted next school year are the Phoenix Values, a set of school-wide behavioral expectations that will replace our current school rules. There are four Phoenix Values and each has a corresponding Chinese Character:
- Be Kind 仁
- Be Responsible义
- Be Courteous礼
- Be Safe 安
NWCA’s “Phoenix Values” is what we call our version of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), and these rules are the end product of a yearlong process involving NWCA teachers, NWCA administrators and an outside PBIS expert from Portland State University. In advance of our Phoenix Values Coffee Hour tomorrow afternoon, here is a primer on PBIS and what it means for your child’s education.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is described as a school-wide, proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports needed for all students to achieve social, emotional and academic success.
(adapted from understood.org)
“At its heart, PBIS calls on schools to teach kids about behavior, just as they would teach about any other subject—like reading or math. PBIS recognizes that kids can only meet behavior expectations if they know what the expectations are. A hallmark of a school using PBIS is that everyone knows what’s appropriate behavior. Throughout the school day—in class, at lunch and on the playground — kids understand what’s expected of them.”
(read more here:https://www.understood.org/en/learning-attention-issues/treatments-approaches/educational-strategies/pbis-how-schools-support-positive-behavior)
Instead of using school rules that educate students on the incorrect behavior in a given situation, PBIS looks to teach social and behavioral norms, so that students are learning what they should be doing instead of what they shouldn’t. School rules that are framed by “don’t” do not educate students on the correct behavior in a given situation; they only educate the student on one specific behavior that is inappropriate.
While many of our students already meet and exceed the expectations that Phoenix Values sets out, by teaching all students what are the proper social and behavioral expectations in different school settings, we are providing the support needed to be productive, engaged, safe, students, which improves educational outcomes as well as the general school environment.
As put by our Upper English specialist, Ms. W, co-team leader of the Phoenix Values Team:
“Phoenix Values (NWCA PBIS) allows us to build a community culture with the core principle that every child can thrive when they’re fully supported. Phoenix Values is an equitable behavioral system that relies on prevention through learning rather than reactionary discipline. Preventing behavior problems helps us maintain a safe and engaging learning environment where everyone feels valued. It takes some of the stress out of classroom management and frees teachers up to do what we’d rather be doing: teach.”
Our staff is excited about Phoenix Values and we want our parents to be, too! Bring all of your questions to our coffee hour on Thursday, May 2 at 3:00 p.m.!