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Newport-Mesa Schools Recognized for Positive Behavior and Intervention Systems
Posted 9/30/22

Davis kids coloringAmong the Newport-Mesa Unified School District (NMUSD) priorities is expanding whole child support. As part of this priority, NMUSD schools continue to gain recognition for their commitment to Positive Behavior and Intervention Systems (PBIS), which maximize the social, emotional, and academic success of students by creating a positive school culture. 

PBIS promotes positive behavior, builds character and enhances the decision quality of all students through a multi-tiered approach that applies increasing interventions when behaviors escalate or when lower-level interventions do not result in proper conduct. 

Since 2015, the California Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Coalition has recognized schools throughout the state for their successful implementation of PBIS programs. To receive recognition, schools must create a comprehensive PBIS implementation plan and appropriately use interventions to lower classroom disturbances, discipline issues, office referrals and suspension rates, all of which support increased instructional time, positive school culture and improved academic outcomes.

Schools apply for specific levels of recognition based on their specific PBIS program and data that support positive results. Classroom walk-through visits are conducted by an outside observer, as part of the process to confirm a school’s success in PBIS. 

The California Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Coalition named the following NMUSD schools, as part of their 2022 PBIS recognition program

PBIS Platinum Recognition - The Platinum level is the highest achievement reflecting excellence in the implementation of the core features of PBIS.

  • Corona del Mar High School (CdM) - At the beginning of each year, students and staff collaboratively set positive behavior expectations through classroom discussions and funny do’s and don’ts videos created by students. These videos promote the school’s core values: cultivate integrity, develop resiliency, and model empathy. Positive behavior is also reinforced through postcards from teachers to students, encouraging and celebrating academic success, kindness, empathy, and positive attitude. In the 2021-22 school year, CdM piloted Restorative Circles, which focused on teaching students coping skills. Once a month, the school hosts Student Voices, a community circle discussion during which students meet to discuss topics selected  by them; this empowers students to lead initiatives and actions that address the issues on campus that students can control.

  • Davis Magnet School - Staff work as a collective team to implement tiered levels of support based on specific students’ needs. Behavior expectations are clearly communicated and modeled throughout the year using a variety of tools and positive reinforcements, including videos demonstrating positive behavior expectations, assemblies, read-alouds, social-emotional lessons and positive reinforcements. Reinforcements can include check-in, check-out, where students check-in and check-out with a trusted adult each day, employees on campus also serve as mentors, providing students with motivation, encouragement to reinforce positive student behaviors. They also offer a student leader mentorship program. Davis has previously been recognized at the Gold and Silver levels and earned Community Cares Recognition in 2020.

  • Early College High School - Students and staff at Early College developed a Behavior Matrix that outlines student behavior expectations. Students are recognized throughout the school year with Outstanding Citizenship Awards and the GOTCHA program, through which a staff member writes a positive referral on students who exemplify one of the school’s six pillars of character (caring, citizenship, fairness, respect, responsibility and trustworthiness) that is announced weekly. This program is used to help recognize students at the end-of-year “Character Counts” Awards. Though it’s a focus throughout the year, ECHS hosts a Let’s Be Kind day, for which all students and staff are encouraged to wear Let’s Be Kind shirts given to them by the administration. This is the second time Early College has earned Platinum Recognition status; the school received Bronze Recognition in 2017 and 2018, as well as Community Cares Recognition in 2020.

NHHS students studyingPBIS Gold Recognition

  • Lincoln Elementary School - The school’s values include respect for others, own your actions, always do your best, be responsible and show empathy (ROARS). When students display positive behavior, they earn ROARS tickets, which are entered into opportunity drawings for students to win teacher experiences, certificates to local restaurants, chances to take photos with their friends in the Lincoln photo booth, and other activities throughout the year. Classrooms also reinforce positive behavior expectations through lessons, projects and collaborative assignments, such as working together to develop a classroom charter, reading stories aligned with ROARS focus areas, and participating in class meetings to build positive relationships among students and staff. Lincoln also hosts special assemblies and presentations focused on maintaining these values. This is Lincoln’s second Gold Recognition, having previously been recognized at the Silver and Bronze levels; the school received Community Cares Recognition in 2020.

PBIS Silver Recognition

  • Adams Elementary School - The motto at Adams is “Work hard and be kind,” and that is reinforced by the school’s PBIS matrix. The staff developed the STAR rewards system, which recognizes students who meet the expectations of Safety first, There and ready, Act responsibly, and Respect everyone. They also developed mentorship programs, and host regular meetings and classes to support students who may need extra support to develop these skills and characteristics. Monthly discussion meetings help educators determine which students need more support and the best practices for facilitating the development of quality citizens. Adams has appeared on the PBIS Silver Recognition list three other times, as well as the Bronze list in 2016.
  • Killybrooke Elementary School - The Killybrooke staff works diligently to foster core behavioral expectations, which are taught, modeled and frequently reviewed with the intent that all students can be successful at demonstrating positive behaviors. This is the fifth time Killybrooke has been recognized with Silver status; the school earned Bronze Recognition in 2016 and Community Cares Recognition in 2020.

  • Mariners Elementary School - Mariners kicks off its school year with a “Smart Start” assembly to promote the schoolwide expectations matrix, which is visible throughout campus and taught by teachers in the classrooms. Teachers have committed to morning meetings with students, as well as daily check-ins. Students are also rewarded for positive behavior with Mariners Pride Slips, which are awarded at weekly Flag Deck assemblies; those who demonstrate outstanding character are awarded Student of the Month at Flag Deck. Mariners had previously earned Bronze Recognition in 2017.

  • Newport Harbor High School - The school offers a variety of specialized programs aimed at ensuring students are supported at all levels. The school also has a SAILOR PRIDE initiative, which encourages students to be Scholarly, Artistic, Interconnected, Leaders, Outstanding, Responsible, Persistent, Respectful, Innovative, Diligent and Enlightened. 

PBIS Bronze Recognition

  • Whittier Elementary School  - Through the Whittier PRIDE (Personal Best, Respect, “I am college and career ready,” Determination, and Excellence) model, students are taught specific lessons on how to interact throughout the campus. These specific lessons include how students should demonstrate Whittier PRIDE in designated areas around the campus such as the playground, cafeteria, learning zone and restrooms, as well as how students should behave during arrival/dismissal, with technology and at assemblies. Positive student behavior is reinforced with PRIDE slips, which can be redeemed for an opportunity to win a prize. During each week’s Flag Deck Assembly, students are recognized for exemplary behavior by selecting raffle winners, and each month, teachers select a student who demonstrates one of the PRIDE character traits. This is Whittier’s third year earning Bronze recognition.

Since the PBIS recognition program’s inception, 26 NMUSD schools have been recognized. All NMUSD schools implement PBIS to help support positive school culture and the holistic development of students.