Voices from the Field: Paw Passes, Paw Bucks, and Positivity!

Submitted by: Nichelle Woodson and Tanya Fleeting, Administrators, Jumoke Academy

Here at Jumoke Academy at The Hartford Conservatory, we are diligently working to keep the “P” in PBIS! We have started two new incentive programs this year; Paw Bucks and Paw Passes. Paw Bucks are part of our system of recognition and feedback where scholars receive “bucks” when they demonstrate “Jag Swag,” the name given to our core values of Being Respectful, Being Responsible, and Being Safe. Paw Bucks are redeemable for various prizes and incentives by both scholars and staff members. The response to this system has been overwhelmingly positive! Scholars and staff members feel valued and appreciated because of the focus on positive behavior and hard work. At Jumoke Academy at The Hartford Conservatory, we know the importance of not only teaching positive behaviors and promoting quality effort by all community members, but also, recognize the necessity to acknowledge all who consistently and positively contribute to our school community.

Much of what is done in schools is informed by data. Our school leadership team is constantly analyzing our behavioral data. After looking at the data and in response to tremendous amount of unnecessary hallway and bathroom traffic, we decided to pilot a new incentive program called Paw Passes. With this structure, scholars are given a specified amount of passes a month that allows them to leave the classroom for a variety of reasons for a pre-determined amount of time each month; scholars with individual plans are given extra paw passes to accommodate their needs. Each individual pass is worth 5 Paw Bucks and passes that are not used can be redeemed at a monthly auction. The auction features tangible prizes, as well as, incentives such a “Principal for the Day,” private lunch with friends, and access to the Jag-Swag lounge. The lounge offers scholars a foosball table, a gaming system, music, and other appealing activities.

As we pilot these new incentive programs we expect to not only see a change in the amount of undesired behaviors, but also a change in scholar and staff morale. Authentically appreciating our scholars and staff allows for them to know they are respected and valued, which in turn will increase the likelihood they will invest more in their work. These are just two highlights showing how we are keeping the “P” in PBIS!

Published: January 11, 2016