Jefferson Elementary School       http://www.rsd.edu/schools/jefferson
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SOAR

You might have heard your child talk about some of the things we have been doing at school. What they are referring to is our new Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Program (PBIS). The PBIS program includes many components. Below you will find definitions of words or phrases your children may have been talking to you about at home. 

SOAR Matrix: At Jefferson Elementary our Eagles SOAR…. S = Safe, O = Organized, A = Act Responsibly, R = be Respectful. As a staff we feel concentrating and teaching your children about these four behaviors will enable them to become better students. 

SOAR Awards: Research states, to change a negative behavior you must have six positive interactions/praises to every negative. To accomplish this, any staff member may give students a SOAR Award when they catch them being SAFE, ORGANIZED, ACTING RESPONSIBILITY, OR BEING RESPECTFUL. One copy of the SOAR Award goes home with the child, and one goes into a weekly grade level drawing. The winner of the grade level drawing eats at a special lunch table and invites two friends to join them on Friday (and gets their picture taken and placed in the hallway by the computer lab). Also, our Specialist Teachers get together once a month and determine which classes have most closely followed our SOAR rules. The primary and intermediate classes chosen get to display an eagle on their door for a month. 

Time to Teach: This is our school wide behavior program. The Time to Teach model emphasizes teaching students behavior expectations while at school. As adults we assume that children know what is expected of them. Instead of assuming, we teach children how to behave in specific situations. 

Teach Tos: Teach Tos are mini lessons on the expected behaviors. For whole school areas such as: hallway, arriving at school, leaving school, bathrooms, playground and cafeteria, the first week of school we held a “Our School Rules Camp”. At Our School Rules Camp, students were taught the appropriate expectations at each area. The Our School Rules Teachers demonstrated negative and almost, but not quite right behaviors so children could observe negative behaviors. Students were asked to demonstrate appropriate behaviors and then they were given time to practice the expected behaviors. In the classrooms teachers have also been presenting Teach To lessons for things such as: raising hands, lining up, sitting, listening, etc. 

Refocus: After teaching the expected behaviors, students are told that if they struggle to perform the expected behaviors, they will be given one prompt to get back on track. After that one prompt, if the student continues the inappropriate or disruptive behavior, the teacher asks themselves these three questions: Can I still teach? Can the students still learn? Can this student still learn? If the answer is no to any one of the three questions, the teacher asks the student to go to refocus. Refocus is a time where students can think about what they need to do to get back on track (by completing a form answering these three questions: What did I do? What do I need to do differently? Am I ready to rejoin the class? The teacher then comes over to the student and discusses the form. When the student feels they are ready, they rejoin the class. Refocus is not a PUNISHMENT. Refocus is an opportunity for the child to fix problem behaviors so they can rejoin the class and learn. 

Friday Academy: When a student receives 3 or more refocuses in a week (class or specials), they are invited to Friday Academy. Friday Academy runs from 2:20 – 3:20 on Friday afternoons. Your child’s classroom teacher will be contacting you in the event that your child needs to attend. Friday Academy gives children the opportunity to complete work missed while in refocus. Parents are responsible for transportation home from Friday Academy. 

As a school we have witnessed the positive impact of our PBIS Program. We have had fewer office referrals and students are thoroughly enjoying the weekly SOAR drawings. This is a great new program which already has the students working hard to “SOAR” like an eagle. 

If you have questions regarding our program, please do not hesitate to talk to your child’s teacher, principal or counselor.