In recent years, districts across the nation have been making policies to ensure that bullying within schools is under control. Because of MISD’s district policies, two students have been inspired to create a “treatment agreement” for their schoolmates to sign.
At Roberta Tipps Elementary School, two second grade students wrote a letter to their principal wanting to create a school-wide pact to treat their peers with kindness.
“They took it upon themselves to generalize what they’ve been learning in their class to the whole school,” said Cristina Hernandez, principal at Roberta Tipps Elementary. “I couldn’t say no to that! That’s a teacher’s dream! So, I had them create a poster, I blew it up for them, and we went around school and had everyone sign it.”
This agreement includes four quadrants which include how students will treat their teacher, how teachers will treat their students, how students will treat each other and how everyone will treat the materials in the classroom.
“As a class, they agree upon expectations and rules for each,” said Hernandez. “Everyone signs the agreement, and it is posted in the class and referred to often.”
As an incentive, the teachers give students they see displaying great behavior a “golden ticket.” This enters them in a chance to win prizes such as an extra recess, a dance party or other treats.
The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) initiative is a district-wide initiative that began this year. Its goal is to improve social, emotional and academic outcomes for students.
“We have developed school-wide behavior expectations for all students by using common vocabulary and expectations,” said Hernandez. “In the hallway, all Jr. Jags strive to be PAWSome by being respectful, responsible, and safe by walking on the right hand side of the hall, with eyes forward and a voice level zero.”
The staff at Roberta Tipps Elementary wants to teach students the Golden Rule which is to treat others how you want to be treated.
“We want our students to be caring, empathetic, verbal, and positive,” said Hernandez. “We must do our part to teach them how to interact and socialize appropriately. We must teach them to accept all no matter their differences.”