PBIS at McMillan Elementary
McMillan’s Child-Centered Approach
McMillan Elementary staff and faculty keep the well-being of children at the core of all we do. We celebrate parents and guardians as collaborators in meeting the needs of students and strive to build strong lines of communication between home and school. Our school seeks to celebrate the diversity of our school community and to positively represent this diversity in our school environment, curriculum, and communications. We believe that healthy relationships provide a critical foundation for supporting positive behaviors at school and that all students can succeed academically, socially and emotionally.
It is normal and natural for students to need different levels of support to be successful at school, and we additionally recognize that these needs change over time for each student. McMillan Elementary uses a 3-tiered approach to supporting positive student behavior
Tier 1: School-wide efforts that reach every student. These efforts clarify expectations, build a shared language and strengthen the school community. Examples of these efforts at McMillan include: rallies to build student buy-in to school rules and positive behaviors, posters to remind students of behavioral norms, and acknowledgement and rewards for positive behaviors.
Tier 2: Small-group and classroom level efforts. This may include participating in small group activities with our social workers, participating in class point system rewards with a teacher, working with a teacher on a behavioral intervention in the classroom to address mild-moderate risk factors
Tier 3: Structured and comprehensive individualized support for students with high-risk behaviors.
Celebrating Great Choices
McMillan uses school-wide PBIS strategies to acknowledge and celebrate the positive choices that students make at school. Staff and Faculty use red tickets to acknowledge positive behaviors. New for the 21-22 school year, students have the opportunity to ‘spend’ these tickets to participate in fun activities with members of the McMillan Student Services team. The tickets also serve as entries into classroom raffles for the Principal’s 200 Club, where students get to participate in fun activities at school without having to spend their saved red tickets. Our focus on rewarding students with experiences and activities is intended to provide an authentic acknowledgement of positive behaviors and also to strengthen student relationships with each other and with other members of the school community.
Monthly awards ceremonies also recognize students for achievement, growth and positive behavior. Grade level assemblies are used to review behavioral expectations and to publicly acknowledge students from each classroom with the following awards:
- Mighty Mathematician
- Mighty Citizen
- Mighty Effort
- Mighty Reader
Teachers also monitor student progress on LexiaCore5, LexiaPowerUp and Zearn, and provide students with certificates of achievement as they are earned. Students also have the opportunity to be additionally recognized at a special awards ceremony in May that highlights special achievements and service to the community.
Student Services Team
Our school uses a collaborative approach to supporting student success with academics, behavior, and students’ overall social and emotional well-being. McMillan’s Student Services Team meets regularly to evaluate the use of data-driven strategies for supporting at-risk students and, when appropriate, refers students for additional support from the Special Education team. The Student Services team analyzes school-wide attendance and behavior data in order to strategically support the culture and climate within the school.
Restorative Practices and Student Discipline
McMillan Elementary believes that our students and community genuinely care for each other and want to treat each other with respect. The school uses a community-oriented restorative approach to support students in conflict or in need of behavioral support. This helps us to improve school climate and strengthen the skills students need to learn cooperatively and collaboratively and also allows the school to focus on the underlying reasons for hurtful or disruptive behaviors that occur. Behavioral supports such as check-in/check-out, counseling or Wellness Center visits are frequently used to support students experiencing challenging behavior patterns.
Students at McMillan are engaged in reflecting on challenging behaviors and resolve their conflicts using the following restorative questioning process:
- What happened?
- What were you thinking about at the time?
- What have you thought about since?
- Who has been affected by what you have done?
- What do you need to do to make things right?
Teachers also engage in community-building activities in the classroom to strengthen relationships and build respect and empathy among the students.
Student safety is central to our school discipline processes. While punitive approaches to discipline such as suspension and detention are largely avoided, there are occasions when a disruption or elevated threat to student well-being merits some time for students and classrooms to experience a calming separation. If a calming separation is required, teachers work within the classroom community to ensure that students are welcomed back at the end of their separation without stigma or suspicion.
McMillan Elementary’s Wellness Center provides a relaxed space for students, families, teachers and staff to receive social, emotional and behavioral support from trained professionals. The Wellness Center staff provides crisis counseling, developmentally-appropriate intervention groups for anxiety, friendship and cooperation skills, self-esteem, sportsmanship skills and other topics as needs arise. The staff also provide ongoing individualized counseling for students in need. Please contact the school if you would like to speak with someone about counseling or behavioral intervention services for your child.
Social and Emotional Learning (SEL)
Building strong, resilient children who care for themselves, their families and communities is at the core of McMillan’s values. Time for Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) is built into the school’s master schedule and teachers engage students with weekly lessons that support perspective-taking, empathy, processing emotions, understanding and resolving conflicts, and building positive relationships. Teachers provide lessons using the SecondStep program, which is research and evidence-based, and thoughtfully supports our values of embracing diversity, equity and inclusion. With the SecondStep program’s support for improving cooperation, communication, and decision-making, it is a valuable tool for providing students with a framework for developing skills in a world where emotional intelligence is critical for lifelong happiness, successful careers, and healthier relationships.You can learn more about the SecondStep program on their website (https://www.secondstep.org/).
Child Abuse Prevention
McMillan Elementary partners with Prevent Child Abuse Utah (PCAU) to provide students with developmentally-appropriate education in order to support them in identifying, avoiding and reporting physical, emotional and sexual abuse. PCAU also offers many valuable resources for parents and community members in order to help protect children. The full range of services and resources can be found on their website (https://pcautah.org/).
Substance Abuse Prevention
McMillan Elementary has an exciting partnership with the Murray City Police Department to support students with drug resistance skills that help them to build effective defenses against pressures to use tobacco, alcohol and other drugs. Officers visit our students in the fifth grade to provide lessons using the Botvin LifeSkills curriculum. Please review the Botvin LifeSkill website (https://www.lifeskillstraining.com/botvin-lifeskills-training-elementary-school-program/) to review the program’s alignment with SEL competencies and program evaluation studies.
Students at McMillan also celebrate healthy, drug-free lifestyle choices during our annual Red Ribbon Week in October. Fun school-wide events, guest speakers and drive-by parades from our local first responders help to make this special school celebration. If you would like to participate in planning or sponsoring Red Ribbon Week events, please reach out to the McMillan PTA for opportunities to get involved.
All students at McMillan Elementary receive support in the development of digital citizenship and safety. Students participate each year in lessons on developmentally appropriate topics such as Media Balance & Well-Being, Privacy & Security, DIgital Footprint & Identity, Relationships & Communications, Cyberbullying, Digital Drama & Hate Speech, and News & Media Literacy. These lessons can be viewed on the Common Sense Education web page (https://www.commonsense.org/education/digital-citizenship).