Saturday, January 14, 2017

Riding Referral Free - PBIS on the bus

Is your school a PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) school?  Does your school struggle with a high number of bus referrals?  My school is a PBIS school and 4 years ago bus referrals had us scratching our heads.

In the summer of 2013 my school's PBIS team, of which I am a member, met to discuss our yearly goals and initiatives.  Looking at our referral data from the previous year we noticed a high number of bus referrals.  To be specific, there were 98.  This may not seem like a lot to you, but for our school it was a hot spot.  We wanted to do something to decrease the number of bus referrals.  We discussed prizes for the buses that went without for a month, but that would be difficult to coordinate, and we were trying to get away from prizes for simple good behavior.  Thus "Riding Referral Free" was born!

We came up with the idea that we would use a thermometer and fill in for each day that the entire bus went without a referral.  If a referral happened on the bus the entire thermometer was reset and started again at zero.  I volunteered to create the display, and maintain it.  It looked something like this (I don't have an actual picture 😣)

The posters were laminated so I could fill them in each day with a white board marker.  Every time the bus reached 30 it would get a star at the top, and I'd start coloring in again from the bottom. I spent some time going to each class to explain how it worked.  I also made sure I was out at the display during dismissal coloring in the bars as a visual reminder to students to behave on the bus.  

I remember one day a student who was frequently getting bus referrals walked by as I was erasing and resetting their bus back to zero after they had a received a referral.  They asked me why I had to erase them all, and I said "Well, someone on this bus got a referral, so we start counting back at zero." The student said, "Oh, ok." and walked away.  That was his last bus referral of the year.

This worked amazingly well for the rest of the students too, and for the next two school years ('13-'14 and '14-'15) our bus referral numbers were 28 and 24.  Last school year our numbers jumped again to 47.  So we knew we needed to change it up to get their attention.  We also wanted a change because the coloring and erasing was tedious!

So we decided to create a smaller, but more colorful display.  We placed it right across from our entrance where every student will see it at least twice a day when they enter and leave the building.

Each bus (AM and PM) has it's own 12x12 page.  On that page is a bus silhouette with the number cut out of the side (this was done with a Cricut die cutting machine).  

Each bus chart has 3 command hooks, so we can count up to 180 days total.  The numbers were printed on cardstock, cut, hole punched and put on binder rings.  

Then the rings were hung on the command hooks.  Each morning one of our teachers flips the cards to the next number.  When a bus has a referral their number goes back to zero.
And it's working!  This year we have had only 7 bus referrals (half way through)! I love seeing it myself every morning.  

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