New behavior policies at North High

November 26, 2016

A new behavior plan has been set in action at Omaha North during the 2016-2017 school year. The addition of the behavior policies to North’s environment is due a negative feedback from student and staff surveys and referral data.

According to Kelsea Wolfe, an English teacher and committee member, the plan is a multi-tiered system of support for behavior, MTSS-B, with the intent of improving the setting of North by bettering its students.

Students were introduced to this system at the beginning of the year through their Viking Times. They were given effort meters, a measure of how hard one is working, and a sheet with appropriate actions for certain situations on them. Another project up and coming is Viking Bucks, a reward for doing acts of good behavior.

A staff committee at Omaha North High was selected to help create these attitude adjustments. As of this year, subcommittees have been added involving even more teachers and staff in the growth of North High.

Other schools around the city have also tried similar behavior plans in order to change their schools for the better and have been fairly successful.

Though schools have adapted this program, North has been planning to initiate this program into our school for a while now.

“We had discussed bringing PBIS [Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports], which is a similar system with the same goals and mission, to North around the same time the district was researching MTSS-B.” says English teacher and behavioral member, Kelsea Wolfe.

“North volunteered to be the pilot high school for OPS. We want to be the trend setters and pave the way for the other schools.” guidance counselor Allison Iles, says.

Some students, on the other hand, do not see the same positive future for these plans as the staff does. Shaheem Black, sophomore, responded saying, “It’s not going to change it [the environment] drastically.” He later stated, “I didn’t see people getting sent out as much.”

One security guard, Kelly Hill, commented on potency of the policies saying, “If one teacher enforces it and the next doesn’t, it won’t work.”

Though the connotations surrounding the system has been positive, students are unaware of the intentions of the new behavior policies.

“I think they just take away from our work time.” says Jesse Syznskie, sophomore.

An outlet for student feedback is in a Principle Advisory group which allows to talk to our principle and give suggestions on how to improve Omaha North High. The behavioral committee also uses surveys taken during Viking time as an input for their plans.

Though there is confusion around the new behavioral policies, but there are goals for North High to reach. Guidance counselor Allison Iles states, “I believe the end goal is to provide students and staff members a safe and secure learning environment. Hopefully, with staff and student input we can refine and modify the plan if needed, so our goal is accomplished.”

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