PROGRAM BEHAVIOR PROGRAM
The West U Elementary School Positive Behavior Program was established at the beginning of the 2021-2022 school year by school counselor, Brian Castle. This program was designed to supplement our school’s strong academics with tools to improve students' social and emotional well-being.
The PBP is beginning its third year and we have more exciting things in store. We are very proud to announce that after completing over 14,000 acts of kindness during our Kindness Challenge last year, WUES is being recognized as “The Kindest School in America” by the organization, Think Kindness. We have designed a new T-shirt “West U Elementary, the Kindest School in America”, which will be available to purchase with all proceeds benefiting WUES. Kindness will be our overarching theme of this year. We will still have nine positive behavior traits but are substituting in one new trait, Sportsmanship. New “military tags” with one of the PBP traits will be given to each student that is nominated to be worn as necklaces or backpack charms. We will also start new monthly incentives for the 2023-24 school year. Students who are nominated are eligible to participate in a “Party in the Courtyard” with counselor Brian Castle, each month and refreshments will be served.
Going forward, the PBP will hold two educational events each year for students - one in the spring and one in the fall. We will also bring back the Kindness Challenge in the spring with the goal of reminding our students the impact that their actions can have on our community and the ripple effect it can have on our city and the world.
In addition, the PBP will hold two parent education events on hot button topics around parenting. Dates and topics to be determined. Finally, the PBP will continue to strive to improve and innovate as needed in order to best serve our school community and to have a lasting impact on our school and the greater community.
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History of the Positive Behavior Program at West U Elementary
In the first year, we introduced monthly positive behavior traits via the morning announcements and a dedicated interactive bulletin board in the cafeteria. We recruited community artists to portray their interpretation of each of the seven positive behavior traits on a canvas. Students were taught the definition of each trait and were invited to write examples of what the trait meant to them. Teachers and staff nominated students who exhibited a positive behavior trait, and nominees were issued a certificate and recognized on Friday’s morning announcements.
To help incentivize positive behavior, nominees received a coupon for an ICEE from Little Matt’s and a coupon for a cookie from Milk and Cookies, generously donated by these great friends of our school.
At the end of the year, all nominated students and their families were invited to a reception where they were recognized along with our community artists and supporters. In the first year since the launch of this program, we have already seen a quantifiable impact on student behavior and success.
In year two, we added more depth to the positive behavior traits and worked on improving the program’s visibility and reach. Our school counselor, Brian Castle, provided our teachers with lessons and materials about each trait for incorporation into the classroom. We partnered with the Rice University School of Engineering and the Rice University Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK) to provide nominated students with laser-cut wood backpack charms that feature the program's positive traits. We designed Positive Behavior-themed T-shirts for the teachers and offered shirts as a fundraiser to the school community.
Another exciting feature we started in year two of the Positive Behavior Program is a Student of the Month Recognition Initiative. Students can submit a form describing what the month’s positive behavior trait means to them, and winning submissions in each grade are displayed in frames around the dedicated cafeteria bulletin board. The PBP also established a library available for teachers and on display in the lobby for parents.
Also new to the 2022-23 school year, the PBP provided a gift to all graduating 5th graders entitled, “You hold the key to your success”. To help with our goal of improving the PBP reach, we started monthly highlight emails through room parents.
In lieu of end-of-year ceremony, the PBP chose to bring in a youth motivational speaker from the organization, Think Kindness, to benefit our entire school, rather than just the students who won awards. The speaker’s talk was titled “Be Kind, Be Brave, Be Strong” and she challenged our school to preform 10,000 acts of kindness. The students of West U Elementary School exceeded expectations and logged over 14,000 acts of kindness. In doing so, we clinched the award of being the Kindest School in America! Way to go West U!!