PAWS Program expands to Tier Two with funding from FAEF grant

Sara Harp, Writer

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In the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year, Ms. Tina Boyd, fifth grade English teacher, and other members of the PAWS Core Team applied to the Freedom Area Educational Foundation (FAEF) for a grant of $500. This request was for Tier Two of the PAWS program.

Last school year was the first year that the Freedom Middle School implemented Tier One of the PAWS program. One of the most important goals of Tier One is to effectively teach positive and kind behavior to all students in the school. Schoolwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) strongly believes that all children can learn appropriate behaviors.  In Tier One, students receive PAWS cards for positive behavior and put them in boxes for a chance to win a prize. Students can also be recognized as being positive role models, and receive a Principal’s 100 card. This allows students to be invited to a party with other Principal’s 100 students to celebrate their positive behaviors.

This year, Freedom is implementing Tier Two. This is the second part of the SWPBIS program. In Tier Two, mentor teachers work with specific students who need more help showing positive actions, accountable behavior and wise and respectful choices. In each grade level, five students will be paired with a mentor teacher to work on the specific behavioral expectations. The FAEF grant will be used for prizes for the students in Tier Two who show improved behaviors. A few examples of these prizes are stress balls, pencils, and and a variety of snacks.

The PAWS Core Team  is very excited to work closely with specific students to improve certain behaviors. This more intense program will allow teachers to provide more support to students and teach targeted interventions to improve behaviors.

“I am looking forward to building relationships with students through our check-in check-out program and helping to improve the school environment at the same time.” Ms. Wyatt, one of the Tier Two teachers, stated. Tier Two support is not only a win for specific students, but the whole school.