We sure felt like super heroes ourselves when we heard how Emerson Elementary in Indianola took instructional practices learned in Heartland AEA trainings and worked with Heartland AEA's Creative Services to create positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) materials that were meaningful and engaging for students. Article submitted by Mark Timmerman, Emerson Elementary Principal.
Emerson recruited a team of teachers that participated in a year-long series of meetings and trainings through Heartland AEA to learn about and ultimately implement strategies that would be more proactive, positive and consistent throughout our building as we supported students regarding behavior and clear expectations. Part of the process of implementing a PBIS initiative is to gauge the consensus of the staff and our team did that as well as building support for the project along the way.
Once we did have the majority of our staff supportive of the PBIS initiative, we continued to develop our building-wide expectations for student behavior, including determining our theme of Emerson students acting as super heroes. Our focus was for all students to act in safe, respectful and responsible ways in our common areas throughout the school which included hallway, lunchroom and playground areas. Our team identified the expectations for students and what it would look like if students were safe, respectful and responsible in each of these areas.
Our collaboration with Creative Services started after we developed the expectations for our school. Our desire was to have signage that was kid-friendly and connected with our theme of being a super hero by demonstrating the expectations we had. Our team had some preliminary ideas for the posters, but I asked that the Creative Services team use their creativity and develop something that would stand out in our school. The Creative Services team did just that, and we were very pleased with the options we had to choose from.
Ultimately the Creative Services team helped us develop large- and medium-sized posters with our super hero theme and expectations that are displayed around the school. We also had a “Positive Choices in the Classroom” poster made that helps students and teachers consistently follow the expectations we have throughout the building. Finally, tickets were made for our staff that are handed to students and that allow us to track how many tickets are distributed over the course of the school year.
The PBIS team meets 1-2 times per month to determine the effectiveness of our PBIS initiative and make adjustments if needed.
The posters that were designed were very creative, colorful, fun and conveyed the message and clear expectations that we had hoped to share with our school. All the work that Creative Services completed was very professional in nature and done in a very timely manner. We have been very pleased with the support they have provided us. We may have more needs for signage or posters in the future and would not hesitate to ask for the help of Creative Service again.
Could Heartland AEA’s Creative Services help your school/district with a similar effort? Or just need some customized instructional materials for the classroom? Don’t hesitate to contact our production facilitator, Jill Crees, at firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 255-0405 ext. 14368 to discuss your needs.