50 MPS schools honored for reinforcing positive behavior, cutting disruptions

MILWAUKEE – Fifty schools that are part of the Milwaukee Public Schools family have been honored by the PBIS Wisconsin Network for successfully reinforcing positive behaviors to decrease classroom disruption.

MPS’ 50 schools represent more than one-third of the 138 schools recognized across the state.

The schools are accomplishing that mission by utilizing the ‘Positive Behaviorial Interventions and Supports’ framework, a concept successfully utilized in schools nationwide. In 2009-10, just 30 schools were using PBIS. In 2010-11, that grew to 110 schools. Now all MPS traditional and instrumentality charter schools utilize the framework.

Students at Zablocki participate in relay events as a reward for being safe, respectful and responsible.

Students at Zablocki participate in relay events as a reward for being safe, respectful and responsible.

“PBIS has changed the culture of the district from a punitive focus to a proactive, positive approach,” said Dr. John Hill, MPS student services coordinator–program specialist. “The idea is to reduce suspensions by reducing the negative behavior — not simply by ignoring it.”

Nine of the 50 schools — Allen-Field, Barton, Burbank, Curtin, Milwaukee French Immersion, Longfellow, Morse-Marshall, Milwaukee School of Languages and Thurston Woods — were named “Schools of Distinction” for two years of strong commitment to the program and ensuring its effectiveness for all students.

The remaining 41 schools were honored for a year of commitment. They are: ALBA, Alliance, Audubon High School, Audubon Middle School, Barbee Montessori, Bradley Tech, Bruce, Bryant, Burdick, Clement Avenue, Congress, Elm Creative Arts, Emerson, Fifty-Third street, Garland, Milwaukee German Immersion, Grantosa, Hampton, Hartford University, Hawthorne, Milwaukee High School of the Arts, Kilbourn, Lancaster, Lincoln Avenue, MacDowell, Manitoba, Maryland Avenue Montessori, Mitchell, Neeskara, Ninety-Fifth Street, Reagan High, Riley, Riverside University High, Sherman, Siefert, Trowbridge, Victory, Whitman, Wedgewood, Westside Academy and Zablocki.

“This recognizes all the hard work of students, teachers, other educators, principals and people throughout the district,” Dr. Hill said.