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Watauga County Schools personnel represented their schools at the Department of Public Instruction awards ceremony for schools using PBIS model. Those present included, from left: Joan Ward, teacher of exceptional children and PBIS coach for Watauga High School; Preston Clarke, assistant principal at WHS; Melissa Costin, principal of Parkway School; Patrick Sukow, principal of Blowing Rock school; and Karla Lerner, PBIS coordinator for WCS. Photo submitted.

Originally published: 2013-03-08 10:11:38
Last modified: 2013-03-08 10:12:36

Schools honored for positive behavior programs

by Staff Reports

Five Watauga County schools have earned recognition from the N.C. Department of Public Instruction for their high-quality Positive Behavior Intervention and Support programs.

Blowing Rock achieved exemplar status for its program, while Bethel, Green Valley, Parkway and Watauga High School were recognized as model schools.

PBIS is a schoolwide approach to teaching and reinforcing appropriate student behavior with the goal of reducing poor behavior and improving students' achievement. As its name implies, the system emphasizes rewarding positive behavior to reinforce appropriate conduct and improve the school climate.

A key feature of PBIS is that all school personnel, not just teachers, work as a team to apply rules consistently and respond appropriately to both positive and problem behavior by students.

Exemplar schools are those that have demonstrated the highest standards in PBIS training, implementation and results. Schools pursuing exemplar status must submit an application with data that demonstrates improvements in measures such as student referrals to the office, attendance, academic achievement and individual student behavior.

Model schools must meet most of the same standards but do not have to document their improvements in student achievement and behavior.

Green Valley has the longest history with the program among WCS schools and was one of the first five schools in the state to use PBIS. Bethel, now in its second full year of implementation, is the most recent Watauga County school to adopt the program.

Visit to learn more about the PBIS program.