The Good News File: This Hawk Soars

(Albuquerque, N.M.) KKOB — When kids are struggling with math, teachers help them understand, when students hate to read, educators work with them to expand their imagination and fall in love with the story, but when a child misbehaves, they’re automatically punished. Dr. Kristopher Johnson, the Vice Principal at Volcano Vista High School says, that’s a flaw in the system. Now, he and the school’s administration are working to overcome this problem with a solution rapidly spreading across the nation. It’s called PBIS or Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. It’s a strategy that rewards kids for their good behavior, in an effort to create a more welcoming environment for everyone. Here’s how it works: come this fall staff, teachers, and faculty at VVHS will have an app on their phones that allows them to track positive behaviors they see students displaying through a point system. Students who exhibit SOAR behavior — that’s Safety, Organization, Achievement, and Respect will then collect those points on a scannable ID card. Students can save their points and be put in a drawing for larger items or use them to buy things like snacks in the Hawk Store, which will be run by the school’s special education department. But the program won’t just focus on students. It will also reward teachers for working collaboratively, building relationships with students, and going above and beyond in the classroom. The school paid for the program through an APS foundation grant. Half of the funds will be used to get things up and running, the other half will pay to stock the shelves at the Soar Store.

To donate items like gift cards, gas cards, or food to the Soar Store, contact Dr. Johnson at kristopher.johnson@aps.edu