BALDWIN PARK – Baldwin Park Unified’s Walnut Elementary School on Friday, Jan. 27 will become the District’s 11th campus to kick off a new discipline system designed to reinforce positive behaviors and boost academic success.

The system, called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), emphasizes ways of teaching students behavioral expectations and reinforces those lessons with praise and incentives. At its core, the system is about respecting oneself, others and property.

“Baldwin Park Unified has committed to PBIS as a key tool in our efforts to continually raise student achievement,” Superintendent Froilan N. Mendoza said. “It is the perfect complement to our host of rigorous academics and other student support services.”

PBIS is credited by schools across the nation for reducing office referrals and suspensions, reducing bullying and keeping students focused on the academics that will help them succeed.

The system typically rolls out over three years, with the first year dedicated to training administrators and teachers. Schools launch the program to students in their second year, communicating expectations and outlining systems for acknowledging positive behaviors and referring students for interventions. The program’s third year includes full implementation, leadership planning, coaching and assessment of progress.

So far, eight Baldwin Park Unified elementary schools and two middle/junior high schools have launched the program. After Walnut, the remaining two elementary schools will launch in February, followed by the remaining middle/junior high schools and high schools in 2017-18.

A team of Walnut teachers trained and planned for the launch for more than a year. The school will hold six kick-off assemblies – one for each grade – starting at 8:15 a.m. Examples of behavior expectations will be demonstrated through videos followed by school tours with mini-lessons on expected behaviors around school, such as picking up after lunch.

Playing off Walnut’s Eagle mascot, the school will use the acronym SOAR to communicate its expectations: Show responsibility, Offer help, Act safely, Respect self and others.

The District held a similar kickoff for Tracy Elementary on Thursday.