In an effort to reward good behavior and encourage positive decision making, Darby Junior High School has launched a new incentive program, “Darby Dollars and McKinney Money.” The program involves the application of acknowledging good behavior with special school “currency,” that can be exchanged for sale items in the school media center.
“Darby Dollars,” which feature the face of namesake William O. Darby, are for when students demonstrate everyday expectations. “McKinney Money,” which carries the likeness of Principal Darren McKinney, is given to those who exceed such expectations and go “above and beyond” at school. Darby art teacher, Stacy Beck, designed the monies.
The idea of “Darby Dollars and McKinney Money” is an initiative of the school’s Positive Behavior Support System (PBS). PBS resulted from a need to lower office referrals in the 2011-2012 school year. “The goal of PBS is to set expectations and hold students to those expectations,” said McKinney. The program encourages students to “Get Caught Doing Good.”
Faculty members award currency to students when they witness positive behavior. To reinforce the concept, staff members provide an explanation for the reason of the reward to the recipient, further emphasizing the importance of good behavior.
Darby counselor, Cherri Byford, studied the approach of enforcing discipline and followed with a professional development session for the faculty. There, Byford identified the difference between common classroom disruptions and major offenses to help teachers specifically address issues with students and document the behavior involved.
With the actions taken by the faculty to decrease office referrals, Darby Junior High has seen a 39 percent decline in office visits, over the course of one year. Administration and teachers are pleased by the impact PBS is having on students, and are anxious to see how the currency program will strengthen their efforts. By teaching students to “Be Responsible, Be Respectful, and Be Safe,” the school is setting a standard of high expectations for all, which many are choosing to meet.