Sheboygan Area School District
Grade Level: Elementary
Profile Date: June 2011
Our PBIS Story
Sheridan Elementary School is a diverse school located in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. We are in our second year of implementing PBIS and have created some unique interventions based on our school population and needs. One of those interventions was creating mentoring groups at the Universal level. Although mentors are typically a Tier 2 intervention, the needs of Sheridan’s students suggested a greater demand for mentors within the building; thus, the intervention became a Universal one.
In order to truly appreciate our success story, it is necessary to have a background of our school population. Below are some contributing factors for the creation and implementation of the mentoring groups that have been
- School ethnicity: 76 percent non-white students
- Economic status: 82 percent economically disadvantaged
- English proficiency: 51 percent not proficient in English
These factors indicated that majority of Sheridan’s students have one or more "trauma data points," meaning that many students face one or more types of trauma in their lives on a daily basis. Students clearly needed strong relationships within the school setting; thus, the mentoring groups were developed.
All staff members, including the teachers, the administrator, the counselor, the educational assistants, and other support staff, have been assigned a mentoring group that consists of six to eight students, all of the same grade level. The groups meet for a half hour every Monday morning. The only requirement of mentors is to teach the Cool Tool lesson of the week during this time. This format has allowed students to have more practice with the Cool Tool skills and have strengthened the adult-student relationships within the building.
Many mentors have taken their role as "mentor" to an even higher level, incorporating many bonding experiences for their groups. Some of these experiences include having lunch together, spending recess together, recognizing birthdays, and being available for students before or after school.
The mentoring groups have had a positive effect on our school climate. On the most recent school climate survey, 98 percent of all students have reported feeling connected to two or more adults in the building since the groups have begun in fall.