West implements behavioral system called “The T-Bird Way”

Gnally Boukar, Reporter

Bellevue West started a multi-semester plan to improve long-lasting student behavior called “The T-Bird Way.”

The “T-Bird Way” is based on a behavior model called PBiS. According to the Nebraska Department of Education’s website, PBiS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. “It is an evidence-based process that increases student achievement, school attendance, and academic success while decreasing challenging student behaviors. Using a systemic approach that includes all students, staff, parents, and settings, PBiS creates safer and more effective schools.”

The first step in the plan is to improve behavior in the commons. A committee made up of a counselor, administrator, special education teacher, parents and general education teachers and deans decided on the refined rules. The committee’s plan is progress into the hallways, and by next year move into classrooms.

“We just started this process of putting in this behavior model two years ago, and we’ve done all the behind the scenes and pre-work to get to this place,” science teacher Austin Zeimet said. “This is the first area that we’re rolling out the take initiative, be accountable, and have integrity.”

Special education teacher Jennie Benning said they just want to create a common language for students about expectations and behavior. She said she thinks there is a discrepancy between schools that a common policy would help alleviate. 

“I think here in Bellevue, or at Bellevue West, we really just wanted to say these are our expectations and that way students know when we’re in the commons, this is how we should act,” Benning said. 

The goal for these rules, according to Zeimet, is to reinforce the values they think are important for students and workers in the job force once students leave Bellevue West. Yet there are no new punishments for violating these rules.

“Mr. Rohlfs was very firm in stating this is just what we’re using,” Zeimet said. “The punishments that the deans use to discipline students will stay the same. This is being put into place to try to lessen the frequency of where students visit the dean’s office.”

There will be more encouragement towards better behavior both at school and in the future. 

“Our biggest goal is to create expectations that will carry over into the next stage into students lives gearing more towards workforce,” Benning said.