Positive Behavior Support


The Independence Middle School SwPBS team strives to foster a climate and culture that emphasizes Safety, Opportunity, Academics, and Respect so that our students will SOAR.

At Independence Middle School we strive to build a learning community through positive expectations that are universal throughout our campus and across grade levels. These universals have been focused on tier one areas of behavior. Some examples of these areas are: tardies, hallway behavior, dress code/wearing of student identification, class/school rules, disruptive behavior, inappropriate activity, out of assigned area, and disrespectful language.

Beginning in academic year 2013-2014 Independence Middle School built into our campus an incentive program to reinforce the tier one areas to our student population and labeled them "Soar Celebrations". These celebrations take place in approximately four week increments to allow for consistent recognition of students and to build a correlation between positive student behavior outcomes and the academic events of progress reports, and the end of a nine weeks/report cards. At these events students who have had less than three infractions and no referrals in the aforementioned tier one areas have access to stationed events in our cafeteria, gym, and athletic fields for a thirty minute activity period. These stations include but not limited to: board games, bean bag toss games, three legged raised, basketball, volleyball, and kickball. Students who attend this even also enter raffle tickets into grade level specific drawings for coupons and products offered by our business partners. In the academic year 2014-2015 SOAR celebrations continued and semester specific celebrations were added known as SOAR Pep-rallies. Admission to the pep-rallies use the same qualifiers as the SOAR celebrations described above to maintain tie-ins to our universal tier one expectations. Elements of grade level pride and spirit are the driving force of these events via grade level spirit chants, spirit chain competitions, and staff/faculty vs student body friendly competitions. At this event academic, club, intramural, and sport tie-ins are used by featuring these groups and their accomplishments from their respective seasons at the pep-rallies.

The impact of these programs can be seen in our school data over the past academic year. Tardies have dropped from 860 occurrences to 542 and hallway incidents have dropped from 362 to 233. In looking at referral data over the same span we see level one referrals drop from 235 to 101. We see this data as viable evidence of the great influence of programing built to enforce positive universal expectations on our campus.