Union Middle School students are participating in a program called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports or PBIS. At UMS, the students refer to the program as "Positive Behavior in School." The program is aimed at changing the climate and culture of a school to a more positive nature. Students are taught the expectations of each area and setting of the school and are praised for good behavior. Students and faculty alike have participated in several training sessions. Student behavior is guided by the "Knights Code" where they focus on improving the four aspects of Respect, Responsibility, Pride, and Self-discipline. For example, in the classroom, students show respect by listening when others are talking. In the cafeteria they show responsibility by always having their lunch ticket. In the locker rooms they show pride by keeping the locker rooms clean. On the bus they show self-discipline by using appropriate language. When students are observed showing one of the four aspects in a positive way, they are rewarded with a "GOT U," as in "we caught you doing something positive." These "GOT U" points can then be turned in for special privileges and rewards. Students have been collecting their GOT U's for such things as being first in the lunch line, having a teacher decorate their locker, picking a funny hat for Mr. Albertsen to wear, a special monthly drawing, or for several other items on their GOT U Menu.
Student reaction to the GOT U's has been overwhelmingly positive. Students who have always displayed correct behavior are being noticed for that, and other students are correcting their own behavior. Many students think the GOT U's are cool, and several have commented on how much they enjoy the GOT U's.
New items continue to be added to the Got-U Menu, and students can suggest ideas to be considered. For more information about PBIS visit www.pbis.org and click on the school, family or community tabs. If you are interested in donating items for the monthly drawings, please contact Vada Elliott or Stacy Stull at Union Middle School, 319-476-5100. New or gently used items such as baseball caps, hair accessories, nail polish, jewelry, school related items, etc. are popular drawing prizes. Businesses are also welcome to donate prizes or certificates. Thank-you to Joe's Gym for getting this started with donations of t-shirts, water glasses, and mini-sponge footballs, and to LB's Pizza for the pizza certificate.
Pictured are some of the decorations UMS students did for one another during Valentine’s Day this year.