Mahnomen School Working Hard to Make a Difference

A few years ago behavioral referrals were at a high at Mahnomen Public Schools.  Teachers were noting many disruptive behaviors and many students with an overall lack of respect for peers and staff alike.  Staff began to collaborate about how to change the environment and what more could be done to go the extra mile in building positive relationships with students. It was quickly determined that if our students do not know how to follow school expectations, we must teach them the same as we would teach any other subject area. If they are not taught, how can we expect them to know?

This conversation led to the formation and adoption of a model called Positive Behavior Intervention Systems-or PBIS.  PBIS is an approach that schools can use to improve school safety and promote positive behavior. It is also a way for schools to develop and implement strategies to respond to student behaviors, create positive relationships and connect with students at various levels and through a variety of avenues. Mahnomen Public School's PBIS matrix or "theme" is called Tribe Pride.

P-roud, R-espectful, I-nvolved, D-edicated, E-ducated.

PBIS has a few important principles:

  • Every child can learn proper behavior.
  • Stepping in early can prevent more serious behavior problems.
  • Each child is different and schools need to provide many kinds of behavior interventions and student support systems.
  • How schools teach behavior should be based on research and science.
  • Following a child’s behavioral progress is important.
  • Schools must gather and use data to make decisions about behavior problems.

Have you heard your child talk about T-BIRD PRIDE or PRIDE points? Maybe you have heard of the Student of the Month initiative? Through Pride Points, students earn Pride slips from staff by showing T-BIRD Pride in the classroom, in the hallways, towards a staff member, on the bus, etc.  Weekly, monthly, and quarterly PRIDE slip drawings are held as incentives for students who follow the expectations.  

Expectations vary throughout the building, so at the beginning of the school year students are shown expectations around the school such as, bathrooms, lunchrooms, hallways, classroom, buses, etc.  Since adopting PBIS, Mahnomen schools has witnessed a huge reduction in “major type” referrals.  Now that the number of major referrals has been significantly reduced staff can work on more minor type items.  “Since adopting PBIS, I have spent a lot less time dealing with behavior and a lot more time teaching”, says HS Math Teacher Mrs. McMullen.  “Over the last four years we have seen a significant reduction of elementary referrals, suspensions, and truant students, which tells us our school climate is changing for the better”,  according to Elem. Principal Melby.  

The High School has also noticed a huge improvement in their overall climate.  Discipline referrals have dropped every year since starting PBIS and Dean of Students, John Clark Jr says, "We know we still have work to do, but we like what we are seeing so far and that’s the good fight.” 

Check out our 2021-2022 Monthly Tribe Pride Awards!

Sept. Students/Staff of the month
K - Kali DeFoe
1st - Rylie Bellanger
2nd - Peter Drift
3rd - Divana Beauchamp
4th - Kayleigh Hill - Burnette
5th - Mikenah Bush
6th - Mikaela Bush
High School - Mia Bonagofsky, Daniel Londo, Hunter Alvarado, Sady Swiers
Staff -

Oct. Students/Staff of the month
K - Waabigwonikwe (Flower) Buckanaga-Thunder
1st - Zaccheus Bunker
2nd - Clayton Bower
3rd - Miley Bunker
4th - Chloe Stock
5th - Jaylynn Vanderplaats-Giard
6th - Cassidy Bjerk
High School - Anthony Stone, Hannah Jensen, Tyler Schoenborn, Reed Bjerk
Staff - Tim LaVoy & Deb Neisen

Nov. Students/Staff of the month
K - Clairity Bower
1st - Armani Payan
2nd - Aubri Turner
3rd - Lily White
4th - Jesse Wind
5th - Madeline Stalberger
6th - Bentley Linden
High School -  Hunter Jaeger, Javery VanPelt, Danessa Drift, Alessia Solidoro
Staff - Heather Winkler

Dec. Students/Staff of the month
K - Legend Wadena
1st - Jaidalyn Lopez
2nd - Talise Mason
3rd - Emma Lefstad
4th - Jada DeGroat
5th - Eric Wind
6th - Aaron Hisgun
High School - Oustin Oppegard, Bridget Miller, Hailey Busche, Assondra Weaver
Staff - 

Jan. Students/Staff of the month
K - Thomas Turner
1st - Joel Keezer
2nd - Ethan Kier
3rd - Lainee Roy
4th - Joie Uran
5th - Natalie Wytaske
6th - Hunter Lefstad
High School - Brody Schlick, Nicolas Rodriguez, McKenna Bjerk, Olivia Halvorson
Staff - 

Feb. Students/Staff of the month
K - Selena Hernandez
1st - Marie Fairbanks
2nd - Olivia Moose
3rd - Addison Anderson
4th - Justuz Lopez-Swiers
5th - Abby Blue
6th - Adrianna Noggle-Goodwin
High School - Henry Geray, Tom Philips, Kendra Miller, Adrian Stevens
Staff - Cooking Staff

DYK: ANYONE can nominate a Staff of the Month? Find the form here!