The West High way

How impactful are West’s core values?


graphic published with permission by Skylar Hintze

This art piece depicts West’s core values of: We win. We engage. We are safe. We teach.

Tyler Newman, Reporter

West students have heard it before, the reminder of what it means to be a Falcon– that is, the West High way. ‘We win. We engage. We are safe. We teach’ are the core values that each student and staff member are able to achieve every day at West High School.

Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS) is a major part of where these core values come from. These values also help West staff and administration recognize students that are doing well.

It is one thing to come to school, but it is worth the effort to acknowledge if a student’s actions are creating a positive culture and climate.

“Every morning you know how we say ‘We win. We engage. We’re safe, and we teach’? Those are considered our core values for PBIS. With more structure and direction, it’s our hope that kids will know what we want them to do,” social worker Jennifer O’Hare said. “That umbrella is something that would help try to address a culture and climate in the building.”

The main goal of these values is to get the student body to come to school with positive behaviors. The PBIS team has come up with ways to reward this positive behavior.

“We look at how we can develop our culture and climate in our building by using our core values and how we can make the most impact in our building and with our kids,” special education teacher and PBIS member Megan Burns said. “They’re saying them in the morning before the pledge. We’re getting the shout-out cards going on a monthly basis. The bucket that we are picking from to announce winners every month is full. That’s nice to see teachers using those to reward students with good, positive behavior.”

West is not the only school with these ideas in mind to maintain a positive culture and environment. West’s PBIS meets with other PBIS members from other schools in the district to talk and share ideas in order to stabilize a positive community.

“We meet every other Thursday morning, and more if we need to. Throughout this year, we have met four different times during the school day. The district will allow us to meet with Central, North, and the middle schools to see what they’re doing. We get to share ideas like the shout-out card which started with North’s idea,” math teacher and PBIS member Laura Weaver said. “It’s a community type of environment, and we’re all on the same page, all open to sharing ideas. It’s very nice to collaborate with the other schools.”

Students are awarded for their astounding behavior. Prizes are hand-selected by members of PBIS in the mornings and students picked can receive special recognition for good behavior.

“I know that they hand out candy and treats. I got this little slip and you can call your friends down for Falcon Flex,” sophomore O’rion Gardner said. “Then you can just hang out in a conference room with them and have fun. It motivates kids. Just be a good student and get a proper education.”