A centerpiece of the social learning and establishment of behavior norms at NCSS takes place in “circle.” All NCSS classrooms begin their day with a 30 minute circle. The primary objective of circle is community building. Circle is a place to discuss and problem solve. Circle is a place to share stories, listen or sometimes even engage in healthy debate. Circle is a place where student shares their perspectives, articulate their needs and offer supports to one another. Circles are often academic in nature.
Circle is a Tier I action because all students participate in them every day. Circle can also be a time for NCSS staff to implement a Tier II or Tier III interventions. Tier II and III interventions are designed specifically for small groups of individuals that are exhibiting behavior that goes against NCSS norms. Circle time can be used to identify the non-desired behaviors and allow for corrective solutions to emerge, including solutions that the acting out students can take ownership of.
As needed NCSS staff seek to create customized Tier II and III interventions that take place outside of circle. However, most our solutions and social lessons originate in circle. Circle meetings can be called to order any time a teacher feels they are needed.
NCSS does not utilize external rewards such as tokens or tickets for prizes as part of our Tier I PBIS plan. We believe the use of such external rewards harms long term student learning and may even negatively impact the culture of a building despite an increase in behavior compliance. In rare Tier II or Tier III interventions the use of external rewards may be more appropriate as a short term strategy.