Phoenix Values are Northwest Chinese Academy’s “behavioral expectations” that are used to educate students on proper conduct in all situations. There are four Phoenix Values, and each has a corresponding Chinese character:
- Be Kind 仁
- Be Responsible义
- Be Courteous礼
- Be Safe 安
NWCA’s “Phoenix Values” is what we call our version of Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS), and these guidelines are the end product of a yearlong process that involved NWCA teachers, NWCA administrators, and an outside PBIS expert from Portland State University.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is described as a school-wide, proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports needed for all students to achieve social, emotional and academic success.
(The following is adapted from understood.org.)
“At its heart, PBIS calls on schools to teach kids about behavior, just as they would teach about any other subject—like reading or math. PBIS recognizes that kids can only meet behavior expectations if they know what the expectations are. A hallmark of a school using PBIS is that everyone knows what’s appropriate behavior. Throughout the school day—in class, at lunch, and on the playground — kids understand what’s expected of them.”
Instead of using school rules that educate students on the incorrect behavior in a given situation, PBIS looks to teach social and behavioral norms so that students are learning what they should be doing instead of what they shouldn’t. School rules that are framed by “don’t” do not educate students on the correct behavior in a given situation; they only educate the student on one specific behavior that is inappropriate.
While many of our students already meet and exceed the expectations that Phoenix Values sets out, by teaching all students what are the proper social and behavioral expectations in different school settings, we are providing the support needed to be productive, engaged, safe students, which improves educational outcomes as well as the general school environment.
As put by our Upper English specialist, a co-team leader of the Phoenix Values Team:“Phoenix Values (NWCA PBIS) allows us to build a community culture with the core principle that every child can thrive when they’re fully supported. Phoenix Values is an equitable behavioral system that relies on prevention through learning rather than reactionary discipline. Preventing behavior problems helps us maintain a safe and engaging learning environment where everyone feels valued. It takes some of the stress out of classroom management and frees teachers up to do what we’d rather be doing: teach.”