Sterling elementary school principal Denise Kelly speaks to students about this year's Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies program during  an assembly at Sterling Elementary School on Wednesday, August 19.

Sterling elementary school principal Denise Kelly speaks to students about this year's Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies program during an assembly at Sterling Elementary School on Wednesday, August 19.

Sterling Elementary students rewarded with pom-poms

This year Sterling elementary school students will be collecting pom-poms — colorful fuzzy balls — as tokens of good behavior.

Teachers will award students with pom-poms when they see them behaving according to the three school expectations: be safe, be respectful, and be responsible.

Elijah Lee, a third-grader in Mrs. Janae Van Slyke’s class, was given three pom-poms on Wednesday, the first day of school for the Kenai Peninsula Borough School Distict.

“I got two in the lunch, the cafeteria, and I got one from Mrs. Van Slyke,” Lee said. The two cafeteria pom-poms were for eating calmly, and the third was given for his quiet attention.

Lee will contribute the pom-poms to a communal jar that Mrs. Van Slyke will place in the classroom.

When the class has filled its jar with pom-poms, they will have a class celebration. Then the class jar will be emptied into the school’s pom-pom jar, along with the pom-poms collected by other classes.

What happens when the school jar is full?

“We get a whole-school celebration!” said Sterling Elementary principal Denise Kelly, introducing PBIS to her students at an assembly on Wednesday.

“What does a whole-school celebration look like?” Kelly asked the students. “At a whole-school celebration, you get to do things like go snowshoeing, and watch movies, and eat popcorn, and play kickball, and — I don’t know? Have fun?”

Sterling’s pom-pom program is one implementation of the Kenai Peninsula Borough school district’s Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS) system, a method of providing students with positive reinforcement for explicitly-defined good behavior. Since it began using PBIS in 2009, Sterling has held field days and movie days to reward students for filling the school pom-pom jar. Sterling was the elementary first school in the Borough to take up PBIS, which is now used in 11 of the 16 school dstrict elementary sites.

Razdolna, Voznesenka, and West Homer Elementary Schools became the latest to use PBIS when they began it last year.

Sterling has added a new twist to this year’s pom-pom ritual: a golden pom-pom given for outstanding displays of safety, respect, and responsibility.

Students awarded golden pom-poms will exchange them in the principal’s office for a prize and a chip with a number.

“The prize might be a pencil, it might be an eraser, it might be a pencil grip,” Kelly said at the assembly.

The numbered chip will be put in the corresponding space on a board filled with numbers, which earn the students another party when filled.

“That might be a pizza party. It might be a popcorn party. And for those students will get another special surprise,” Kelly said. “So what should your goal be this year? To get a golden pom-pom. Because you have a chance of winning two prizes: one big one, and one little one.”

Reach Ben Boettger at ben.boettger@peninsulaclarion.com

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Sterling Elementary Denise Kelly holds up a pom-pom, given as a reward to students for good behavior, while students awarded poms-poms on the first day of school raise their hands during  an assembly at Sterling Elementary School on Wednesday, August 19.

Ben Boettger/Peninsula Clarion Sterling Elementary Denise Kelly holds up a pom-pom, given as a reward to students for good behavior, while students awarded poms-poms on the first day of school raise their hands during an assembly at Sterling Elementary School on Wednesday, August 19.

More in News

Shawn Dick of Talkneetna carries a fresh catch out of the water while dipnetting on the Kenai Beach on July 10, 2020. (Peninsula Clarion file)
Kenai River dipnetting opens this month

The Kenai River personal use dipnet fishery opens July 10

The sun is seen shining above the Kenai River in Soldotna, Alaska, on July 14, 2020. (Photo by Erin Thompson/Peninsula Clario file)
When the temperature hits 70, Alaskans feel the heat — and start suffering health ills

Acclimatization, the angle of the sun at high latitudes and other factors make summer heat more intense in Alaska

A map shows active fires around the state of Alaska on Friday, July 1, 2022. (Screenshot from Alaska Wildland Fire Information Map)
Fire danger prompts restrictions on burning, fireworks

There were 160 fires in Alaska as of Thursday, and of those 17 were staffed with fire personnel

Jessica Cook, left, and Les Gara are photographed in The Peninsula Clarion’s offices Thursday in Kenai. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Gara, Cook campaign on the Kenai Peninsula

The pair cited education funding, reproductive rights and election security as priorities

A map shows the Seward Highway MP 17-22.5 Rehabilitation Project area. The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 — from about Primrose Campground to near Teddy’s Inn The Woods — will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18, 2022. (Screenshot)
Roadwork in Moose Pass to shut parts of Seward Highway

The Seward Highway between Mileposts 17 and 22.5 will be closed from 8 p.m. and 5 a.m. on Mondays and Wednesday starting July 18

Former Homer High School athletic director poses on Friday, July 1, 2022, at the high school athletic field in Homer, Alaska. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)
Work ethic, grit and teamwork

After two decades, Homer athletic director says goodbye to program he helped build

Assembly members participate during a meeting of the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly on Tuesday, June 21, 2022, in Soldotna, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Another renewable energy company seeks to set up peninsula solar farm

Utopian Power wants to build a two-megawatt solar farm on a 40-acre chunk of land owned by the borough

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID hospitalizations up from last week

Hospitalization data is the most effective indicator of the prevalence of the virus

Most Read