Huntington, WV, May 2024 – Wirt County High School was named a 2023-2024 West Virginia PBIS Tier 1 Model School by the West Virginia Behavior/Mental Health Technical Assistance Center (WVBMHTAC).

In collaboration with the WV Autism Training Center at Marshall University and the WV Department of Education, the WVBMHTAC oversees, in addition to other initiatives, the state’s school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) project. For the 2023-2024 school year, the WV PBIS Leadership Team began searching for West Virginia PBIS Tier 1 Model Schools in January. The process involves the schools submitting evidence of their work and participating in a site visit for interviews with their PBIS teams, administrators, and students. The evidence of their work can be found in their school and classroom expectations, how they utilize their data, in examples of their positive feedback systems, their planning of how to respond to challenging behaviors, and how they build relationships with all their stakeholders. The leadership is looking for ongoing evidence of a multi-tiered, problem- solving framework that produces positive outcomes.

WV PBIS Coordinator, Alicia Ziman, says “The Model Schools initiative is an integral part of our project. Identifying Model Schools gives us the opportunity to showcase the work these schools have found to be effective. We also have the ability to share their experiences with schools across the state and with outside stakeholders. Model Schools can instill an excitement in others through their passion and dedication to the PBIS Framework that is hard to capture in any training alone.”

Wirt County High School, along with principal Mrs. Elizabeth Smith and her PBIS team, surpassed our standards to be awarded this recognition again this year. Instilling “PRIDE” and teaching students the lifelong skills of being Professional, Responsible, Integrous, Determined, and Engaged is something you will find present throughout Wirt County High School. In addition to cultivating these traits in their students, the staff at WCHS take pride in their behavioral practices and implementation of PBIS. Through strong teaching systems, motivating student success, and addressing individual needs, the students at Wirt County High are supported through the school’s framework. These practices not only increase positive outcomes across the school community, but are also are shining examples of the Model Schools initiative.

The WVBMHTAC is so appreciative of Wirt County High School’s dedication to the PBIS framework, and we look forward to how this recognition as a Model School can help support other schools across the state.