PBIS at DJJ: Rockdale RYDC Leading Lady Dance
Story information from Rockdale RYDC Interim Director Monique Brandenburg
On August 5th, the Rockdale Regional Youth Detention Center (Rockdale RYDC) held its first-ever Leading Lady Dance as part of the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program. Participating youth were able to choose a special family or staff member as their own personal Leading Lady for the community dance. Twenty-three youths were rewarded for their hard work in maintaining good behavior at the facility during a recent eligibility period.
The days leading up to the Leading Lady Dance were filled with buzz and excitement. Learning the dance steps for the “bus stop,” a “soul train line” and counting movements to sway from side to side were difficult for staff and youth alike. Fresh haircuts were arranged and clothes pressed as the days to the event grew near. On the day of the Leading Lady Dance, the smiles on the faces of the participants were contagious. Escorting their individual Leading Ladies into the gym, the pride and excitement was palpable for everyone. Each youth performed a dance at the start of the program and surprised their Leading Lady with a rose at the end of the event, a heartfelt moment that didn’t leave a single dry eye on the dance floor.
Commissioner Avery D. Niles attended the Leading Lady Dance and took keepsake photographs with everyone who attended. Other attendees included members of the Rockdale RYDC administration, Rockdale RYDC Advisory Council and Deputy Commissioner Sean Hamilton.
PBIS is an evidence-based, data-driven framework proven to reduce disciplinary incidents, increase a school’s sense of safety and support improved academic outcomes. More than 23,000 U.S. schools are implementing PBIS and saving countless instructional hours otherwise lost to discipline. The premise of PBIS is that continual teaching, combined with acknowledgement or feedback of positive student over the counter behavior, will reduce unnecessary discipline and promote a climate of greater productivity, safety and learning. PBIS schools apply a multi-tiered approach to prevention, using disciplinary data and principles of behavior analysis to develop school-wide, targeted and individualized interventions and supports to improve the school climate for all students.