Positive Office Referral

Beth Houf shares about the power of the positive office referral and the difference it has made for staff and students in her building.  Positive office referrals are an additional way to recognize students or staff for their outstanding demonstration of the school-wide expectations and to keep the focus for all on the positive.  In her experience, when positive referrals go up, negative behavior referrals go down.  Here is how it works in her building:

  • Staff are committed to writing at least 1 per day.  A copy of the form is below.
  • Upon arrival to the office, the student is greeted with high fives, impromptu dancing and excitement by admin. and/or the office staff.
  • Students then call or email a parent or loved one about why they are in the office.
  • Students earn Hornet bucks to spend and House points (towards their class reward).
  • Students hang up their referrals on a “brag board” outside the office.  After 1 week, they are sent home.
  • Positive referrals are logged to track who is/is not receiving awards and to monitor 4:1 positive-to-negative ratios.

In your planning, consider opportunities for students, bus drivers, café workers, etc. to write positive referrals, as well as staff-staff positive referrals!

an example of positive office referral card


PBIS Indiana