AIM and Refocus

PBIS at Collier Middle School -- a NJ Alternative Middle School

The philosophy of Collier Middle School is based on "Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports" (PBIS), a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students to achieve social, emotional and academic success.

In keeping with the PBIS program, Collier Middle School students are expected to treat others and themselves in a manner that is consistent with our four core behaviors of Respect, Responsibility, Safety, and Kindness.  These behaviors are modeled and reinforced by the Collier Middle School faculty and staff. 

In the event that a student needs additional support to demonstrate the four core behaviors, Collier Middle School offers Refocus and AIM.  These interventions assist students in reviewing and reflecting on their behavior, and in developing alternative behaviors in order to return to program. 

Sanctuary Model Safety Plans

Sanctuary Model Plans at Collier Middle School - a NJ Alternative Middle School

Sanctuary Model Safety Plans are carried by all CMS students and staff. The plans list several activities that are self-soothing. For some students, it might be a short break. For others, it could be a fidget to manipulate in their hands. Sanctuary Model Safety Plans are designed to help all of us to remember that there are specific strategies that can calm us down when we are stressed or overwhelmed. 

Refocus at Collier Middle School - a NJ Alternative Middle School

Students who have had difficulty demonstrating the four core behaviors during the school day are directed to brief Refocus sessions in lieu of their preferred activities. Refocus is scheduled twice each day: after the first four periods of the day, and after the last four periods of the day. During Refocus, students are asked to reflect on four questions:

  • What behavior prevented them from earning their points?
  • What were they thinking or feeling at the time?
  • What alternatives (from their safety plans) could they choose next time to avoid a consequence?
  •  Are there any relationships that need to be restored?

Students who engage with the Refocus counselor, respond thoughtfully to the questions, and demonstrate the four core behaviors during the session are considered to have successfully completed Refocus. They are then able to resume instruction with a clean slate. This incentive helps to motivate students who might otherwise remain “stuck” in a perception of negativity and noncompliance.

AIM at Collier Middle School - a NJ Alternative Middle School

AIM (Achieve, Inspire, Motivate) is an option for students  whose conduct necessitates temporary removal from the classroom environment, but for whom out-of-school suspension may not be necessary. The assigned AIM session (which may be a partial- or full day) consists of a combination of therapeutic, reflective intervention and completion of academic assignments. Reflective activities are similar to those used in Refocus, but are expanded in scope and depth to a degree that is commensurate with the infraction. 

Both Refocus and AIM are consistent with the PBIS model that is the foundation of the philosophy of Collier Middle School. More information on PBIS may be found on the parent resource page.