Sunday, February 5, 2023

Yokayo Elementary and Grace Hudson Elementary earn top California PBIS Awards


The following is a press release issued by the Ukiah Unified School District:

Yokayo Elementary’s Gold Medal PBIS Team! Left to right: counselor Amy Wyse, principal Dana Milani, student success coordinator Michael Olson, family community liaison Glen Robles, and head of plant David Ramirez. [Caption and Photo provided by UUSD]

Yokayo Elementary received Gold, and Grace Hudson Elementary received Silver from the California PBIS Coalition for successfully implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) programs at their schools. There are over 10,500 public schools serving over 5.8 million students in California; only 430 schools received a Gold level award, and 504 received Silver awards.

“PBIS is at the heart of our Yokayo Community. It allows students to engage in academics in a way that honors their need for consistency and structure, reinforces a respectable and kind environment, and promotes equity. Our hope is that students leave Yokayo with a foundation that will stay with them throughout their lives,” said Yokayo principal Dana Milani. 

Simply put, PBIS is a way for schools to encourage good behavior and improve student learning. It’s a framework for maximizing the selection and use of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices that support the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral skills of all students. This framework includes Universal, Targeted, and Indicated Practices that help students develop and learn social, emotional, and behavioral skills and academics. 

PBIS programs use specific methods to support students, which staff match to the needed level of support. All students experience universal Practices across all settings to establish a predictable, consistent, positive, and safe school climate. Targeted Practices are designed for groups of students who need more structure, feedback, instruction, and support. Indicated Practices are more intense and individualized to meet the challenges of students who need the most help and support. 

Yokayo Elementary uses a national character education program called Character Counts at their school. Character Counts uses what they refer to as the six pillars of character. Trustworthiness, Respect, Responsibility, Fairness, Caring, and Citizenship are used to help students be successful at school and in their personal lives. These pillars are often referred to with the acronym TRRFCC, which you can see on the outside wall of Yokayo as you pass by. All students learn the meaning of these character pillars and have expectations that they must live up to socially and academically every day. Teacher and parent involvement with any PBIS programs is vital, so Yokayo parents and staff developed their own set of expectations too.

Grace Hudson Elementary’s PBIS program focuses on three rules, Be responsible/Ser responsable, Be respectful/Ser respetuoso, and Be Safe/Ser seguro. Staff explicitly teach the behavior expectations associated with the rules. School staff recognize students who perform well with awards called Bravoletos that they can use on rewards when they demonstrate responsible, respectful, and safe behavior. Students can also receive Student Action Reports based on infractions of these rules. Like any great PBIS program, the consequences for infractions are well defined, and everyone should know what they are.

Schools with a successful PBIS system often see reductions in disciplinary infractions, antisocial behaviors will become less frequent, and substance abuse can decline. Research has shown that a positive impact on grades may also be achieved when successful PBIS programs are utilized.

“I want to recognize the hard work staff at Yokayo and Grace Hudson have put in to make PBIS programs an important part of their schools. Students, parents, and staff must work together for a successful PBIS program, and I believe this speaks volumes about our educational community at Ukiah Unified schools,” said Katie Sommer, Ukiah Unified School District’s assistant superintendent of Educational Services. 

To learn more about PBIS, reach out to your child’s school, and visit Contact Ukiah Unified Communications Officer Doug Shald for more information at (707) 472-5005 or



  1. Great going students, be proud. You will have great careers!

    But realize

    California ranked 42nd nationally in education

    California trails much of the country when it comes to public education, according to Education Week’s new state rankings.

    Another ranking by wallet Hud.

    40 California 43.17 37 48
    41 Hawaii 42.42 41 33
    42 Alabama 39.81 45 23
    43 Mississippi 38.65 43 45
    44 Oregon 38.07 44 39
    45 Oklahoma 38.01 46 25
    46 South Carolina 37.31 42 51
    47 West Virginia 37.18 47 18
    48 Arizona 35.11 48 34
    49 Louisiana 34.09 49 40
    50 Alaska 33.05 50 30
    51 New Mexico 26.07 51 4b

    Go team Gavin, keep students stupid and voting liberal

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MendoFever Staff
MendoFever Staff
Editor's Note: Whenever an article's byline reads "MendoFever Staff", the contents of that article were not composed by any of our reporters. Types of writing that will be attributed to "MendoFever Staff" include press releases, letters to the editor, op-eds, obituaries— essentially writing that is not produced by a reporter.

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