School began on a high note this year at the Middle School of Plainville, and has continued as such, thanks in part to the new Positive Behavioral Support (PBS) program introduced in September. This research based program includes proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive and safe school environments.
In preparation for launching the PBS program at the middle school, a committee of school district staff members examined school data and promising behavioral practices that enhance school climate. The committee then collaborated with the University of Connecticut and the State Educational Resource Center (SERC), to develop a customized PBS program to meet the needs of the Middle School of Plainville.
Prior to the start of the school year, training on PBS was conducted for all middle school staff members as well as the district’s bus transportation personnel. According to Maureen Schiffer, director of special education and pupil services, and member of the PBS committee, specific lessons were conducted during the first week of school to give students the opportunity to practice behavioral expectations. To reinforce these expectations, lessons will be reviewed at the start of each new marking period. Staff members throughout the middle school will continue to echo key program messages through the ongoing teaching, modeling, and practicing of positive behaviors. The program’s theme, “Respect and Responsibility – Our Express to Success” together with the code of conduct expectations is depicted on banners and signs throughout the middle school building, reinforcing the message for students and staff members. A primary component of the behavioral program is a reward system designed to recognize students’ positive behaviors. Students receive “Express to Success” tickets, which are entered into a series of drawings for raffle prizes. To date, more than 6,000 tickets have been distributed to students in recognition of positive behavior.
“We know that students are best served in schools with predictable routines and minimal disruptions to teaching and learning. PBS is one method of creating a school climate that increases students’ social competence and academic achievement,” noted Tom Laudadio, dean of students. According to Laudadio, research indicates that school districts which have implemented the PBS program have seen increases in instructional time, student attendance, and staff and student morale, while office referrals, suspensions and expulsions have decreased. And while the program has only been in place a short time at the middle school in Plainville, administrators have already noticed a significant improvement in overall student behavior. “We have experienced a 42% decrease in discipline referrals for the month of September. Specifically we have seen a 41% decrease in discipline referrals on our school buses and a 33% decrease in referrals from classrooms. And in the first couple of weeks in October, we have experienced a 58% decrease in all behavior problems,” noted Laudadio.
“I wholeheartedly applaud the collaborative dedication of the middle school faculty and support staff who are working tirelessly to create a positive school climate using a consistent approach,” said Middle School of Plainville Principal, Carole Alvaro.
"I am thrilled with the results of the PBS program at the middle school. I commend our staff members for their exceptional efforts, hard work, and commitment to maintaining a positive and safe school environment through this important school-wide focus," noted Kathleen Binkowski, superintendent of schools.
-Posted on October 31, 2006 at 04:10 PM
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