Plainville Community Schools, 47 Robert Holcomb Way, Plainville CT 06062, (860)793-3200

Toffolon Receives Grant to Support Positive Behavior Intervention Program

Louis Toffolon Elementary School has received a $2000 grant from the Elizabeth Norton Trust Fund to support the implementation of a positive behavior program. Faculty at Toffolon pursued the grant to implement the model, known as the Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) program.

PBIS is a research based model of support used in schools in approximately 40 states. The program framework focuses on improving the social behavior climate of schools, supporting and enhancing the impact of academic instruction on achievement, and increasing proactive (positive/ preventive) management.

PBIS began in the 1980s by professors at the University of Oregon as a support for special education students. A decade later, PBIS was expanded to all students school-wide. New Hampshire, New York, and Maryland are some of the states that have incorporated PBIS at the state level, implementing the process district-wide. University of Connecticut Professor Dr. George Sugai is one of the founding fathers of the PBIS system. He is currently co-director of the national Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and works with the State Education Resource Center (SERC) to implement the PBIS program in school districts across Connecticut. Many schools in Connecticut, including the Middle School of Plainville, currently use PBS and are members of the UCONN / SERC collaborative. The program has been in place at the Middle School of Plainville for three years. As a result, there has been a significant decrease in the number of behavioral related incidences school-wide.

To implement the program at Toffolon, a team of five teachers, a paraprofessional and the principal are participating in training offered by the State Department of Education through SERC. Typically, the training is year long and the team takes the first year to plan for implementation for the following year. In this case, Toffolon's return to their renovated school in January presents the opportunity to start the program at that time.

"Our return to Toffolon provides perfect timing for creating a new, positive climate of social behavior to match our newly renovated facility. Our hope is to implement this program in stages beginning with the introduction of "Tiger Traits" into our new cafeteria, bathrooms, and hallways. We are confident that this grant will help us to start off on the right foot in our newly renovated building," said Principal Lynn Logoyke.

The Toffolon motto is "Toffolon Tigers ROAR with Pride." The Tiger Traits to be incorporated into Toffolon's PBIS program follow the acronym R.O.A.R.S., and include: R = Respect, O = Organization, A = Active Learning, R = Responsibility, and S = Safety.

Toffolon administration, faculty and staff recognize that a positive school climate makes learning possible. The PBIS program reinforces the position that students learn social skills and behavioral expectations in the same manner as they learn academic skills " through direct teaching. The PBIS team will train Toffolon teachers and develop lessons to be used to teach social skills to students in grades k-5.

Funding from the Elizabeth Norton Trust grant will be used to reinforce the teaching and support the Tiger Traits through the purchase of promotional banners, classroom incentives and support materials. "We are grateful for the financial support from the Elizabeth Norton Trust Fund that enables us to implement the PBIS program at Toffolon," noted Logoyke.

-Posted on January 26, 2009 at 01:30 PM

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