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Roane County’s School-Wide Positive Behavior Support is a team-based, proactive approach to teaching and prevention that fosters a safe, effective learning environment and a positive social culture.
When implemented properly, the program augments student security and success as well as increases the potential for making school a positive experience.
In such an atmosphere, students are inspired to excel and feel excited about being in school.
A sustained, rigorous framework of the program can foster, in both the minds of students and teachers, the notion that being in school and feeling valued is both encouraging and inspiring.
Better attendance, academic achievement and positive behavior are inherent in such a mindset.
School-Wide Positive Behavior Support is a combination of effective practices that:
• Teaches and encourages respectful, responsible behaviors.
• Increases instructional time and student proficiency.
• Improves attendance
• Uses data continuously to support decision making.
• Creates an individualized, total school climate that support staff and student behavior and encourages family engagement.
• Provides an emphasis on implementing preventative, behavioral strategies as well as the importance of following rules rather than the more traditional approach of exclusion, suspension, and control.
Both students and staff believe in the process that has changed the culture in their respective schools and the change is noticeable to those who enter our schools.
Three basic guidelines are posted in implementing schools as a reminder to all that positive expectations yield positive results.
Such guidelines are as simple as “Be Ready, Be Responsible, Be Respectful.”
Students and staff take ownership of those guidelines and it shows in the overall reduction in discipline issues.
The Code of Student Conduct is still the document that is enforced throughout the system, however, by reinforcing the positive, discipline referrals have decreased significantly in the past few years, especially from the 2009-10 to the 2010-11 school year.
School-Wide Positive Behavior Support uses a three-tiered approach in providing supports for schools and their students.
In the first tier, students identify and define school rules, understand expectations and develop a school-wide system to encourage positive behaviors.
Each school has a built-in reward system, which although is universal, is unique to its school.
Such rewards are “Bee Bucks,” “Sand Dollars” and others, which students earn when following positive guidelines without being forced to.
The second tier focuses on students who are at risk for engaging in more serious behavior problems and/or poor academic performance.
Students who fall into this tier receive more individual contact with teachers and Student Support Services.
The focus is on smaller groups that incorporate checks and balances to help them with both academics and behavior issues.
The third tier is for those students needing a comprehensive student-centered plan with targeted social and instructional skills as part of the assistance package.
Students receive advanced services and are taught methods of self-management to help maintain those strategies.
Data is processed through a district-wide management system which is constantly monitored and analyzed by staff.
By using this information as a tool, patterns of behavior, attendance and academic performance become readily visible and steps to address those patterns are taken.
Improvement and progress are also easily and recognized to determine success of interventions.
The ultimate goal of School-Wide Positive Behavior Support is to bring a new culture of respect, responsibility and readiness throughout our schools which will lead to a positive learning environment for all.
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Patricia Wells is school health coordinator for Roane County Schools. She may be reached at either 882-3700, Ext. 1910, or email@example.com.