Biography of Primary Presenter

Kate McPhee is a doctoral student in the school psychology program at Georgia State University. She works as a graduate research assistant in the Center for Research on School Safety, School Climate and Classroom Management.

Highest Degree of Primary Presenter

Master's Degree

Presentation Abstract

Currently in Georgia, there is a strategic plan to “improve the climate in Georgia’s school and community settings through the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports framework.” (GaDOE, 2013, p.2). As the GaDOE’s strategic plan develops, schools are becoming more diverse with students representing a range of academic, behavioral and cultural experiences and backgrounds (Cohn & Caumont, 2016). Researchers have demonstrated that racial/ethnic disparities exist in academic achievement, discipline practices and mental health services provided in schools (e.g., Fallon et al., 2015). Thus, to improve educational experiences for all students through PBIS, considering how culture and context influence what is being taught and reinforced is integral for PBIS implementation in a range of different cultural settings (Sugai et al., 2012). The current study addresses how PBIS teams are approaching these considerations.

Direct feedback from PBIS teams in the process of implementation can inform what is important for sustaining PBIS in schools. A qualitative study was conducted to identify how PBIS team members from high-need, low -resource schools in Georgia feel that culture impacts PBIS implementation. Fifteen teams (n=128) from elementary, middle and high schools were interviewed in groups. The researchers will present data from participants to address the research question, “How do PBIS teams perceive connections between culture and PBIS implementation?” Themes will be presented to reflect the results. These include considerations for disciplinary practices and character education, the importance of relationships between the school staff, students and family members, and ideas for increasing parental and community involvement in PBIS routines and rituals. These results may be used by schools, families and communities to address the discrepancy that can exist between cultural expectations in students’ home and school experiences. Using the Participatory Culture Specific Intervention Model (Nastasi et al., 2004), the findings can improve how PBIS serves all students in Georgia.

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PBIS teams perceived connections between culture and PBIS implementation

Currently in Georgia, there is a strategic plan to “improve the climate in Georgia’s school and community settings through the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports framework.” (GaDOE, 2013, p.2). As the GaDOE’s strategic plan develops, schools are becoming more diverse with students representing a range of academic, behavioral and cultural experiences and backgrounds (Cohn & Caumont, 2016). Researchers have demonstrated that racial/ethnic disparities exist in academic achievement, discipline practices and mental health services provided in schools (e.g., Fallon et al., 2015). Thus, to improve educational experiences for all students through PBIS, considering how culture and context influence what is being taught and reinforced is integral for PBIS implementation in a range of different cultural settings (Sugai et al., 2012). The current study addresses how PBIS teams are approaching these considerations.

Direct feedback from PBIS teams in the process of implementation can inform what is important for sustaining PBIS in schools. A qualitative study was conducted to identify how PBIS team members from high-need, low -resource schools in Georgia feel that culture impacts PBIS implementation. Fifteen teams (n=128) from elementary, middle and high schools were interviewed in groups. The researchers will present data from participants to address the research question, “How do PBIS teams perceive connections between culture and PBIS implementation?” Themes will be presented to reflect the results. These include considerations for disciplinary practices and character education, the importance of relationships between the school staff, students and family members, and ideas for increasing parental and community involvement in PBIS routines and rituals. These results may be used by schools, families and communities to address the discrepancy that can exist between cultural expectations in students’ home and school experiences. Using the Participatory Culture Specific Intervention Model (Nastasi et al., 2004), the findings can improve how PBIS serves all students in Georgia.