Title

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports with Peer Helpers

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Social & Emotional Skills

Strand #2

Safety & Violence Prevention

Relevance

Our proposal includes the social and emotional skills strand because of the use of peer helpers. Eighth grade students received training to mediate minor events in the classroom. School safety was increased and violence decreased by PBIS and peer helpers. Both groups helped with decreasing teacher referrals, tribunal hearings, in school and out of school suspensions.

Brief Program Description

Participants will be introduced to the framework of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and how the system can be successful in any school. Trainings for the teachers and peer helpers will be shared to enable others to duplicate the model. The trials, triumphs and tribulations of this endeavor will be discussed as well as how to solicit sponsorships from the community at large.

Summary

Renaissance Middle School (RMS) owes the positive school climate and decrease in student discipline to our Peer Helpers Team (PHT) and the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). The combination of these dynamic teams have decreased discipline by 65%. Home to more than 1200 students, RMS was known as one of Fulton County’s most challenging middle schools. With over 70 discipline tribunal hearings, 2,000 discipline referrals, 2,552 in school suspension days and 3030 out of school suspension days, change in leadership was paramount. Thanks to mobilizing a defunct PBIS committee and creating a PHT, discipline declined. Professional development for teachers included using the PBIS strategies and developing our school-wide “Wildcat Way”. It also included learning how to descalate events in their classrooms by using a common language. The PHT attended week long training at the Power Over Prejudice Summit to receive training in mediation, bullying and prejudice. Student leaders were trained in the 5C’s – competence, confidence, connection, character and caring. Data from 2013-2014 was reduces to 34 tribunal hearings, 1100 discipline referrals, 699 in school suspensions days and 1338 out of school suspension days.

Evidence

Our school’s professional development was based on training given by Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).Specifically we used primary, secondary and tertiary research. Of the three, tier two interventions were the most effective. The Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 11, 2.82-93 outlines an article from McIntosh, Campbell, Carter and Dickey modeled to create our Wildcat Way framework. In the book entitled, “The Arts of Strengths Coaching” by Mike Pegg (2000), the 5C’s of mentoring are introduced. Peer helpers play a key role in nurturing talent. Benefits include passing-on wisdom and helping people to make good quality decisions. The benefits to the mentee are that it provides an opportunity to expand their repertoire of knowledge and tools they can use to achieve success.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Sandra C. DeShazier is currently the principal of Renaissance Middle School in Atlanta Georgia. She has been an educator for thirty years serving as a foreign language teacher and an administrator in elementary, middle and high school. Among the many honors her schools have received are: the National Middle School Career Center, Distinguished Title I School and the Govenor’s Award for Greatest Academic Gains. Along with being named to Who’s Who at Temple University and Florida A&M University Alumni, she was chosen as a participant in the National Board Principal Certification Program -Cohort 1. She holds a bachelor's degree in Spanish and international business from Temple University; a master's degree from Florida A&M University and a doctorate degree in educational leadership from Georgia State University.

Amanda O’Neill is an administrative assistant at Renaissance Middle School. She earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a master’s degree in guidance and counseling from the University of West Georgia. Ms. O’Neill began her career as an emotional and behavior disorders teacher and has served as a curriculum assistant principal and dean of students. She holds Georgia Educator Certificates in Special Education, School Counseling and Educational Leadership Ms. O’Neill has an intrinsic passion for promoting student achievement academically, as well as socially.

Ronnie Andrews has worked as a professional counselor for Fulton County Schools for the past 16 years. During his tenure with Fulton County School, Mr. Andrews has served as lead counselor and coordinator for Renaissance Middle School’s peer helpers. The Peer Helpers Team provides students with leadership and communication skills while engaging them in academic and peer mediation training sessions.

Keyword Descriptors

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, peer helpers, mediation, discipline, suspension, framework

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-3-2015 4:00 PM

End Date

3-3-2015 5:30 PM

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Mar 3rd, 4:00 PM Mar 3rd, 5:30 PM

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports with Peer Helpers

Harborside Center East and West

Participants will be introduced to the framework of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and how the system can be successful in any school. Trainings for the teachers and peer helpers will be shared to enable others to duplicate the model. The trials, triumphs and tribulations of this endeavor will be discussed as well as how to solicit sponsorships from the community at large.