Title

Behavior Leaders Academy: Teaching Positive Behavior Expectations in Secondary Schools

Location

Harborside Center East and West

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

The Behavior Leaders Academy relates to both the “Heart” and “Hands” strands of the conference theme. The session addresses the social emotional skills of students by helping the administration identify the trends in behaviors of the students in order to be pro-active with teaching them the expected behaviors on campus, and helping them process the difference between behavior expectations at school and in their social communities. It will help identify the characteristics of the students that need to be enhanced by the school community and underdeveloped communication skills along with procedural decision making processes and behavior ownership. The session will also include how peer mediation is a bridge to restorative justice.

Brief Program Description

With a disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic students being suspended out of school, this session will offer the framework for a collaborative approach in establishing positive student expectations. The session focuses on programs, partnerships and professional development strategies used in schools to develop culturally responsive environments in order to increase student achievement and enhance school culture.

Summary

The Behavior Leader Academy offers a comprehensive approach to reducing the amount of instructional time lost due to out of school suspensions. The session will take participants through a practical model of how to quantify the true impact of suspension on the learning on their campus. They will also learn how to identify the most critical areas of behavior concerns and how to use the SMART goal process to reduce the most prominent negative behaviors on campus. Managing behavior interventions in secondary schools can be a nearly impossible task; however, participants will have an in-depth look at culturally responsive instruction and behavior intervention. They will look at practical ways of tracking and organizing individual behavior intervention plans specifically in the secondary school setting. The use of behavior agreements as behavior modification strategies will be explained as a way to counteract behaviors that are culturally embedded, but not acceptable for the school environment. The behavior agreements will aid in student decision making and will create ownership of the behavior by the student in a non-threatening process to help them understand and process their behavior while molding their decision making process to align with the school expectations. Teacher interventions will also be shared along with coaching strategies for teachers that struggle with instructional strategies, classroom management and building relationships which result in misbehaviors warranted of out of school suspension. Participants will receive practical strategies for managing classroom interventions in secondary schools along with coaching tools for teacher improvement with classroom behavior management. Creating and utilizing an effective peer mediation program will also be explained to participants, and how it acts as a pre-suspension diversion process as well as a gateway to restorative justice on campus. Celebrating positive behavior will also be addressed as way to counteract chronic misbehavior on campus. Ideas for school-wide celebrations down to class and individual recognition will be shared as a practical approach to teaching positive behavior expectations.

Evidence

The Behavior Leaders Academy has had district-wide positive impact. This was evidenced in the 80% of schools that participated in the Behavior Leaders Academy that showed a reduction in Out-of-School suspension days. This was due to the use of behavior interventions and pre-suspension diversion programs that were implemented as a result of this approach. Furthermore, of the schools that participated, 96% showed a reduction in school referrals. This was a direct result of the focus on teaching school-wide expectations to all students, a foundational belief of the Behavior Leaders Academy. This program was designed based on the research of David Robinett (2012) from his article “Alternatives to Student Suspension” and Anne-Marie Iselin (2010) from her article titled “Research on School Suspension.”

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Karena began her teaching career eight years ago as a Language Arts teacher in Central Florida. Since then she has worked with schools throughout Orange County Public Schools in creating Professional Learning Communities, specifically focusing on collaborative teams working toward raising achievement in secondary math courses and establishing behavior expectations in order to increase achievement by reducing out of school suspensions.

Karena earned her bachelor's degree in English Literature at Florida State University, her master's degree in Educational Leadership from Stetson University, and is currently enrolled in the Executive Track Educational Leadership doctorate program at the University of Central Florida.

Keyword Descriptors

Behavior, Intervention, Expectations, Suspension, Discipline

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

Behavior Leaders Academy: Teaching Positive Behavior Expectations in Secondary Schools

Harborside Center East and West

With a disproportionate number of Black and Hispanic students being suspended out of school, this session will offer the framework for a collaborative approach in establishing positive student expectations. The session focuses on programs, partnerships and professional development strategies used in schools to develop culturally responsive environments in order to increase student achievement and enhance school culture.