Title

Creating a Positive Climate and Promoting Academic Achievement Through Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Location

Scarbrough 3

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

The proposal relates to the strand "Hands" on Safety and Violence Prevention because the proposal focuses on how a Title I middle school (Clements), after its first year of implementing a state (GA) initiative called Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, allowed staff to focus on school wide positive behavior management strategies to decrease the number of office discipline referrals which promoted school safety. This also led to a positive and safe climate. Referrals decreased significantly from approximately 1100 to 531 after the first year of implementation in a school of 684 students. The proposal also relates to the "Head" strand, Academic Achievement and Leadership. In addition to improving the climate through a positive school wide strategic plan for behavior management, the school also experienced significant growth in all content areas, closing achievements of high and low performing students. Clements had historically been one of the poorest performing schools in the district. Implementation of this plan allowed teachers to teach with a significant decrease in classroom disruptions.

Brief Program Description

Creating a positive school climate and promoting academic achievement through Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports is no easy task. Clements Middle School embraced PBIS and worked hard to maintain both. Find out how this Title I middle school took on the task of creating a positive climate and a safe environment that led to academic success through PBIS. K-12 educators may benefit from this presentation and participants will learn how to effectively implement the 10 key areas of PBIS to promote school safety and increase academic achievement.

Summary

Clements Middle School implemented PBIS for the first time in August 2012. After the school’s first year of implementation, Clements reached Operational status, which is the highest level of achievement in regards to PBIS at the state level. Implementation of PBIS during the 2012-2013 school year, transformed the climate at Clements Middle into a positive one that also played a major role in increasing student achievement and academic success. In the spring of 2013, student state testing data showed a significant increase in all content areas. During the second year of implementation, 2013-2014, Clements Middle School maintained Operational status. This was not an easy task, however, through the hard work and commitment of the PBIS School-based Team, District Coach, and the concerted efforts of all Clements Middle School Staff, we were able to accomplish this again for a second time. After the second year of implementation, Clements Middle School still continued to show progress and maintain a positive school climate. PBIS has definitely made a difference in the overall climate and academic success of students and staff at Clements Middle School. The school based PBIS Team or Discipline Committee met at the beginning of each school year and then monthly to discuss school -wide discipline data. We focused on types of behavior, location, time of day and which students needed interventions and supports. Special educators, counselors, the administrative team, ISS coordinator, and 6-8th grade level representatives made up the PBIS Team to ensure that all areas of the school were represented. Through consistent monitoring and planning positive behavior incentives to promote positive behaviors, the school transformed student behaviors. The interventions and supports were directly tied to Response to Interventions (RtI) at the Tier 2 level for behavior. This helped teachers identify problem behaviors and provided behavior incentives to assist with rewarding students for showing positive behaviors. K-12 educators may benefit from this session by taking away ideas for implementing a school-wide postive behavior plan in their buildings to promote student overall success.

Evidence

This proposal is based on known research and promising practices due to Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports being a GA Department of Education initiative that is based on sound research based practices.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Ms. Joy S. Scavella: Since 1998, Ms. Scavella has served children and youth in the middle and elementary setting. She taught Science, English, and Reading in the middle school setting in Washington County, GA at T. J. Elder Middle School and all subjects at the elementary level in Bibb County, GA at Burdell-Hunt Magnet School. She went on to serve as an assistant principal at Hunt Elementary School in Fort Valley, Peach County, GA for five years and served as the principal of Fort Valley Middle School in Fort Valley Peach County, GA for two years. Ms. Scavella has served as the principal of Clements Middle School with the Newton County School System (NCSS) since August 2010 to present. Ms. Scavella believes that all students can achieve academic success with the right guidance and support in an environment that embraces a high level of safety and high academic expectations.

Mr. Alonzo Yellinig: Mr. Yelling attend Tuskegee University, University of South Alabama, Mercer University and Argosy University. He majored in Marketing; Business Administration; Middle Grades Education – Math; and Instructional Leadership. He holds a degree in B.S Marketing, an MBA, and a Masters in Middle Grades Education. He has served students in the middle school setting for almost 20 years. He truly believes in teaching the "whole" child and instilling the love for history in order for them to become productive well rounded citizens.

Tiphanie Dean: Tiphanie Dean, originally from Nashville, Tennessee has been in education for 13 years. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in History from Jackson State University, Jackson, Mississippi and a master’s degree in School Guidance Counseling from the University of West Alabama, Livingston, Alabama. Mrs. Dean began her teaching career as an 8th grade Georgia History teacher in the DeKalb County School District. Currently, Mrs. Dean is a School Guidance Counselor in the Newton County School System. Mrs. Dean holds memberships in several professional organizations, including the Georgia Association of School Counselors (GSCA). In her spare time, Mrs. Dean enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 overly active children

Keyword Descriptors

Middle School, Positive Climate, Behavior Management, Academic Achievement Title I School, Achievement Gaps

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-2-2015 3:00 PM

End Date

3-2-2015 4:15 PM

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Mar 2nd, 3:00 PM Mar 2nd, 4:15 PM

Creating a Positive Climate and Promoting Academic Achievement Through Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Scarbrough 3

Creating a positive school climate and promoting academic achievement through Positive Behaviors Interventions and Supports is no easy task. Clements Middle School embraced PBIS and worked hard to maintain both. Find out how this Title I middle school took on the task of creating a positive climate and a safe environment that led to academic success through PBIS. K-12 educators may benefit from this presentation and participants will learn how to effectively implement the 10 key areas of PBIS to promote school safety and increase academic achievement.