First Presenter's Institution

Newton High School

Second Presenter's Institution

Newton High School

Third Presenter's Institution

Newton High School

Fourth Presenter's Institution

Newton High School

Fifth Presenter's Institution

NA

Strand #1

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Strand #2

Social & Emotional Skills

Relevance

HEAD: Our presentation is centered on our student peer leadership group, the RAMbassadorS. These students represent what it means to be an exemplary student at our school. These students are leaders in our school, and represent PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). They model expectations, work in the community, and help to plan and work events in our school to encourage positive behavior. We also show in our presentation how our schools's PBIS team uses discipline data to drive our positive intervention plans in the school; such as the "No Tardy" and "No Referral" Parties we plan to reward those students who are rising to our school's behavioral expectations.

HEART: Our RAMbassadorS help to bring positivity to our school climate. Students admire and look-up to the RAMbassadorS. Being a part of this group empowers students, and make them feel as though they are an essential part to our school, as well as the community. This program helps build self-esteem and positive identity in our student population. The students also practice important decision-making skills and learn what it means to be a true role-model.

Brief Program Description

RAMbassadorS are students from various academic and behavior backgrounds who are given a leadership opportunity to extend model behavior into all aspects of student life including school, home, and community. The goal of this presentation is to share the impact of a successful Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) student advisory organization. The RAMbassadorS are trained to serve the school and welcome the community with pride and excellence. Presenters will provide an in-depth explanation of the development of the program.

Summary

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a school-wide system of support that includes proactive strategiesfor defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviorsto create positive school environments. Positive behavior support is a behaviorally-based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all children and youth.

In the past, school-wide discipline has focused primarily on reacting to misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has now shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, andreinforcing positive social behavior is an important step of a student's educational experience. Teaching behavioral expectations and acknowledging/rewarding students is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur. The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

Our student advisory organization, RAMbassadorS, are a group of students who positively represent the behavioral and academic expectations of our school. Once accepted into the program, these students serve the school and community in multiple capacities. They are asked to serve in events throughout the school, showing visitors our school and how we implement PBIS, serving and volunteering in events throughout our community outside of school, visiting and modeling behavior expectations to elementary school students in our district, etc. These students go through a rigorous application process to ensure that we select students who are motivated and capable, as well as those representing the diverse population of our school. Our presentation will help others to see how student leadership is implemented in the school, and provide ideas and strategies for beginning implementation that utilizes student leadership as the foundation for a PBIS model in their school.

Evidence

Our school utilizes the PBISapps.org program that schools/districts can use to assess school behavior data. A team of people enter in the data from our school discipline referrals and generate reports/charts to be reviewed and examined by the school’s PBIS Team to assess problem areas and target those behaviors through school-wide positive rewards and acknowledgement. Our team examines data to assess the impact of our intervention strategies and make adjustments based on school discipline needs. With tardies and skipping being the primary behavior issues we have in our school, we have seen targeted positive behavior interventions and strategies, led by our school’s PBIS team, positively effect these issues. Our school’s “No Tardy Party” and “No Referral Party” have been a huge success the last several years in decreasing referrals in our targeted areas.

Format

Poster Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Megan Chaffin has been a Social Studies and Special Education teacher for both middle and high schools for 7 years. For two of those years, she served as the Center Director for an alternative school program, where she found her passion in working with at-risk youth and found success in implementing positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS). She has a Specialist’s degree in Educational Leadership, and is currently working on her Doctorate in Leadership. She plans to conduct research and write her dissertation on the topic of students who attended alternative school programs.

Virginia Waters has been a Social Studies and Special Education teacher for 17 years at the high school level. She has a Master’s in Teaching and a Specialist’s degree in Administration and Supervision. She is currently pursuing her Educational Doctorate in Special Education. It was through these degrees that she started connecting data and research into her classroom and why she became a member of the school-wide program to improve student learning and school culture. Through research and years of experience, she believes strongly in the necessity of a positive learning environment for all students to connect with and engage in their learning. She also believes the cornerstone of overall school success is the reinforcement of positive behaviors.

Carla Hull began as a Business Administration Major from Georgia College in Milledgeville. She fell in love with education after being asked by her former high school track coach to help coach. She completed her Exceptional Child Education Certification from Clark Atlanta University while also completing her Masters of Higher Education Administration from Troy State University at the same time. She completed her Educational Leadership from Cambridge College and is working toward her Doctorate in Education from Capella University. She is currently an Assistant Principal at Newton High School in Covington Georgia and has work for the Newton Co School System for 16 years. She is a District 4 Board of Director for the Georgia Association of Educators(GAE) and a member of the NCNW(National Council of Negro Women).

Patrice Tealer has been a high school English teacher for 11 years and while she is certified to teach grades 6-12; she primarily teaches 9th grade students. She has experience teaching all levels of learners; collaborative, general education, and gifted students. She has obtained a Master’s in Curriculum, Instruction and Assessment; and an Educational Specialist in Curriculum and Teaching. Her resolve to being a life-long learner has enabled her to utilize the knowledge from degrees she has earned to teach both students and teachers strategies and skills to increase overall student achievement. She not only currently serves as a teacher, but also serves as a Ninth Grade ELA Content Leader, and also develops character education in students by being a sponsor of Ladies in Leadership, an all-girls mentoring club.

Keyword Descriptors

PBIS, Student/Peer Leadership, Data-Driven Decision-Making

Presentation Year

2018

Start Date

3-6-2018 4:00 PM

End Date

3-6-2018 5:30 PM

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Mar 6th, 4:00 PM Mar 6th, 5:30 PM

RAMbassadorS: Making Student Leadership the Cornerstone of PBIS

RAMbassadorS are students from various academic and behavior backgrounds who are given a leadership opportunity to extend model behavior into all aspects of student life including school, home, and community. The goal of this presentation is to share the impact of a successful Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) student advisory organization. The RAMbassadorS are trained to serve the school and welcome the community with pride and excellence. Presenters will provide an in-depth explanation of the development of the program.