Friday, May 13, 2016

Terese Jurgensen ~ Director of Student Services ~ May 13, 2016

What is PBIS?
One of the Healthy Indicators of Iowa Schools is the Positive Behavior Intervention Supports Model or what is commonly referred to as PBIS. What I truly appreciate about PBIS is that it relates to our Skill or Will model of supporting students at Crestwood. Many people believe that students come to school and "automatically" understand how to act appropriately in the common areas of schools. Common areas would be the classroom, hallway, playground, lunchroom and restroom. Due to culture changes across the nation, this belief is no longer true. We teach and reteach the expected behaviors, how to act appropriately, in each of these areas and instead of the focus being punitive, the focus is rewarding students for acting appropriately. At Crestwood, we refer to these practices as Cadet Pride! Mrs. McCabe is our lead teacher in our PBIS initiative and this year, she reached out to Notre Dame School, and we partnered with them by utilizing their carnival games to celebrate our students making good choices. Above, Mrs. McCabe explains our expected behaviors and the carnival focus, below the outline of PBIS is explained here. If you want to learn more about PBIS, the website can be found at

Positive Behavior Intervention Supports
Teaching & Reaching Students for Cadet Pride!
  1. We can effectively teach appropriate behavior to all children. All PBIS practices are founded on the assumption and belief that all children can exhibit appropriate behavior. As a result, it is our responsibility to identify the contextual setting events and environmental conditions that enable exhibition of appropriate behavior. We then must determine the means and systems to provide those resources.
  2. Intervene early. It is best practices to intervene before targeted behaviors occur. If we intervene before problematic behaviors escalate, the interventions are much more manageable. Highly effective universal interventions in the early stages of implementation which are informed by time sensitive continuous progress monitoring, enjoy strong empirical support for their effectiveness with at-risk students.
  3. Use of a multi-tier model of service delivery. PBIS uses an efficient, needs-driven resource deployment system to match behavioral resources with student need. To achieve high rates of student success for all students, instruction in the schools must be differentiated in both nature and intensity. To efficiently differentiate behavioral instruction for all students. PBIS uses tiered models of service delivery.
  4. Use research-based, scientifically validated interventions to the extent available. No Child Left Behind requires the use of scientifically based curricula and interventions. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that students are exposed to curriculum and teaching that has demonstrated effectiveness for the type of student and the setting. Research-based, scientifically validated interventions provide our best opportunity at implementing strategies that will be effective for a large majority of students.
  5. Monitor student progress to inform interventions. The only method to determine if a student is improving is to monitor the student's progress. The use of assessments that can be collected frequently and that are sensitive to small changes in student behavior is recommended. Determining the effectiveness (or lack of) an intervention early is important to maximize the impact of that intervention for the student.
  6. Use data to make decisions. A data-based decision regarding student response to the interventions is central to PBIS practices. Decisions in PBIS practices are based on professional judgment informed directly by student office discipline referral data and performance data. This principle requires that ongoing data collection systems are in place and that resulting data are used to make informed behavioral intervention planning decisions.
  7. Use assessment for three different purposes. In PBIS, three types of assessments are used: 1) screening of data comparison per day per month for total office discipline referrals, 2) diagnostic determination of data by time of day, problem behavior, and location and 3) progress monitoring to determine if the behavioral interventions are producing the desired effects.
Junior High Student Council Students Led MATH Games
 as a part of the PBIS Carnival!
Kim Witt is shown here with a student who
won a wonderful prize at the carnival!

                          Two Junior High Students helping with Math Games for students!                                                        

Creating Trauma Sensitive Schools 
During the last few weeks, I have been writing about creating a Trauma Sensitive School, but more specifically about the reality of the fact that the majority of people have had Adverse Childhood Experiences, or A.C.E.S. These troubling events cross all economic, family and cultural lines. On Monday, May 9th, Denise Headington and I attended the second day of training and brought back several excellent resources to share with our SUCCESS team as well as our teaching and support staff. 

Our focus at Howard-Winneshiek CSD to create a school where students experience compassion, resilience and academic success through multiple levels of support. 

Research shows if a person has more than 4 ACES during their childhood, the results are an increase in negative behaviors and self-inflicted harm as listed here below. What is more, is that they are more likely for an untimely death due to health complications. 

There are 3 Types of Adverse Childhood Effects that are in two categories. One is negative behaviors that happen directly to the child - in the forms of abuse or neglect. The other are negative experiences that happen around the child or in the child's household. These are listed below. 

What Can Support a Child who has ACES in their life? 
The answer is not so much what - but who. The most important factor to support students and to build their resiliency is to create at least one, very strong, supportive relationship with them in the public school. What is more important, is to become a school that understands that students will do "well if they can." We must be a school that is sensitive to all of our students and use our PBIS supports and caring staff to make a difference in the lives of all of our students. 

An Important Point to Remember: 

Next week is our last full week of school 
for the 2015-2016 School Year!

Have a great week!

Terese Jurgensen

(563) 929-6344

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