Story Submitted By: Paradise USD
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Paradise Unified School District: PBIS as a Response to Intervention Model
In February 2006 all of Paradise Unified School District schools established a site team for developing a school-wide positive behavioral support system, attended a three day basic content training in the process of developing such a system, using the B.E.S.T. curriculum, and attended a one day ‘booster’ session for continued work on their individual school plans and troubleshooting challenges in implementation and using data to modify their programs. These trainings were provided by BCOE SELPA Program Specialist, Gail Cafferata. Mrs. Cafferata is a trainer of the B.E.S.T. curriculum for developing school-wide Positive Behavior Instructional Supports (PBIS) and was part of the state’s six year CalSTAT project for training PBIS. Continued efforts to maintain and sustain district-wide PBIS are in direct alignment with the district’s focus on collaboration.
For the past two years, Mrs. Cafferata has worked with the district to achieve the goal of each site becoming self-sustaining in implementation of their site PBIS programs. Additionally, each site has received assistance from Mrs. Cafferata in the use of data for making decisions regarding necessary changes in their programs.
All seven sites can be considered sustaining sites as outlined by George Sugai in A Guide for Principals and Leadership Teams. Each site has scored 80% or better on the seven critical elements for developing and sustaining a proactive school wide discipline plan outlined by Dr. Sugai. In addition to implementing PBIS as a Response to Intervention Model, PUSD also implements an academic Response to Intervention Model. PUSD has found that by providing universal interventions in both academics and behavior, academic performance increases and behavior problems decrease. Since current research in evidence based practices has determined that school-wide PBIS has a direct effect on decreasing truancy rates, disruptive anti-social behavior, suspensions, and expulsions, the B.E.S.T./PBIS project was included in the SHINE (Safe and Healthy Schools in Northern California) Project. The SHINE project was awarded to PUSD in 2007, and student behavioral, social and emotional supports were emphasized.
SHINE’s goal for supporting the PBIS project was to facilitate the academic achievement and healthy social development of children and youth in a safe environment that is conducive to learning. The benefits: integrated district-wide behavioral expectations; decreased discipline referrals to the office; decreased in-school and out-of-school suspensions; decreased expulsions; which leads to a safer school environment and more students in our schools learning.
Recently, Paradise High School, one of the high schools in Paradise Unified School District, Paradise, CA, began the process of developing a school wide plan for positive behavior supports. Administrators at the site are committed to developing a consistent plan that emphasizes teaching and positive recognition of behaviors expected of both students and staff. They have developed a team of staff, students, parents and community members who are diligently working together to develop a safe, positive school climate where appropriate behaviors are the norm.
The students on the team are providing valuable input and are eager to make contributions. In addition to producing a video as a means to teach behavior expectations, they recently completed a survey of the entire student body regarding safety on the campus. The following is a student’s description of their safety project:
“Hi my name is Cheyenne. I go to Paradise High School, and I am part of my school’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Support team, or PBIS. In PBIS, we are trying to make our school a better place. One of the concerns we had was safety. Some students at our high school felt unsafe but we didn’t know where these “unsafe” places were. So some fellow students of mine: Brian, Ryan and I, decided that we would take it on to find out exactly where students felt unsafe. We started out with just a regular map of the school, but it didn’t seem like it covered all the areas where students go. So along the border of the map we added places like the bike path, parking lots, etc. Then, we made 1200 copies and sent one out to every second period class. We asked the students to put three dots on the map of where they felt unsafe, either physically or emotionally. We didn’t get all of the maps back but we got most. Next, we took a small map to our local print shop and got it enlarged to a 3’ by 5’ poster, and combined all the students’ responses on the big map. The information was pretty impressive: for the most part kids felt safe on campus, where they felt unsafe was outside of school grounds. We wanted this information to help kids feel safer at school, and now that we have it we are trying to fix all the problem areas, and make it so that students have a safe environment to learn.”
PUSD is extremely proud of our students and their resourcefulness and collaborative attitudes which continue to focus on crafting great learning environments that continue to support the success of all students!
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