The Arkansas Department of Education, Special Education Unit continues to implement its five-year State Improvement Grant (SIG) from the U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs, especially in elementary schools across the state. A major initiative is to implement school-wide “Positive Behavioral Self-Management Systems (PBSS)" that help schools address student discipline, behavior management, accountability, and school safety. The PBSS approaches also help schools address outcomes embedded in the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) as related to increasing students’ academic engagement and providing early intervention services for students with behavioral needs.
At this time, all superintendents are invited to send teams from one or more district elementary schools to a series of four training events focused on implementing school-wide PBSS discipline and early intervention approaches in schools. Schools must send at least a four-person team and at least one district-level administrator to all of the trainings. The school-based team must include the building principal, the Chairs of the school improvement team, school discipline committee, and pre-referral intervention team (or the equivalents).
All training will be conducted in Little Rock. Refreshments and lunches, as well as continuing education units (CEUs), will be provided at no charge. There is no fee for the training. The first two-day training is November 28-29, 2006. The second two-day training is January 23-24, 2007. Every team member is expected to attend every session. Districts are responsible for expenses associated with staff travel and overnight accommodations.
During the four training sessions, the following topics will be addressed:
• The components of a Positive Behavioral Self-Management System (PBSS)
• The research evidence underlying the PBSS
• How to establish a well-functioning School Discipline/Positive Climate Committee and identify behavioral intervention resources
• How to establish a well-functioning School Prevention, Review, and Intervention Team (SPRINT)process relative to “pre-referral” interventions and “response-to-intervention” processes
• How to write an effective school-based discipline plan with appropriate annual school improvement goals
• How to collect and analyze student discipline data using the Automated Discipline Data, Review, and Evaluation Software System (ADDRESS); and how to collect and formatively analyze student referral and school climate data
• How to design and implement an effective school-wide accountability system for student behavior
• How to prepare for the implementation of a school-wide social skills program
• How to integrate the PBSS with school-based mental health services
• How to involve parents and community partners in PBSS activities
For more information about this training, refer to the “Goal 2” area of the State Improvement Grant website: www.acc.k12.ar.us/sig.
This training will help districts and schools, through the Arkansas Comprehensive School Improvement Plan (ACSIP) process, to make positive and lasting changes at the systems level. Goals of the PBSS process include: increasing students’ academic engagement and achievement (especially at-risk and underachieving students and those with disabilities); increasing these students’ self-management and social skills; decreasing discipline referrals and suspensions and expulsions for all of these student groups; increasing staff skills and consistency relative to positive approaches to discipline and behavior management; and increasing parent support, skills, and participation in all of these areas.
After training is completed, participating schools will be invited to participate in a two- to three-year process with on-site professional development and technical assistance from SIG personnel. Assistance will focus on helping schools successfully implement the different PBSS components discussed during training. Participation by districts in the on-site assistance that follows does involve commitment to staff involvement, professional development and in-service time, and the purchase of support materials. However, districts may participate in the November and January training without committing to any further involvement.
To participate in this training, superintendents need to nominate a five-person PBSS School/District Leadership Team. E-mail completed forms to Dr. Howard Knoff, SIG Director, by October 16th. For more information, contact Dr. Howard M. Knoff via e-mail at email@example.com.