Area of Nomination: Positive Behavior Intervention
School: West Street Elementary in Niagara-Wheatfield Central School
District: Orleans/Niagara BOCES
Grade Level: Elementary
Unhappy with academic and behavioral outcomes for students with challenging behavior served in the Orleans Niagara BOCES elementary program at West Elementary, administration and staff designed and implemented a PBIS practice adapted to the needs of a range of cognitive and emotional needs, resulting in significantly improved pro-social behavior and academic achievement.
Orleans/Niagara BOCES serves 13 small city, suburban, and rural school districts ranging from average to High Need/Capacity Ratio.
Orleans Niagara BOCES at West Elementary has fully implemented a school-wide PBIS model adapted to the needs of students with significant emotional and behavioral disabilities. The practice has been extended to address challenging family issues through a Wrap Around program to enhance families' skills as partners in support of their students.
Why was the practice initiated:
Students served by this practice have been referred to BOCES because the impact of their disabilities results in very challenging behavior. Prior to initiation of this practice, management of student behavior was the primary concern and staff morale was low. Students required isolation, restraint, and removal to control behavior, and made little progress academically. Teachers reported the environment as chaotic and dreaded coming to work.
Why the practice was validated by S³TAIR:
The number and intensity of "red level" or "yellow level" (severe or
challenging) behavior has steadily declined. In the 2004-05 school year,
average daily attendance was 91.04% and there were 669 minor (classroom)
behavior referrals and 176 major referrals (administrator involvement)
for a total enrollment of 53 students. After full implementing of PBIS
during the 2007-08 school year, major referrals for the 54 enrolled
students fell to 119 and minor referrals to 632, and average daily
attendance had risen to 94%. Several students are successfully
participating in general education classes at West Elementary, and are
progressing academically because teachers have more time to provide
instruction instead of managing challenging behaviors.
The staff at West Street BOCES have fully embraced PBIS adapted to the needs of students with emotional, autism spectrum, and cognitive disabilities, resulting in a safe, nurturing, and academically challenging environment geared to the needs of each student. Every staff member and over half of the students' families have accepted roles in implementation of the practice. Students can accurately report the school behavior goals and their success in achieving them. Family members are engaged with and knowledgeable about the practice and in many cases have generalized behavior goals into their home environments. The PBIS team analyzes data collected daily to develop interventions and add programming. These data and the results of qualitative data from School-wide Evaluation Tools and parent surveys have been used to identify the need for staff development or program modification.