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District 191 schools honored for excellence in positive behavior program

Three schools in Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District 191 are among 36 Minnesota schools being recognized for excellence in using a program called Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS).

The data-driven program provides districts and individual schools throughout Minnesota with training and technical support to promote improvement in student behavior, according to the Minnesota Department of Education (MDE). .

Nicollet Junior High, Sioux Trail Elementary and Edward Neill Elementary are being recognized as “Sustaining Exemplar Schools” because they are statewide leaders in supporting positive behavior, improving school climate and increasing student achievement.

“I want to congratulate these 36 schools for finding innovative ways to proactively address behavior,” said Brenda Cassellius, MDE Commissioner. “PBIS helps schools set clear expectations for students, teachers and families and new ways to address behavior issues. Each of these schools is leading the way for creating respectful and supportive school climates that positively impact student achievement.”

PBIS is currently being implemented by 523 Minnesota schools, or 27 percent of the state’s nearly 2,000 schools. To establish a PBIS program, 80 percent of a school's teachers and staff need to be on board. Then, schools receive intensive professional development, including instruction in how to monitor and track results. Data from participating schools show clear evidence of the program’s success, specifically in reduced number of behavioral incidents, fewer student suspensions and increased levels of student engagement, according to MDE.

“Congratulations to these three schools,” said Superintendent Joe Gothard. “This recognizes the commitment it takes to support systemic changes in schools and speaks to the dedication of staff members who are focused on success for all their students.”

To be identified as a Sustaining Exemplar School, principals needed to submit an application that documented their work with PBIS, including professional outcomes, a plan for sustaining the program and how they are giving back and sharing their practices with other schools throughout the state. Schools must also have been implementing PBIS for at least three years.

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Posted: Thursday, June 18, 2015 - 14:20