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Positive Behavior Training Promotes a Healthy School Culture

This year, the District has initiated training for staff in all Snoqualmie Valley schools that focuses on Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). This is part of the On Time Graduation Task Force work and recommendations — looking at the Social Emotional piece of helping students succeed in school.
PBIS is a proactive approach to establishing behavioral supports and social culture. It is needed to help all students to achieve social, emotional and academic success. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining school-wide, classroom and individual systems of support that improve lifestyle results for all youth (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation). The approach emphasizes making targeted misbehavior less effective, efficient, and relevant; and making desired behavior more functional.
“PBIS is essentially a new framework that many schools are adopting to guide their approach to student behavior. It is a cultural shift – from listing out rules to follow (which are full of “no’s”) to defining expectations of exactly what schools want to see students doing. It also involves defining and designing building systems to consistently support those expectations,” explained Student Services Program Specialist Robert Monton.
PBIS training
The first of four PBIS Coaching sessions took place October 22, where a core team
from every school received training from Dr. Bridget Walker, a professor from
Seattle University and former state PBIS program coordinator. These staff teams,
in turn, are charged with training in their respective school buildings to promote
a consistent PBIS approach throughout Snoqualmie Valley schools.
“We wanted to bring teams together this year to learn from each other,” explained Nancy Meeks, Snoqualmie Valley's Executive Director of Student Services. “Dr. Walker can help us assess what’s working well and areas where we can improve. As a consultant, she will also help recommend things that have worked well in other schools, based on their experience.”
Snoqualmie Valley schools are at different stages of PBIS implementation. Overall, this year is focused on training, planning and considering a variety of different practices. Schools plan to roll out implementation of PBIS at the beginning of the 2016-17 school year.
Dr. Bridget Walker is facilitating this training — providing all Snoqualmie Valley schools four trainings over the course of the year, plus additional coaching for each building. Walker has over 20 years of experience in the field of special education and earned her Ph.D. at the University of Washington in 2006. Throughout her career, she has worked as a special education teacher, day treatment teacher, district behavior specialist, and state PBIS project coordinator before joining Seattle University, where she currently teaches in the Masters in Teaching and Special Education programs. Walker has extensive experience helping district and school teams develop and sustain systems and strategies to effectively support students with academic and behavioral challenges across all three tiers of intervention. She also works with districts to help them evaluate and improve their programs for students with significant emotional and behavior disabilities.