Sauk Centre Elementary among 30 state schools honored for behavioral prevention efforts

Tuesday, the Minnesota Department of Education recognized 30 schools, including Sauk Centre Elementary School, for their successful work using Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS), a program that provides districts and individual schools throughout Minnesota with training and technical support to promote improvement in student behavior, especially for students with challenging social behaviors.

The schools receiving recognition as “Sustaining Exemplar Schools” are leaders in supporting positive behavior, improving school climate and increasing student achievement.

“I congratulate these schools for their leadership in finding new ways to positively address student behavior. Too many times, negative student behavior results in suspensions or detention that takes a child out of the classroom and disrupts their learning,” said state Education Commissioner Brenda Cassellius. “PBIS helps schools set clear expectations for students, teachers and families and new ways to address behavior issues. Each of these 30 schools is showing the benefits of creating respectful and supportive school climates and the positive impact that work can have on student achievement.”

Since its launch in 2005, PBIS has spread across the state and is currently being implemented by 478 Minnesota schools, or 24 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 agree to implement a more positive approach to discipline. Participating schools then 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.

To be identified as a Sustaining Exemplar School, staff 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.