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MIBLIS Muskegon Pbs Spring Newsletter 2009


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This is the second edition of the Muskegon MIBLSi PBS Newsletter Spring 08 issue. The newsletter contains celebrations from our participating Muskegon MIBLSi /PBSMichigan schools, articles on PBS tools, and focus articles of intensive students,. The newsletter is edited by Steven Vitto, M.A., MAISD behavior consultant. Steve can be reached at

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MIBLIS Muskegon Pbs Spring Newsletter 2009

  1. 1. ISSUE #2 MiBLSi PBS Newsletter SPRING 2008 Welcome! Inside This Issue Welcome to the Spring edition of the MAISD Michigan PBS Celebrations 2 Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MiBLSi) Tribute to Dr. Bernie Travnikar 3 Positive Behavior Support (PBS) Newsletter. We would like to Meeting Mechanics 4 begin by congratulating all of you for your efforts in providing a positive behavior support initiative in your school this year. We Strategies for Defiance 4 believe that your hard work will make a positive difference in MIBLSi State Conference Links 4 the lives of all of your students. SWIS and the Big Five 4 Breaking Down the Walls 5 In this issue we will review highlights of the 2009 Michigan State MIBLSi Conference, in Lansing Michigan. In addition, we will acknowledge celebrations from our Muskegon MIBLSi and PBS Participating Schools Participating Schools. Informational articles on Meeting Me- Beach Elementary (Fruitport) chanics, Relationship Driven Classrooms, and The SWIS Big Beachnau Elementary (Ravenna) Five will also be provided. We hope you have a great spring and Bluffton Elementary (Muskegon) summer! Campbell Elementary (Mona Shores) Cardinal Elementary (Orchard View) Steven Vitto, M.A. MIBLSI Specialist, PBS Newsletter Editor Churchill Elementary (Mona Shores) Susan Mack, M.A. MIBLSI/PBS Coach Deanna Holman, MIBLSI Specialist Edgewood Elementary (Fruitport) Latesha Johnson, PBS Newsletter Design Support Edgewood Elementary (Muskegon Heights) Holton Elementary Lincoln Park Elementary (Mona Shores) Loftis Elementary (Muskegon Heights) Marquette Elementary (Muskegon) Martin Luther King (Muskegon Heights) McLaughlin Elementary (Muskegon) McMillan (Reeths Puffer) Muskegon Heights Middle School Nelson Elementary (Muskegon) Nims Elementary (Muskegon) Oakview Elementary (Muskegon) Orchard View Early Elementary Orchard View Middle School Reeths-Puffer Elementary Roosevelt Elementary (Muskegon Heights) Shettler Elementary (Fruitport)
  2. 2. Page 2 PBS at Bluffton Celebration at Celebrating at Principal: Jerry Johnson McLaughlin Elementary The Campbell Cafe Principal: Alina Fortenberry Principal:Nate Smith Under the leadership of principal Alina Fortenberry and Specialist, Timmy Smith, McGlaughlin conducted an all-school spirit award assembly to recognize students who earned Little RED’s certificates as well as out- standing students of the month. Each class room at Mclaughlin nominates an outstanding student of the month and the office identifies an outstanding student of the school. All of these students’ efforts are acknowledged At Campbell school, student earn S’mores as at a very spirited assembly where students are acknowledgement for following the school- enthusiastically cheered on by their peers. Be- wide expectations. In addition, there monthly ing the most “outstanding student” is consid- award assemblies, and each month the S’mores ered a very special honor. This student is in- winner from each classroom, is identified as a vited to an Optimists Club dinner with their camp leader, and invited to dine with the princi- family, and receives a special certificate, a T- pal, Nate Smith, at the at the Campbell Café. shirt, and a $25 cash award. In addition to the Campbell’s MIBLSi team has also stream-lined student festivities, the MIBLSi team has been their meeting process and are using the Meeting actively involved in using the Check-in, Mechanics process to staff students in the tar- Check-out system and performing Meeting geted and intensive range. Mechanics on their targeted and intensive stu- dents. Congratulations McLaughlin for all your Marquette Elementary hard work this year! Principal: Gaye Monroe Specialist: Andre Burke At Marquette, students and staff celebrate good behavior monthly at all-school meetings and STARS lunches. Birthdays, academic growth, and STARS behavior successes or enjoyed and acknowledged by kids and teachers alike. Churchill Elementary/ Mona Shores Principal: Mark Platt The theme at Churchill is R.O.C.K.S! Really Outstanding Churchill Kids! The Rock Star awards are given to students that Stay positive, Take responsibility, Act respectfully, and are Ready to learn. The Churchill team has re- cently produced a “Churchill Rocks “video for teaching expectations. The video can be viewed on Teacher Tube. In addition, Chur- chill’s teaching and playground staff have been training in Systematic Supervision on the play- ground.
  3. 3. Page 3 Providing an Overview of PBS for Muskegon’s “Specials” Teachers Susan Mack and Steven Vitto, Muskegon MIBLSi oaches, and MAISD Behavior Consultants, recently provided a morning- long PBS overview training for all of Muskegon “Specials” Teachers (e.g., Art, Music, Gym, etc.). Due to their providing services at several schools, these teachers Tribute to are often not available for initial PBS kick- offs, follow-up trainings, and staff meetings. Bernie Travnikar In addition, some of these teachers are working in two or three different schools In September, we were informed of the with different sets of expectations in each passing of Dr. Bernie Travikar. Bernie was school. The training provided an overview a pioneer in the PBS movement and ac- of the basic elements of PBS, Systematic tively supported school-wide positive be- Supervision, and the F.A.S.T. program. havior support (PBS) initiatives in Michi- gan for many years. At the time of his MIBLSI death, Bernie was working with a number of schools in Michigan as a MIBLSi Exter- Cohort 5 School-wide nal Coach. Prior to MIBLSi, Bernie was “To catch the reader's atten- instrumental in bringing PBS to Muskegon tion, place an interesting sen- Reading Training and his support helped us to start our first Oakview Kids Care tence or quote from the story school-wide PBS initiative at Beach Ele- here.” Principal: Pam Varga mentary School in Fruitport, in 2002. Un- As part of their first year in the MiBLSi project, Cohort 5 Leadership Teams have der the administration of Principal Julie Specialist:Geoff Zietlow been spending their first year implement- VanBergen, Beach is still actively support- At Oakview, students who have ing school-wide systems for both behav- ing the school-wide movement and has earned C.A.R.E. coupons are ior and reading. For school-wide read- participated as a Cohort 1 MIBLSi school. acknowledged and celebrated at ing, Cohort 5 schools are being trained on To the MAISD Behavioral Support Team, classroom parties. Students also foundations of effective reading instruc- Bernie was a friend and mentor. He will be have the opportunity to earn tion, communication and integration, missed!! CARE badges. Oakview is also maximizing classroom instruction, and actively using the Check-in explicit and systematic instruction. The For more information on Bernie’s accomplishments and colorful life, see Check-out system. training includes the Five Big Ideas of the following link: reading: phonemic awareness, alphabetic principle, fluency, vocabulary, and com- prehension. The teams are also trained 08/BernieTribute10-7-08.html on the characteristics of at-risk learners and the instructional implications of these characteristics. As part of the training, Moon Elementary School the teams were also shown two video Principal: Kristina Precious clips of Anita Archer demonstrating ex- plicit instruction, and were shown how to Specialist John Smith look at specific lessons within their core program to determine if the lesson was At Moon School students receive Moon explicit enough. If the lesson was deter- Beams for following the school-wide ex- mined not explicit enough, then sugges- pectations. Any students who earns Moon tions were given on how to make it more Beams can spend them on graduated items explicit for at-risk learners. At the end of at the school store. The school store is open February-beginning of March, Cohort 5 weekly and operated by fifth grade stu- teams completed a third day of school- dents. Big items include mp3 players and wide training, in addition to a systems attending a basketball game with John review training for both reading and be- Smith, the school specialist. havior.
  4. 4. Page 4 The School-wide Meeting Mechanics Information System: By Susan Mack, M.A. Using the Big Five Reports Meeting Mechanics is a 45 minute prob- The School-Wide Information lem solving process that has been adapted System (SWIS) is a web-based to address behavior problems, but can be information system designed to help school applied to all team decision making ef- personnel use office referral data to design forts. Many MiBLSi schools are using school-wide and individual student inter- Meeting Mechanics during their child ventions. This data gives school staff the 2009 study teams to address the needs of stu- dents with behavior and/or academic capability to evaluate individual State MIBLSI Conference problems. student behavior, the behavior of groups of students, in specific settings, and behaviors Presentation Links Meeting Mechanics is a cooperative, team occurring during specific time periods of the approach that streamlines the steps of Dr. Steve Goodman welcomed over 500 school day. SWIS reports indicate times working through the problem solving participants to The Fifth Annual 2009 and/or locations prone to elicit problem process. It involves the use of a time MIBLSi State Conference. The behaviors, and allow teachers and adminis- keeper, recorder and facilitator to move conference gave participants the trators to shape school-wide environments through the FA/BIP procedure and finish opportunity to attend over 49 pre- to maximize students' academic and social with a completed action plan for those conference and breakout sessions relating achievements. students who are in Tier Two or Tier Ann Todd –Commenting on the Big 5: to school-wide behavioral and literacy initiatives. featured guest presenters Three in behavior or academics. “Spring is typically a time when problem be- havior incidents increase. Re-teaching the included: Dr Mark Shinn from National MAISD has been training many MiBLSi school-wide expectations to students and staff Louis University, Dr. Kent McIntosh from behavior specialists the Meeting Mechan- is an activity that can help reduce problem the University of Columbia, and Dr. Rob ics process. It is our goal that all MiBLSi behavior incidents. If you have multiple years March, the director and founder of schools will have one or two trained of SWIS data, use the multi-year average per Effective Educational Practices (EEP). Meeting Mechanics facilitators to use day per month report to look at patterns and Theirs and many others’ presentations can during child study team meetings Partici- trends across the previous year(s). Congratu- be viewed and downloaded at the pants gain team based process skills that late student and staff efforts and anticipate following link: can be universally adapted to many prob- problems by examining the data. In addition lems. For more information contact: Sue to using the multi-year average per day per Presentations Mack 231-767-7259, or Steve Vitto, month report, use the other four reports to 231-767 – 7279 clearly define the problem, context, and stu- dents contributing to the problem. SWIS re- ports help to define the types of problems of concern, where the problems are occurring, when the problems are occurring, and who is contributing to the problem. The Big 5 reports are the first five report folders on the main menu. If you have difficulty summarizing the Big 5 reports, ask your SWIS Facilitator for support.” NOT LOOSING SITE OF THE INTENT OF SWIS Be sure to checkout the The intent of SWIS is to collect data in the form of Office Disciple Referrals, analyze and have new MIBLSi Website! professional discussions around that data, and make data driven decisions that effect practice with the intent of reducing office referrals and increasing meaningful instructional time. Like Please send questions, any data collection system, integrity and fidelity comments, PBS photos, videos, may be compromised when data is disregarded and celebrations to: or misused. If SWIS data is used as a means of evaluating teachers and principals, or comparing one classroom or school against another, educa- tors will loose trust and integrity will suffer. If the teacher in the highest referring classroom is judged rather than supported, it is likely that this system will begin to loose its value and be un- dermined in the process. If teachers hesitate to make office referrals due to fear of reprisal, then ultimately it is students who will suffer.
  5. 5. Page 5 Breaking Down The Walls: Reaching The Challenging Child in The Classroom By Steven Vitto, M.A., Behavior Consultant With the momentum of the Response to Intervention movement, there is a growing concern that teachers implement evi- denced based practices in their classroom. When it comes to academics and related instruction, teachers are generally open to modifying even long standing practices. However, classroom or behavior management is a whole other issue. Even though we have accumulated an abundance of research on best practice or evidence based classroom management strate- gies, we often tend to let our emotions and our beliefs about discipline (or how we were disciplined) drive our behavioral man- agement practices. Why? For decades we have depended on a reactive or retributive system designed to change behavior through the use of punishment and exclusion. Ironically, and despite its broad-based use, we have growing evidence demon- strating that prevention, teaching replacement behaviors, and providing acknowledgement for the exhibition of desired behav- ior, is much more effective in changing behavior than just responding to misbehaviors- especially for students with chronic be- havioral challenges. If we, as teachers, are struggling with a particular student or a particular group of students, it may be dif- ficult for us to accurately and objectively assess the problem. Sometimes, our frustrations and failed attempts in reaching diffi- cult students clouds are ability to see them or the situation objectively. So, if we are committed to implementing best practice in our classrooms, we need to be prepared to answer some difficult but pertinent questions. Would a visitor to your classroom be able to quickly determine your classroom expectations and procedures. Would the visitor see you giving more attention to negative behaviors than to positive behaviors? Would they see you smiling and relating to all students? For your most challenging students, would they see you being a model for the behaviors you expect? If a visitor to your classroom was to informally assess the quality of relationships with your challenging students what questions might they ask you? “Tell me about Johnny” (Would your description be negative?) “ How is your relationship with Johnny? “ (Would your response be, “We don’t have one.”?). quot;What do you like about Johnny?” (Would you struggle for a response?) “What are his strengths?” (Would you be at a loss to respond?) If the student was questioned, how would the student respond? If you were to ask Johnny, “Do you like your teacher?” “Do you look forward to coming to this class? “ “Does your teacher like you?” Could a visitor guess by your behavior, that the two of you have a strained or “negative” history? Beyond using behavior data to demonstrate how “bad” a student is, have you honestly looked at the quality of your relationship with that student? So why is my relationship with my challenging students so important? Why is his behavior my responsibility? If we were to make an analogy to a bad marriage, what would we expect to see? The research indicates that in a troubled marriage we would likely see a great deal of negativity, hostility, and emotionality. If we were to analyze the conversations or comments being made between the two partners, we would likely find an imbalance-i.e., a high rate of negative comments, with very few or no positive comments. If the marriage was really in trouble, we might see the individuals making little effort to connect, visibly antagonistic, and growing further and further apart. So, when we look at the intensive or chronically behavior challenged stu- dent in our classroom, have we become a partner to a “bad marriage” If the answer to this question is “yes” than we should not be surprised that the student’s behavior is not improving. Of course the distinction is, that in this “marriage,” we have to extend more effort than our partner. After all, we are the teacher. It is our responsibility to be the adult, the one who compro- mises, reaches out, the one who doesn’t take things personally, the one who gives the child a clean slate the next day no matter what happened yesterday. After a conflict with this child we need to be prepared to take steps to repair a potentially damaged relationship. So the evidence presents a tough pill to swallow, i.e.- in our most difficult teacher /student partnerships it is likely us that needs to change! If we think that punishing and excluding this student is going change him or help him grow and learn, then we are in serious denial. The first step to recovery is to be able to analyze where we are in the relationship, If we have got- ten to the point where we are more a part of the problem than the solution, it is time to change, Vincent Carbone, a well known behaviorist, has stated that if we are to be effective in teaching, then the child needs to see being with us as an improv- ing set of conditions. If the child sees their time with us as a worsening set of conditions then we will likely see escape/avoidant behaviors that may appear as defiance or bids for attention So before we throw in the towel on our most challenging student, we have to ask ourselves a final question. Is being with us an “improving set of conditions”? If not, then it is us that needs to change before the child ever will! Have a Great Summer!