The Liberty County School System recently announced that it has been chosen by the Georgia Department of Education and the executive office of the president of the United States to host a visit from David Mineta, director of demand reduction for the Office of National Drug Control Policy, on Aug. 27.
Mineta is interested in touring a school in the county and meeting with district leaders to learn more about the implementation of the positive behavioral interventions and supports framework in LCSS.
Liberty County schools began implementing PBIS during the 2013-14 school year. School-wide expectations, rules and procedures serve as the standards for behavior.
The purpose of PBIS is to increase teaching and learning by decreasing the number of discipline incidents. Members of each PBIS school team support students, faculty and staff as they remain focused on positive, school-wide behavioral expectations and encourage students to be ready, responsible and respectful.
Stakeholders at each school have defined and will model appropriate student behaviors in the classrooms, hallways, lunchroom, restrooms and playground. Students achieving the universal behavior standards are recognized with various school incentives throughout the year. School administrators, PBIS school team members and faculty will analyze and use discipline data for problem solving and action planning for students with chronic behavior issues.
Mineta’s visit will begin with a tour of Bradwell Institute the afternoon of Aug. 27. Members of Bradwell’s PBIS team and school administrators will conduct a brief meeting with Mineta following the tour to discuss the successes and challenges of PBIS.
The director’s visit will continue with a roundtable discussion at the Liberty County Board of Education with the PBIS district leadership team, board members, local government officials and Ginny O’Connell, the Georgia Department of Education PBIS coordinator. Following an introduction of the PBIS district leadership team, LCSS Superintendent Dr. Valya S. Lee will give an overview of the school system.
O’Connell will present Georgia’s strategic plan for PBIS implementation and support. Dr. Kathy Moody, LCSS executive director for student services, will brief Mineta on PBIS in Liberty County schools and speak about the steps utilized for identifying and supporting students who have behavioral health needs or are at risk of drug use.
The PBIS district leadership team will have the opportunity to talk with Mineta about the challenges specific to the school system and the factors influencing the challenges, such as budgetary restraints, poverty and drug use.
Following the first year of PBIS implementation, Liberty County discipline data reflect decreases in the total instances of discipline incidents resulting in in- and out-of-school suspensions and a decrease in the number of disciplinary tribunals from 2013 to 2014.
PBIS aims to keep students in class so teaching and learning can continue, which will reflect increased test scores, greater gains in academic achievement, and improved student and teacher morale.