The school board decided on Tuesday to send a group of teachers and staff to a training program provided by the county to learn how to proactively deal with negative and problematic behavior.
The Orange County Department of Education agreed to compensate Newport-Mesa Unified School District $750 for substitute staff on the day of the training, so there is no budget impact for the district, providing an invoice is submitted by June 15, according to the contract.
Staff will be trained on the Positive Behavioral Intervention and Support model as well as Violence Prevention Education.
The PBIS model is a “proactive approach to preventing negative behaviors and responding to classroom and school discipline,” according to the staff report.
The program includes discipline practices, self-management strategies, “invisible” mentoring, behavioral interventions, classroom management, active supervision, and teacher assisted problem-solving.
The district staff will also learn advanced methods for specific student needs.
“Teachers and staff will learn to identify problematic behaviors, incorporate social skills and problem-solving themes into classroom curricula,” according to the report.
According to the PBIS website, the program is not like a white board eraser to magically rid students of all negative behavior, nor is it a “one size fits all” model. It is intervention training based on the needs of each school.
Rather than punishment-based strategies, the program places emphasis on a school-wide support system of proactive strategies meant to define, teach and support appropriate student behavior, thus creating a positive school environment.
“Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all children and youth by making targeted behaviors less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional,” the website states.
The training session will take place on May 30.
Another, unrelated agreement with the OC Department of Education was also on Tuesday’s school board agenda, for Bi-Tech System Support Implementation and Software Support Service.
The approved contract is for the 2012-13 year and is not to exceed $82,995.
The county’s Bi-Tech system provides basic financial/budget organization, inventory storage, fixed assets, school site and finance, according to the staff report.
Support fees for the current fiscal year were $87,364, but due to the financial pressure many school districts are currently facing, the county proposed a five percent decrease.
Another agenda item was an amendment to a different Bi-Tech system agreement with the county regarding the Human Resources services provided by the system. The approved agreement is for the 2012-13 year and is not to exceed $59,018, same as the current year with no decrease or increase.
The district added the human resources module of the Bi-Tech system in June 2001.
The board made several recognitions at the beginning of the meeting for student and staff achievements, including honoring board member Judy Franco, for being named Woman of the Year in the 35th Senatorial District.