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Supporting Positive School Climate

Contact

Mary Jo Terranova
Education Specialist
mterranova@crec.org
(203) 233-1940

About Supporting Positive School Climate

Is Your District Challenged with Meeting the Social, Emotional and Behavioral Needs of All Students?

During the 2011-2012 school year, 3.45 million students were suspended out-of-school and students of color and students with disabilities are generally expelled at higher rates than their peers.1 Evidence does not show that discipline practices that remove students from instruction—such as suspensions and expulsions—help to improve student behavior or school climate.2 The January, 2014 release of the CT Department of Education’s Guiding Principles: A Resource Guide for Improving School Climate and Discipline provides the following recommendations for reducing expulsion, suspension, and disciplinary removals in kindergarten through grade 12 settings.

School-wide and individual interventions that use proactive, preventative approaches that address the underlying cause or purpose of the behavior, and reinforce positive behaviors, have been associated with increases in academic engagement, academic achievement, and reductions in suspensions and school dropouts.3 The Every Student Succeeds Act signed, December 10, 2015, specifically cites a framework that schools can use to build their efforts—multi-tiered systems of support.

To effectively meet the needs of students, schools need to develop multi-tiered systems of support. This includes what is done for all students universally (Tier 1), what is done for small groups of students at risk (Tier 2) and what is done for individual students that are high risk (Tier 3). CREC experts offer practical strategies and ideas for all tiers to develop your school or district’s multi-tiered system of support.

School Climate Online Course

As a simple and flexible way to train your staff on how to support a positive School Climate we have developed "School Climate: A Proactive Approach." This self-paced online course that provides school staff an on demand, professional development opportunity to acquire the skills to support positive school climate through multimedia, and online activities and assessments.

Staff will also learn the required reporting procedures for suspected bully incidents, the difference between harassment and bullying, how to prevent and disrupt bullying behaviors, how to teach students to become allies, and how to assemble and maintain a Safe School Climate Team.

Participants will be able to instantly evaluate their performance immediately upon completion of the course to be certain that they are ready to begin supporting a positive climate in your school! The cost for enrollment in this course is $25 per user.

School and Community Climate Network

Community teams are invited to attend a series of networking sessions that highlight strategies to increase school and community collaboration. Two full-day sessions and two half-day sessions will be offered to address critical aspects centered on the development of comprehensive school and community services for children and youth. The sessions will feature a national speaker, best practices, and specific strategies that teams can apply. All teams will assess their resources and develop plans to enhance their community services.

Re-engaging the Struggling and Disenfranchised Learners

CREC offers an array of comprehensive services to re-engage struggling students, such as student and district program audits, professional development and family engagement services. CREC provides support for behavior management, positive behavior supports, and comprehensive wrap around services.

The Re-engaging the Struggling and Disenfranchised Learners Consortium of professionals meet several times a year to network and explore strategies focused on engaging the disenfranchised learner. The consortium also provides districts with networking and strategy sharing sessions to reach “at risk” students. Special guest speakers, in-depth topic exploration, and district sharing will enable participants to work “smarter and less harder” in this challenging area. The consortium dovetails with a national virtual convention which features best practices in engaging the disenfranchised learner.

Maximizing Student Engagement for the "At Risk" Learner

Coaching, in-class modeling and professional development offer teachers live demonstrations and practice options to employ a variety of engagement techniques to create opportunities for the "at risk" learner. CREC consultants will support districts interested in developing strategic plans to sustain and strengthen their infrastructure and programming options for the "at risk" learner.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive, comprehensive, and systemic support continuum designed to help students of all ages achieve social, behavioral, and learning success through school-wide support systems. PBIS improves overall school climate, decreases reactive management, maximizes student academic achievement, integrates academic and behavioral initiatives, and addresses the needs of students who have severe emotional and behavioral concerns.

Student Consultation and Support

This service is for schools or districts that have a situation that requires further review and suggestions from an expert in school climate. CREC experts can conduct a risk assessment, assess programs and services, and meet with the student(s), parents, and staff to ensure program success.

Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) Training

CREC offers professionally certified trainers through Cornell University to provide initial Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (TCI) training as well as mandated update training. Services include: initial training with physical interventions, initial training without physical interventions, refresher training, planning and assessment, and embedded support.

Multi-tiered Approaches Supporting Behavior

This collection of ten virtual presentations and related resources provides educators solutions to effectively practice a multi-tiered system of support for students with challenging behaviors. Tier 1, Universal Practices, features presentations on engaging and motivating students, communicating expectations, comprehension in reading, social and emotional learning, and Universal Design for Learning. Tiers 2 and 3, Small Group and Individual Interventions, offers presentations on managing student anxiety, strategies for students with autism, de-escalation, challenging behaviors in early childhood, and chronic absenteeism.

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