Fix School Discipline Toolkit for Educators - Page 28

is proficient and every student graduates having met the A-G requirements. The staff was willing to create a new system to address the issues in a structured and systemic way. How did you know that SWPBIS would work for Vallejo City to help reach the goals that had been established? After we created the matrixes which are centered around three rules, “Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Responsible” to address all of the difficult areas in the school, we put in place the positive behavior rewards system with tickets for the students and “Fun Fridays” where students are rewarded publicly for their positive behavior. Teachers and students could see the benefits. We also saw that SWPBIS resulted in additional parents engaging in the school and more parent leaders joining us. One of the parents who was on the team when I was Principal is still there helping run that school. Sup. Bishop: I had put SWPBIS in place, as a principal, in Sacramento and saw that it worked for all students. An Associate Superintendent colleague told me about a training on PBIS. We were supposed to bring a team with us – a strong special education teacher, one of our classified staff members, several teacher leaders, and an outspoken and involved parent. Dr. Jeff Sprague from the University of Oregon led the training. We spent one day with him and another day planning. Our team that went to the training got it right away and understood how it could change the environment at the school. When we got back to school, that team, shared what they had learned with the entire staff and got their buy-in and engagement. After implementation, we reduced our office referrals and suspensions significantly. We also went from a similar schools ranking of 4 to an 8. Often school leaders are concerned that they won’t get buy-in from teachers and others and that SWPBIS will just be seen as another thing they have to do. What are your thoughts? Sup Bishop: This is why it is critical to bring an inclusive leadership team. At the training, they are very clear that the Principal needs to be a leader for this to work, but that it is the leadership team itself that goes back and takes the initiative to present what they learned to the rest of the staff and lead the efforts around implementation. Our team got input from the staff about where the problem areas in the school were and we created a matrix and shifted resources to address safety issues in the bathroom and on the playground, for example. The leadership team broke the work into pieces and everyone had input and so there was buy in. Once the leadership team presented the data and research on where we were academically and with suspensions and office discipline referrals, it was clear that something had to be done to change the way the school was working. 26 How we can fix school discipline You have 22 schools in your District, so how do you roll out SWPBIS so that every school understands how to implement and is implementing? Sup. Bishop: First, I called Dr. Jeff Sprague, and I said we need you to come out to partner with us and train our schools. Then, we allocated a portion of our Title I professional development dollars to send a “Design team” from every school in the District to three separate days of training over the first school year. Because we are a Program Improvement District and Title I is about closing the achievement gap, the funding was the perfect match. After each day of training, each team had assignments and homework that they would bring back to the next training day. Of course, some of the teams really took on implementation with gusto and completed the homework and others did not implement as well. There will always be school leaders, teachers and others who are skeptical about this kind of change and resist a different model. What tips do you have for other administrators trying to implement a different way of addressing discipline problems? Sup Bishop: Well, I think the brilliance of the SWPBIS team model is that it develops accountability on all sides and it includes a representative from all of the key parties in the process of developing what implementation looks like at each school site. For example, at one of our training sessions, a