At a Glance
Somerset County Technology Center (SCTC) implemented a school-wide positive behavior intervention support program (SWPBIS) that uses positive reinforcement strategies rather than negative interactions to help reduce the number of student discipline referrals.
SCTC administrators in collaboration with a three-member team IU8 developed the SWPBIS to improve student and staff morale by focusing on positive behavior and staff-student interactions. Based on classroom observations, they recognized a need to shift the focus away from negative student discipline to a more proactive approach. Many CTC instructors enter the profession via industry and may not have training in effective classroom management. SCTC administrators see SWPBIS as a comprehensive strategy to support instructors and meet the needs of students.
SWPBIS is designed to make SCTC an effective learning environment for all students. The program stresses the importance of clear, consistent and appropriate schoolwide expectations for students and the need for early and frequent interventions to help them achieve academic and behavioral success. It focuses on teaching appropriate behavior to students, acknowledging positive behavior, and implementing consequences for negative behavior. At SCTC, students are awarded Tech Cash for positive behavior. They can exchange this “cash” for rewards. For more details on SWPBIS and the Tech Cash program, view the PowerPoint designed for SCTC staff and the one designed for students. (Links to both resources are included at the end of this profile.)
SCTC worked closely with the team from the Intermediate Unit to design the program and the implementation process. The committee developed the program over the course of a year, and SCTC implemented SWPBIS at the beginning of the 2018-2019 school year. SCTC selected student and staff core teams to guide the implementation process and serve as program ambassadors. The buy in demonstrated by these teams helped ease the rollout process. SCTC administrators gave student and staff presentations on SWPBIS to inform faculty and staff of the behavioral expectations and consequences. The Behavioral Expectations Matrix (included in the PowerPoints) provides a strong visual of behavioral expectations across multiple settings, such as the lab, in theory and in common areas. The expectations align with four themes:
- Be responsible.
- Be respectful.
- Be positive.
- Be careful.
SCTC administrators report that data collected since the implementation of the SWPBIS program indicates a decrease in office referrals and student discipline issues. They find that the program is helping to create a positive learning environment of respect and collaboration within the CTC.
Somerset County Technology Center
Matt Danel, Principal