Behavior program for Y’ville schools

Additional interventions are in the works to support Youngsville Elementary Middle School and Youngsville High School.

The Warren County School District board of directors has approved implementation of School Wide Positive Behavior Support beginning next year at the schools.

Interim Director of Pupil Services Ruth Nelson said that the program is not new but is new to the WCSD.

With school-based behavioral health already in place at YEMS, Nelson said the district “is implementing part of the program but not the whole program.”

But what does the whole program look like?

According to the Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support Network, the program is “an evidence-based, cost-effective, systems approach for establishing the school culture needed for schools to be effective learning environments for all students. Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports eliminates barriers to learning, creates and maintains a safe and effective learning environment in schools, and ensures that all students have the social and emotional skills needed to succeed in school and beyond… (and) helps schools teach students expected behaviors and social skills, creates student behavioral health and academic support systems, and applies data-based decision-making to discipline, academics, and social/emotional learning.”

Superintendent Dr. William Clark said that this program is part of a broader implementation of Response to Instruction and Intervention which is, according to the Pa. Department of Education, a new approach “to continuously inform, monitor and improve student access and response to high-quality core and supplemental instruction/intervention.”

“(We) weren’t thinking of doing it in year one,” Clark said of implementing Positive Behavior Support. “With what was going on (at YEMS and YHS), we thought we should try it there.”

Clark said implementation would have occurred but was accelerated “to try to help with those programs.”

While the program will start at YEMS and YHS, Nelson said that “this is something we hope to expand to (all) the schools.”

The costs on the front end are all based on providing appropriate training to the staff. Some staff members will be part of a cohort training through the local Intermediate Unit, in which the district has been invited to participate. Staff will also participate in a three-day conference held every year in May.

Nelson said that Corry and Girard school districts are also currently implementing the program.

She said the funding will come from from Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA) special education funding.