Possible new Hempfield club could help improve students behavior
A new club could be headed to Harrold Middle School in the Hempfield Area School District, aimed at establishing a culture that allows all students to learn in an effective environment.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, or PBIS, is funded by the U.S. Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs and the Office of Elementary and Secondary Education and focuses on improving social, emotional and academic outcomes of students, according to the PBIS website.
The goal of the program is to decrease discipline referrals, increase pro-social behaviors and emotional regulation, increase academic achievement and decrease bullying incidents, the site reads.
“The focus … aligns with our fourth district comprehensive goal, which focus on implementing a system that provides all students with an opportunity to cultivate self-awareness and self-management, establish and maintain relationships, and practice social problem solving to become more engaged citizens,” said Lisa Maloney, supervisor of pupil services at the district.
At the student level at Harrold, kids in grades six through eight will have the opportunity to promote initiatives with the program and will represent the student population in regard to effective reinforcements for positive behavior, Maloney said. They will also be a part of advisory lessons to support student behavior expectations.
According to Maloney, two other schools in the district — Maxwell and West Hempfield elementary schools — previously joined the program. Maxwell was recognized in 2018 as a tier one building that implemented the program with fidelity. Other tiers, like tier two, mean current cases of problematic behavior can be reduced, and tier three, which offers an overview of the system.
Tier one means the school can teach appropriate behaviors, intervene early, follow multi-tiered models and interventions, monitor student progress to inform intervention, use data to make decisions and use assessment for three different purposes, the website reads.
Officials from the schools work with the Westmoreland Intermediate Unit and the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistant Network to help develop and implement the system. The district also received a grant to help train staff in positive behavior intervention and supports, Maloney said.
Hempfield Area School Board members will vote on implementing the program at Harrold during Monday’s meeting.
Megan Tomasic is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Megan at 724-850-1203, [email protected] or via Twitter .