School & District Management Opinion

School Improvement RFP of the Week (1)

By Marc Dean Millot — April 22, 2008 3 min read
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Getting on a State’s List of Recommended Positive Behavior Interventions

From Monday’s issue of K-12Leads and Youth Service Markets Report

Announcement: Recommended list of conflict resolution and mediation materials, models and curricula Due May 20 (Apr 17) Mississippi Department of Education.

Their Description:

The Mississippi Department of Education, through the Office of Healthy Schools is soliciting written proposals for the inclusion of resources on MDE’s recommended list of conflict resolution and peer mediation materials, models and curricula....To comply with... Senate Bill 2324, “the State Board of Education shall develop a list of recommended conflict resolution and mediation materials, models and curricula that are developed from evidence-based practices and positive behavior intervention supports to address responsible decision making, the causes and effects of school violence and harassment, cultural diversity, and nonviolent methods for resolving conflict, including peer mediation, and shall make the list available to local school administrative units and school buildings before the beginning of the 2008-2009 school year....”

Senate Bill 2324 that also requires “local school boards to incorporate evidence-based practices and positive behavioral intervention supports into individual school district policies and Codes of Conduct”.... School districts may select the resources from the list of providers approved by the State Board of Education....

Discipline-related issues continue to concern and plague the efforts of school officials....The source of much of the disruptive and disorderly behavior is simply the lack of social/emotional skills among students. The development of sound character in children should begin at home; unfortunately, many students come to school from chaotic and unstructured environments where no value is placed on the ability to interact with others or resolve problems in a peaceable manner.... Although these risk factors are beyond the control of schools, schools are in a position to lessen their impact and have the enormous potential to enhance protective factors and increase student resiliency and success.

Successful programs that deal with student conflict focus on strategies of prevention and methods that are proactive, as well as punitive or punishment-based methods.... Programs may also be provided in a number of different settings from before school to in school to after school programs. They may target reducing specific behaviors such as drug use or teen pregnancy. Other programs may focus on promoting positive behaviors and developing social and emotional skills.... They may include incorporating character education into the academic curricula or they may address structures across the school such as discipline. Positive behavioral intervention supports is the application of an underlying behavioral system and not a program per se. The potential for success is unlimited as it is easily integrated into existing classroom curriculum, and also across all school settings, the location of many student conflicts....

[P]rograms must comply with all requirements in this section to be evaluated for placement on the approved list of resources. All programs/services selected must possess the following characteristics:

• Evidence of Effectiveness;
• Links Between Research and Program Design;
• Connection to State Academic Standards and District(s) Instructional Program(s);
• Monitoring of Student Progress;
• Communication with Schools and Districts;
• Communication with Parents and Families;
• Highly Qualified Staff;
• Sound Financial and Organizational Capacity;
• Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Health and Safety Standards; and
• Compliance with Federal, State, and Local Civil Rights Protections.

My Thoughts:

• Everyone wants evidence of educational efficacy and financial viability.
• If your program is not on the list, it’s not part of the market.

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