C-A working to address bad student behavior

FLINT TWP. — Bullying and intolerance are among bad behaviors being addressed by special programs throughout the Carman-Ainsworth School District.

Positive Behavior Support Teams are in place at every building and interventions are starting to show positive results, said Maribeth Goodheart, director of Student Support Services, in a special report to the Board of Education at its Tuesday night meeting.

She was joined by Deb Aro, behavior intervention coordinator for the district, who presented a sample of targeted activities at each school.

At Dillon Elementary, one program focuses on culture and climate, Aro said. She showed a yellow bucket used in a school-wide activity that asks “Have You Filled Your Bucket Today?’’ The idea is to encourage students and teachers to write bucket-filler notes that encourage and support each other. Reward incentives are earned.

At Dye Elementary, a PAWsitive Support initiative plays on the school’s Bulldog mascot and encourages students to earn PAW slips for good behavior. Positive rewards are offered when 5 PAWS are accumulated.

At Randels Elementary, one focus in on new students who are given a behavioral Expectations Booklet and an Autograph Booklet. The latter is used for the new student to go around the building gathering signatures from the principal, secretaries, teachers and other staff members with whom the students might have contact.

Rankin Elementary acknowledges positive behavior with an iRock Celebration held four times per year. Aro showed iRock T-shirts made by students at a recent celebration that included playing Wii games and dining on Venison chili.

Woodland Elementary employs a student supporting students strategy led by peer mediators. Aro showed a video in which students conducted a conflict resolution concerning an accusation of cheating.

Data shows that third and fifth graders have most problems on the playground, Aro said.

At the Middle School, an extensive survey on bullying found the sixth grade with the highest level of problems, followed closely by seventh graders. One survey surprise was the amount of bullying that students reported happening in classrooms where there is supervision present, Aro said. Incidences reported in the lunchroom, hallways, at recess and on the bus were about at expected levels.

Aro showed responses from students to the question of how bullying had affected them. Responses included “scared, worried and I feel like I want to hurt myself.’’

Asked how to stop bullying, student responses ranged from telling an adult to wanting an adult to talk to the bully.

Student responses are being looked at by support teams to develop better interventions, Aro said.

At the high school, support teams have produced videos to spread positive messages. Aro showed the board an upbeat video about diversity featuring CAHS students, special events and art work set to the music of the song “One Tribe’’ by the Black Eyed Peas.

Superintendent Bill Haley praised the video’s use of current media that students could relate to.

“We can feel the climate and the culture changing in the buildings,’’ Aro said of the positive behavioral reinforcement strategies that have been implemented districtwide.

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