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Elementary school discipline referrals drop 15 percent

KCSD credits PBIS for improvement

Posted: December 1, 2011 6:01 p.m.
Updated: December 2, 2011 5:00 a.m.

First quarter elementary discipline reports show that referrals from classrooms and buses to school offices have dropped nearly 15 percent from this time last school year. Kershaw County School District (KCSD) officials attribute much of this success to the districtwide implementation of PBIS -- Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. 

“Great improvement in student discipline means more time on task,” said KCSD Superintendent Frank Morgan. “Our teachers have less interruptions in their classroom lessons while our bus drivers are less distracted on their routes.”

Morgan said that with 20 to 30 minutes of administrative time spent on most referrals, principals and assistant principals had as much as 30 to 40 more hours the first nine weeks to spend on other school-related issues. 

Funds from the Safe Schools/Healthy Students federal grant allowed KCSD to expand PBIS to all 11 elementary schools in August of 2010.  

Morgan said PBIS is a framework where educators spend time planning their approach to student behavior to include more than just punishment. Positive interventions are a part of daily school life so that students have shared expectations for appropriate behavior and are recognized for their good actions.  Educators use data to track behavior and make informed decisions on ways to make improvements. Lessons on good character and citizenship are also a part of the program.

“I give a lot of credit to our teachers and administrators who have embraced PBIS and made it so successful,” Morgan said. “It’s great to see what a positive impact this has made in such a short time period.”

KCSD schools have already received statewide recognition for their implementation of PBIS. At the end of last school year, the S.C. Department of Education awarded Wateree Elementary School with an Exemplar Award to recognize a distinguished PBIS program that had been in operation for multiple years while Doby’s Mill Elementary School received a PBIS Ribbon award for a successful school in its first year of implementation. 

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