School Safety and Climate Grant Making Headway in Nevada
CARSON CITY, Nev. – Fifty-six schools in Nevada have been trained and are implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) according to a new report issued by the Nevada PBIS Technical Assistance Center at the University of Nevada, Reno.
“We have been focused more than ever on school safety, school climate, identification of student needs, and improvement in behavioral outcomes ever since the Sandy Hook Elementary School tragedy,” said Steve Canavero, Ph.D., Superintendent of Public Instruction. “Governor Brian Sandoval has made the safety of our children and addressing bullying among his top priorities.”
The Nevada School Climate Transformation project is a joint partnership with the Nevada Department of Education’s (NDE) Office for a Safe and Respectful Learning Environment that began in 2014. The mission of the program is to “provide the tools, knowledge and skills for organizations to develop and sustain systems that support safety and social emotional wellness.” With the state moving towards adopting Social Emotional and Academic Development (SEAD) practices, the integration of behavior outcomes supports the development of social-emotional skills and complies with federal Every Student Succeeds Act guidelines.
In Nevada, 56 schools have established school-wide behavioral expectations that are directly taught, and students are acknowledged for learning these expectations and modeling good behavior. Discipline systems are clear and consistent in order to focus on prevention and teaching appropriate behavior. Schools also have access to school-wide data that they use to make data-based decisions to provide better support to their students.
NDE and the Nevada PBIS Technical Assistance Center have implemented the Multi-Tiered System of Support model with these aims:
- Increase physical and emotional safety on school campuses across Nevada,
- Promote equity in education through reducing discipline disparities,
- and provide access to behavioral and mental health supports to students with advanced needs in addition to promoting overall school climate.
The annual report highlights outcomes of the 2016-2017 year’s PBIS implementation in Nevada. Some of the specific outcomes include:
- Implementation is occurring at all school levels, from one-room-schoolhouses and alternative schools to traditional elementary, middle, and high schools,
- Six districts and 34,000 students are impacted by PBIS implementation,
- One elementary school saw a 31 percent decrease in major incidents. This includes incidents such as fighting, threats, and other dangerous behavior,
- Two middle schools in Clark County achieved significant decreases in the proportion of students receiving two or more referrals: one decreased from 40 to 30 percent, and another decreased from 47 to 15 percent,
- An alternative school saw a 42 percent decrease in in-school and out-of-school suspension,
- A high school decreased major incidents by 41 percent,
- Another high school decreased minor incidents by 54 percent, and students reported increases in feeling respected by staff, and feeling safe on campus.