British Columbia schools are striving to develop positive and welcoming school cultures, and are committed to fostering optimal environments for learning. Members of these school communities share a commitment to maintaining safe, caring and orderly schools. They focus on prevention of problems and use school-wide efforts to build “community,” fostering respect, inclusion, fairness and equity. They set, communicate and consistently reinforce clear expectations of acceptable conduct. They teach, model and encourage socially responsible behaviours that contribute to the school community, solve problems in peaceful ways, value diversity and defend human rights.
Positive Behaviour Intervention and Support (PBIS):
PBIS is a process for creating safer and more effective schools by structuring the learning environment to support the academic and social success of all students. The process supports the adoption and long-term implementation of efficient and effective discipline throughout the school environment. PBIS methods are research-based, proven to significantly reduce the occurrence of problem behaviours in schools and supported by a three-tiered model.
When schools employ effective systems, practices and data based decision making consistently and with fidelity, desired outcomes are achievable across all three tiers. The essential components of a successful PBIS framework are:
School District No. 73 has trained coaches to build capacity within schools and continues to train new coaches each year. In addition, a District PBIS Leadership Committee comprised of administrators, student support services, teachers, certified education assistants and School Board representatives regularly meet to support PBIS within the District. School teams participated in three days of professional development training in 2012/2013 and will participate in a one day follow up training in 2013/2014. Schools also have the opportunity to send teams to the Making Connections PBIS conference in Vancouver each year.
Socially responsible individuals show “community-mindedness” in their responses to school, local, national, and global issues and events. This attitude is the basis of a functioning and flourishing democratic society. Human and social development is one of the goals of the BC school system. This broad goal further specifies that students are expected to “develop a sense of social responsibility and a tolerance and respect for the ideas and beliefs of others” (Mandate for the School System, Province of British Columbia, 1989).
The framework for the BC Performance Standards for social responsibility provides educators, students and families with a common set of expectations for student development in four categories: Contributing to the Classroom and School Community, Solving Problems in Peaceful Ways, Valuing Diversity and Defending Human Rights, and Exercising Democratic Rights and Responsibilities.