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JT area researches behavior in schools

Published March 16. 2011 05:01PM

Jim Thorpe Area School District started a school-wide positive behavior program in the Penn-Kidder Campus this past fall.

JTASD plans to implement this research initiative into L.B. Morris for next school year.

"Part of the program is to get together with our team once a month and review data we have (on behavior)," said Penn-Kidder Principal Brian Gasper.

The team includes Gasper and 12 teachers. They meet to study the data on how well students are behaving and how positive behavior can be promoted.

Penn-Kidder was trained last school year by the Lehigh Carbon Intermediate Unit on how to implement this program.

Penn-Kidder uses the infraction system for misbehavior in school. If a student reaches five infractions then they receive a detention.

At Monday night's school board meeting Gasper presented data showcasing the amount of infractions given to students this school year compared to last school years (09/10) infractions.

Gasper stated that in August through October the infractions given were almost cut in half compared to last year. December and January's infractions went up a little from last year. Gasper said that the numbers have been fluctuating but he "has noticed a major difference in the student's behavior and it is a positive one." The school offers students who receive a low amount of infractions with certain incentives, quarterly. Some of the incentives include game days and dress up days.

To promote positive behavior amongst students Penn-Kidder started the school year off with lessons on proper behavior in schools. These lessons cover six domains: Bus, Cafeteria, Bathrooms, Hallway, Classroom, and Dress Code/Tardiness. Penn-Kidder recently provided more lessons on proper behavior as a refresher for the students.

The behavior data at Penn-Kidder will continue to be studied by the program team.

"There will be a more comprehensive presentation at the end of the school year," stated Gasper.

Next year this program will be implemented at the L.B. Morris. "Penn-Kidder as a pilot school will be training the L.B.," said Gasper. "When initiated into the L.B. they will need to tailor the program for their school."

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