GLOVERSVILLE - As the 2013-14 school year begins this week, the Gloversville Enlarged School District is implementing a new program to keep students in school and encourage civility and a focus on learning.
The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is a research-based approach for schools and districts that teaches positive behavior to all students, especially those who have exhibited challenging behavior in the past.
Steve Schloicka, assistant superintendent for business, and Rosanne Plumadore, assistant director of student support services, presented the Board of Education some new details about the plan at its recent meeting.
Students gather around teachers at the start of the school day Wednesday, the first day of school, outside McNab Elementary School in Gloversville. (The Leader-Herald/Bill Trojan)
According to Schloicka, teachers have gone through a two-day training about the program with HFM BOCES. He said he hopes to see the full implementation of the program by the end of 2013.
"This isn't just a one-year process; this [might lead] to a three- to four-year process before we see any real, positive effects on our kids and our staff," Schloicka said.
Michael Vanyo, district superintendent, said measures such as these cannot come from the top down. In previous schools where he's worked, Vanyo said, these programs were successful.
"By the time I left there, you couldn't even find a piece of paper on the ground. Expectations were up in every classroom, the rules were known by every student," Vanyo said.
"Basically, in a nutshell, it's a complete system to follow," Schloicka said.
Among the problems to be addressed is truancy.
Students who are frequently absent miss instructional time and are less likely to graduate.
District leaders are confident reducing suspensions and increasing student attendance through the PBIS program and other district initiatives will result in better outcomes for students.
Schloicka and Plumadore said banners and other promotional materials would encourage positive student behavior as well as focusing the students on education, along with social interaction.