Magazine article District Administration

Better Behavior on School Buses Has Positive Carryover Effect: First Student and Wisconsin School District Collaborate to Improve Student Behavior and Reduce Discipline Referrals

Magazine article District Administration

Better Behavior on School Buses Has Positive Carryover Effect: First Student and Wisconsin School District Collaborate to Improve Student Behavior and Reduce Discipline Referrals

Article excerpt

Improving student behavior and reducing discipline referrals is important to Andrew Place, the principal of Riverview Elementary School in Wausau, Wisconsin. Place estimates that for every student behavioral incident and discipline referral he investigates, 15 minutes of instructional time is lost.

Place says school buses represent the third-highest location for behavior incidents and discipline referrals in the Wausau School District. During the 2013-14 school year, the district and its school bus provider, First Student, began working to implement a PBIS training program. First Student brought in a regional PBIS instructor to train its drivers and staff. Wausau would provide ongoing training at future safety meetings, and First Student helped Wausau form a transportation committee made up of school administrators, PBIS building coaches and teachers, First Student's location manager, a driver, and a bus monitor to foster better communication. Both Wausau and First Student quickly noticed the similarities between First Student's positive behavior reinforcement program," I Care, We Care" and PBIS.

The transportation committee also came up with a vision statement, which makes "a commitment to excellence in safely transporting students, encouraging respectful and caring behavior while supporting District Shared Key Interests." It also encourages "collaboration between First Student and Wausau in order to proactively communicate with mutual respect." Place says communication is better because "there's a direct line of communication" between all parties through the committee meetings. …

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