Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
The School District of Palm Beach County (SDPBC) will implement a project under Category 2, all other eligible applicants: (3) Train school personnel on school violence, including strategies to improve a school climate. Data shows fighting, bullying and physical attacks are high in District schools. Survey results expose a troubling upward trend in violent behavior; and, students do not feel safe and supported at school to resolve conflicts. As a direct response, the District will strengthen the use of Tier 2 (targeted) and 3 (intensive, individualized) behavior interventions in schools as well as understand and respond to misbehavior such as physical aggression, fighting and bullying. The proposed project will reinforce SDPBC’s Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS) through the use of Intervention Teams (I-Teams) on all 180 school campuses. Training will be provided by Safe and Civil Schools, an evidence-based program. The evidence-based practice of Restorative Justice will also be introduced through training by Community Matters; and, Restorative Circles will be piloted at target high schools. A Program Planner and two Resource Teachers as well as 11 District-funded Subject Matter Experts and I-Teams will work with School Based Teams to identify, implement and monitor the best interventions to meet the needs of students who are within Tier 2 or Tier 3 of the Multi-Tiered System of Support process. Teachers and school staff will receive side-by-side coaching and job embedded professional development as they implement interventions in order to ensure fidelity. Intervention strategies will be differentiated for elementary and secondary schools; and, the project will work to build stronger bridges as students in need of intervention transition to new school sites (5th to middle school; 8th to high school). A repository of interventions will also be created that can be used as a resource for schools. The project will build the capacity of schools to identify student needs and provide specific interventions to improve student behavior, school safety and climate. At the District level, capacity will be increased to develop, enhance, and expand systems of support for and technical assistance to schools as they implement a Multi-Tiered System of Support of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support.