Trigg County Public Schools is embracing a new approach that focuses on improving the behavioral and mental health of its students in an effort to improve their performance in school.
“If we get behavior and mental health under control, we should see an increase in student achievement,” James Mangels, the district’s director of student services and human resources, told school board members at their Nov. 10 meeting. in the conference room of the district office.
Sharing discipline data from the first quarter of the 2022-23 school year, the principal noted that there were 31 incidents at Trigg County Primary School through Oct. 7, 55% of which were due to disrespectful behavior.
At Trigg County Intermediate School, 39% of the 31 incidents were due to disrespectful behavior, he said, while at Trigg County Middle School there were 108 incidents. Twenty-four of those 108 incidents were due to disorderly conduct.
In addition, of the 54 disciplinary incidents at Trigg County High School, 32 students or 5% of the TCHS student population were responsible for those 54 incidents and 44% of the incidents were due to disrespectful or disruptive behavior.
In the first weeks of school, Mangels said the district has seen several drug-related incidents, two terrorist threats and an attack.
Citing past high school success with a framework known as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Mangels said the local district began reconnecting with that framework at Trigg Middle last year and has now signed up to be part of a PBIS cohort.
PBIS offers an evidence-based, layered approach to support students’ behavioral, academic, social, emotional and mental health, according to details on its website at pbis.org.
Mangels noted that the district wants to be more involved in behavioral health management.
“We really believe that to make sure that students are kind of recognized and to teach the behaviors under positive behavior interventions and support, there are some things we can do to help students and their case plans in our classrooms. support,” he said, pointing out our educators spend most of their time with children in the classroom.
Mangels said district staff participated in a preparation meeting to see if they were “ready to take on this challenge,” the director said.
He noted that three district employees, including himself, special education director Mandy Byrd, and school psychologist Katie Grimm, had been trained as district coaches for the PBIS effort.
The school district has also established a committee that includes partners from the school system and outside organizations.
Members of that district committee for interconnected systems are counselor Alaysia Radford, George Radford of Genesis Express, parent representative Andrew Futrell, school counselor Shawn Young, Horizon Youth Service Center coordinator Laura Shelton, Sharon Alexander of Mountain Comprehensive Care, the three district coaches, and Karen Solise, the school district’s assistant superintendent of curriculum and instruction.
Mangels said the committee will analyze school data, identify problems and brainstorm ways to provide interventions around social, emotional and behavioral support.
He said that the school staff will provide the interventions with the support of the coaches; the three coaches will ensure that the interventions are carried out in each of the school buildings.
The director of student services noted that behavioral health and mental health have historically been approached separately from positive behavioral interventions and support, and he said this new approach encourages positive interventions along with mental health and behavioral health under one “big umbrella.”
Mangels said interventions implemented through Tier 1 of the PBIS framework “should capture 80% of students in that safety net.”
He noted that 10% to 15% of students need a more intensive level 2 approach, while 5% of young people may need really intensive work.
Mangels said he really believes in PBIS, in its interconnected framework and in working with other services and staff to create a supportive environment for youth.
“(There are) some really good things happening,” he said of recent efforts in the district.
- Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)
- Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)
- Click to print (Opens in new window)