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From conference to classrooms: Event captures momentum of effective school-wide and classroom practices

Lincoln Public Schools this week hosted its first ever statewide conference dedicated to Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports — commonly referred to as PBiS — centered around effective practices in schools.

Just how popular is the topic? The first-time conference drew more than 600 participants from 40 school districts and educational service units (ESUs) across Nebraska, and members of the Nebraska Department of Education, as well as professionals from colleges and universities.

“We are incredibly lucky in LPS to be in a position to provide such high-quality professional learning to our staff and to educators across the state,” said Sarah Salem, director of continuous improvement and professional learning. “The expertise of teachers and administrators in our schools is truly remarkable.”

How will the information gleaned from the conference manifest in a classroom?

Zeman Elementary School Principal Kristi Schirmer shared a little insight into what she listens for when observing staff:  

“I hear four-to-one praise ratio, I hear teachers telling students, “great job,” but not just ‘great job,’ but ‘great job. You are right,” that specific information and that specific praise,” Schirmer said.

Seth Lutz, assistant principal at McPhee Elementary School said, “We will talk about looking at the person, saying ‘OK,’ and doing things right away. And also if students need a little more, we talk about not pressing the issue, but having some statements to tell the students that we are going to talk about his behavior later, so we can talk more about the skill instead of the behavior.” 

Session presenters included local, state and national experts, covering topics from classroom management to alternatives to suspensions, and from building positive relationships to being proactive with early signs of students struggling in class.

Scott Eckman, a supervisor in the LPS special education department, said the collaboration between staff and districts on these topics has been a big benefit.

“We have been really trying hard to collaborate with districts outside of Lincoln Public Schools,” he said. “We are seeing that a lot of colleagues from neighboring districts want to know this information and are coming here to learn with us, which is been really exciting.” 

LPS middle schools also had the opportunity to work one-on-one with Kent McIntosh, the conference keynote speaker, to look at their school data, systems and goals for the next school year.


Published: June 23, 2017, Updated: June 23, 2017

“We are seeing that a lot of colleagues from neighboring districts want to know this information and are coming here to learn with us, which is been really exciting.”

Scott Eckman
Lincoln Public Schools

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