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Conference focuses on building positive relationships with students

More than 700 educators from Lincoln Public Schools and from school districts across the state gathered at Lincoln Southwest High School this week for the second annual Supporting Positive Behavior Conference.

LPS sponsored the conference, which spanned Wednesday and Thursday and featured 41 breakout sessions and keynote addresses from nationally renowned experts in the field of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a research-based framework for proactively teaching and supporting positive behaviors for students. It’s proven to be effective in schools nationwide, often leading to increased student achievement and reduced classroom disruptions and student suspensions.

George Sugai, a professor at the University of Connecticut, is considered one of the country’s leading voices on PBIS. He delivered the morning keynotes both days of the conference.

“PBIS is not an intervention, it’s not a practice, it’s not a strategy,” Sugai said on Wednesday. “It’s a framework, it’s an approach, it’s a process by which schools do the work of building the environment that establishes connectedness and relationships.”

On Thursday, he spoke about PBIS and its potential positive impact on school safety.

“The more connected we are, the more positive those relationships are, the greater likelihood that you’re going to create environments that are perceived as being safe and the greater likelihood that you’re going to be able to respond if a kid feels or hears or sees something that they’re worried about,” Sugai said.

LPS is in year five of its implementation of PBIS. Conference organizer Scott Eckman, the PBIS supervisor for LPS, was encouraged by the interest in this year’s conference, which attracted about 100 more attendees than last year.

“It was amazing to see so many people from LPS and surrounding districts attend the conference,” he said. “People were excited to learn from the national experts and local practitioners, and I hope they came away with ideas and strategies they can implement next school year.”

Initial feedback from attendees outside LPS was overwhelmingly positive. Said one attendee: “LPS is amazing. Thank you for putting on such a positive and engaging PBIS conference. We were fortunate to be able to bring such a large team from my building and district. Looking forward to next year's conference!”

For more information about PBIS and how it’s utilized in Lincoln Public Schools: http://wp.lps.org/pbis/

 


Published: June 15, 2018, Updated: June 15, 2018

"PBIS is not an intervention, it’s not a practice, it’s not a strategy. It’s a framework, it’s an approach, it’s a process by which schools do the work of building the environment that establishes connectedness and relationships."

George Sugai, professor at the University of Connecticut