No. 1 Priority: Safety of Students & Staff
By Dr. Donald Gill
The safety and well-being of our teachers, staff, administrators, and students is of paramount importance. In an effort to ensure that every member of the Antioch Unified School District educational com-munity can work and study in a learning environment that promotes academic excellence and achievement, a broad based collaborative team of AUSD educators began examining the best evidence based behavioral programs available. This work began last year, and the results of their study led us to Positive Behavioral Intervention Supports (PBIS).
On Oct. 8, more than 70 AUSD teachers, classified employees, site and district administrators and parents participated in the first of four PBIS training sessions so they can begin the implementation process at their individual school sites. The training sessions were a huge success. It is expected that after these school sites successfully implement PBIS at their sites, the remaining AUSD school sites will follow along.
If you are not familiar with PBIS, I will share a brief overview of this highly successful behavioral intervention program. PBIS is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into integrated curriculum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students. PBIS is not a packaged curriculum, scripted intervention, or manual based strategy. PBIS is a prevention-oriented way for school personnel to:
- Organize evidence-based practices
- Improve their implementation of those practices
- Maximize academic and social behavioral outcomes for students. PBIS supports the success of all students
Effective classroom management and preventive school discipline are essential for supporting teaching and learning. PBIS goes further by emphasizing that classroom management and preventive school discipline must be integrated and working together with effective academic instruction in a positive and safe school climate to maximize success for all students.
Based on the feedback from the participants of the first PBIS training, I am confident they will experience success at their individual school sites and continue to grow and develop the behavioral capacity of each and every student enrolled at their school.
If properly implemented, PBIS has the potential to positively change the entire culture and climate of each and every one of our school sites. The success of each of these first implementers of PBIS is essential to the success of our entire school district in adapting to the changing needs of the students and families who call Antioch Unified School District their home.
District and Teachers at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School Agree to Move Forward on Common Ground
I am pleased to report that the Antioch Unified School District (“District”) and teachers at Dozier-Libbey Medical High School (“DLMHS”) have committed to move forward together on common ground, ending the effort to convert DLMHS into an independent charter school. Specifically, on June 13 and September 11, 2014, the District signed a Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) with the Antioch Education Association (“AEA”). The MOU was ratified on September 16 and 17, 2014 by a majority of the permanent teachers currently employed at DLMHS. In reliance on commitments stated in the MOU, the teachers withdrew their appeal to the State Board of Education on Friday, September 27, 2014.
The students, parents, and staff at DLMHS have enjoyed relative peace and harmony since the beginning of the 2014-15 school year. It is my sincere hope that the mutual agreements made by the District and teachers to end this controversy will continue to foster an educational environment deserving of this exceptional school. In closing, I want to thank the many individuals –teachers, staff, parents, and community members that assisted in bringing closure to this chapter in the school’s history. Your efforts have truly assisted in maintaining the goal of DLMHS as best expressed in its mission statement: “Every student valued, every student challenged, every student prepared to succeed in a changing world.”
Superintendent Donald Gill