Building Bridges in Scotland County School System
As a behavioral specialist, Chris W. helps children with learning difficulties or special needs gain social skills to help them express themselves and improve their learning outcomes.
Incorporating CPI Training to Support Student Success
During the 2008-2009 school year, Chris worked with one school in the Scotland County School System of North Carolina to improve their Behavior Support for Exceptional Children (BSEC) program. This program supported children and students with learning difficulties in developing problem solving skills, social skills, conflict resolution skills, and more.
Part of the training program included working together with parents, staff, and administration. “It’s one of the most important steps to ensure a positive learning environment,” Chris explained.
Improvements were also made by implementing something called Building Bridges.
Building Bridges included three distinct training pieces:
- Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training
- Positive Behavior Support (PBS)
- Second Step
Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® training formed the base of the Building Bridges program. Educators and staff were instructed on the CPI Crisis Development modelSM, Paraverbal communication, verbal intervention, and how to understand Precipitating Factors, Rational Detachment, and the Integrated Experience.
The next piece was Positive Behavior Support (PBS). PBS uses a matrix to help students learn rules, understand different ways to cope when upset, and better interact with others while on the bus, at school, in the lunchroom, etc. An award system is used to encourage students to make positive choices. Chris shared that, “In my own experience, positive support leads to a better academic environment and is proven to work well in a schoolwide setting.”
The final component was Second Step—an additional violence prevention program taught in schools to help students share their feelings and concerns in a safe way. Students are also taught about empathy, impulse control, and anger management.
According to Chris,
“These three components of Building Bridges (Nonviolent Crisis Intervention®, PBS, and Second Step) have helped a great deal this past year in dealing with bullies, out-of-school suspensions, and other problems that we tend to see in schools and in the community.”
The impact of Building Bridges on Classroom Culture
The results of combining three proven training strategies were huge. At the school where Chris worked, they saw:
- 82% reduction in bus suspensions
- 88% reduction in misconduct cases
- 93% reduction in cases of fighting
- And 99% reduction in assault, property damage, theft, and rule violation
Case Study: Scotland County School System
See the full impact that staff and educators experienced after the Scotland County School system incorporated Building Bridges in select schools.View case study
Chris is optimistic about the continued student success in the Scotland County School system.
By incorporating these trainings each year Chris believes, “students and teachers are given a much more concrete foundation to follow. Positive interaction gives children and adults a feeling that they are worthy. Building Bridges gives children the opportunity to learn the necessary skills to express themselves and improve their outcomes.”
Originally published in 2010.