School board discusses district’s system for supporting good behavior

Assistant Superintendent DJ Garza talks to the Quincy School Board on Oct. 11.

Quincy School District’s framework for building better habits for students was the main topic of the Oct. 11 meeting of the Quincy School Board, but the board also discussed an important event for parents, a Comprehensive Sexual Health Parent Information Night, happening Thursday evening.

Assistant Superintendent DJ Garza gave the presentation on PBIS, short for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports, which is a district-wide system, not a program or curriculum, that aligns with QSD’s strategic plan.

“It’s really important that we kind of have a refresh of PBIS and a commitment or an alignment district-wide,” Garza said.

PBIS is “proactive and preventative rather than reactive and punitive interventions” one of Garza’s slides stated. It includes a positive rewards system, but habits are what keep good behavior going, he said. And the positive habits tend to add to academic achievement.

PBIS has three tiers or levels that outline a “continuum of effective behavior support,” with the most intervention in the third tier. The district is working on using data more to guide help to students. The data system is termed SWIS, which stands for School-Wide Information System.

Board member Chris Baumgartner asked about the “check-in, check-out” method for building better habits, which Garza had mentioned. The assistant superintendent, in his first year on the job in QSD, gave a detailed answer on how it is used to follow-up on an individual student’s progress on defined improvement goals.

Board member Tricia Lubach asked for examples of the behavior rules at school buildings and about the role of parents working with the district within PBIS – questions that sparked detailed discussion.

Board member Heather Folks-Lambert asked how QSD measures the success of PBIS. Garza said individual schools may have measures of success, but the district is currently implementing methods of measuring outcomes district-wide, aided by SWIS.

During his report to the board, Superintendent Dr. Nik Bergman said the district was planning a Comprehensive Sexual Health Parent Information Night on Oct. 20, 5:30 to 6 p.m., at the Quincy High School library.

The meeting is to include an overview of the curriculum, directions on how to opt out, and questions and answers. For more information, send email to sexualhealtheducation@qsd.wednet.edu or go to the district website, under the Parents tab select Curriculum, and then select Sexual Health Curriculum.

Baumgartner asked about notifying parents about the informational event, concerned that some might not hear about it. The district is putting out notices in several ways to reach parents, Bergman said.

Alicen Gaytley, the QSD director of student achievement, who will be the presenter at the parent information night, said resources are also online, and the opt-out form is online year-round.

The district’s website includes an informative, six-page document with frequently asked questions and answers about comprehensive sexual health instruction: https://app.eduportal.com/documents/view/809503.

The Washington Legislature recently changed requirements on the subject. The changes are discussed in the FAQ document.

It states: “Senate Bill 5395, passed by the Legislature and Washington voters in 2020, went into effect on December 3, 2020 (see Bulletin 092-20). It requires all schools to provide comprehensive sexual health education (CSHE) by the 2022–23 school year.”

In other business on the agenda, the board gave four policy proposals their first reading, plus a second reading and a vote on another set of policy changes.

They included: Policy 2110, which changes the wording of the Transitional Bilingual Instruction program, aligning it with new legislation; Policy 3116, which responds to state legislation regarding children in foster care; and Policy 5610, which makes it easier for a district to hire retired former employees of a school district up to half-time.