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Schools win blue ribbons

Observer courtesy photo Educators Sarah Schoolcraft, Cindy Cole and Shari Carr accept Allen Brook and Williston Central schools' award for Positive Behavior Intervention and Support at a recent leadership forum in Killington.
Observer courtesy photo
Educators Sarah Schoolcraft, Cindy Cole and Shari Carr accept Allen Brook and Williston Central schools’ award for Positive Behavior Intervention and Support at a recent leadership forum in Killington.

Observer staff report

For the third consecutive year, Allen Brook and Williston Central schools have earned the Agency of Education’s Blue Ribbon award for their learning environments.

The award recognizes schools that excel in what is known as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, or PBIS—a school-wide system to improve students’ social and academic competence, according to Allen Brook Principal John Terko.

“School staff, administrators and family members work together to create positive and safe learning environments by teaching and supporting behavior expectations in all school settings,” Terko wrote in a press release.

To receive the award, schools must show their implementation of the program, as well as demonstrate its positive effect on students’ behavior and academic performance.

“Exemplar Schools demonstrate a significant commitment on the part of staff and the recognition that school culture and climate contributes to the overall success for all learners,” Terko wrote.

According to Terko, the foundation of the system is “high quality instruction and clear, positive feedback for all learners.”

The second tier of support for students who need it involves help from adult mentors.

The third tier, called a “wrap around,” helps students who require more assistance, and brings in parent support with regular communication and meetings.