SWPBS consortium meeting with Professor Tim Lewis
The SWPBS consortium held an online meeting with Professor Tim Lewis from the University of Missouri (USA) on the 16th November 2020. Professor Lewis has been involved in special education for 35 years and has worked with students with emotional and behavioural disorders across many different education settings. He has also been developing schoolwide systems of behavioural support for more than two decades. Moreover, he managed to earn a funding of more than $80 million in order to support this research and implement the SWPBS approach. Professor Lewis’ contribution in professional literature examining various aspects of ‘Positive Behaviour Support’ is pivotal. He directs the ‘Center for School-wide Positive Behavior Support’ of the University of Missouri and acts as a Co-Director of the national ‘OSEP Center for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports’.
CARDET, as the coordinator of SWPBS project, provided a brief overview of the project’s implementation across the four (4) European countries (Romania, Cyprus, Greece and Finland) and 3 Tiers of prevention. In addition, some indicative work of schools was presented to initiate a very fruitful discussion on opportunities and challenges, which external coaches come across every day when working with schools. Among others, different ways of rewarding students online during the pandemic were discussed, accompanied by other essential components of SWPBS, such as the recommended ways of discouraging a non-expected student behaviour, suggested ways of motivating teachers, data collection processes and many more. The discussion sparked a lot of different questions by the external coaches and information provided by Professor Lewis was significant to inspire the team and provide new ideas for a more successful implementation.
Two of the most important messages the team kept from the discussion where the following: “We are trying to increase the frequency of positive behaviours of students by focusing our attention exactly there and acknowledging them” and “Tokens serve as adult behaviour reminders, they are not for students. Teachers should have a plan of how to get rid of them!” The SWPBS consortium wishes to thank Professor Lewis for his significant contribution and advice in SWPBS implementation and is looking forward to future collaboration.
Schools of Group B start a dynamic implementation in November 2020
The second group of schools have initiated another dynamic year of SWPBS implementation in Cyprus. The School Leadership Team of each of the 14 schools that have started implementing the intervention in November 2020, together with the whole school staff and under the guidance of their external coach, have identified their school visions and expectations. Following this, they have proceeded to their illustration in different ways within their schools. The next steps of schools will be to identify 4-6 social behaviours (3-4 social skills and 1-2 routines), create a school matrix, develop lesson plans and relevant teaching material, before they officially start teaching the behaviours from January 2021 onwards.
SWPBS presented at an international Positive Behaviour Support conference in Lithuania
Our project SWPBS - Building School-Wide Inclusive, Positive and Equitable Learning Environments Through A Systems-Change Approach - was presented at the online conference, ‘Implementing a Positive Behaviour Support System in Europe and Lithuania: Good practice’. The conference took place on December 9th 2020 and was a great opportunity for professionals from the field of education across Europe to exchange ideas and share their knowledge and experience on the implementation of the Positive Behaviour Support (PBS) system in schools.
Eliza Theofanous, who represented CARDET at the conference, explained the Experimental Design of the SWPBS project and provided a detailed description of its implementation. Mrs Theofanous presented indicative work of schools that currently participate in the project, giving an insight into the project to more than 250 teachers and stakeholders, who took part in the conference. Participants were also presented the material CARDET has created to support teachers during the COVID pandemic (lesson plans, online modules and videos). The conference was co-organised by the Lithuanian Ministry of Education Science and Sports, the Lithuanian Centre of Education for Blind and Visually Impaired People and the Department of Counselling for Children with Developmental Disabilities in Lithuania.
SWPBS is being implemented by a consortium of 11 partners in Cyprus, Greece, Romania and Finland. In Cyprus, the project is being implemented by the Cyprus Pedagogical Institute, Ministry of Education, Culture, Sport and Youth in collaboration with CARDET and INNOVADE LI, with the participation of 32 primary schools across the island.
The second training of School Leadership Team Training was completed in December 2020
The 2nd School Leadership Team Training in Cyprus was completed for Group B on the 15th December 2020. The training was conducted online by CARDET and Cyprus Pedagogical Institute. The training focused on ‘Defining and Teaching Social Behaviours’ and was attended by over 40 teachers across the 3 days of its delivery. CARDET also took this opportunity to present the videos created in order to facilitate teachers in their teaching efforts. Schools of Group B will start working on the development of relevant teaching material in collaboration with their external coach and gaining ideas from the online library through the online platform of the project.
4th School Leadership Team Training and 3rd Whole School Staff Training completed in February 2021
Despite COVID pandemic, partners in Cyprus took advantage of the time teachers spend teaching from home and delivered all School Leadership Team Training and Whole School Staff Trainings online. Through constant effort, motivation and hard work, our external coaches and 14 schools of Group B have managed to complete the 4th School Leadership Team Training and 3rd Whole School Staff Training, which focused on ‘Correcting Minor Inappropriate Behaviours’ and ‘Developing a Schoolwide Rewarding System’. Schools are now ready to implement new strategies and collaborate with all members of school staff in order to form a positive and inclusive learning environment.