Five years in and the effort to improve the attitudes and behavior of students in Forest Park’s public schools continues to evolve and to grow. That the effort, which goes by the PBIS moniker, is being applied in kid-centered entities across the village – schools, library, parks, community center, cops – is a testament to how Forest Park can pull together like few towns are able to.
We are appreciative of District 91 Supt. Lou Cavallo’s direct acknowledgement that setting expectations is more challenging in a culturally and racially diverse district such as ours. Kids arrive in our schools with varied backgrounds and some cultural dissonance when it comes to what is appropriate behavior. Teachers and staff also bring their cultural values which can sometimes be too narrow.
The program is working with staff seeing a notable drop in referrals into the discipline system. It works best in District 91, as in all school districts, when students are exposed to it early in their years in school and the expectations for how to behave in class, in the lunchroom, on the playground, become second nature.
We are fans of this effort.