By Alan Sorensen
Havre's public elementary schools are nearing implementation of their behavior management work plan project, Karla Wohlwend told the Havre school board Tuesday night.
"We are moving forward quite quickly," said Wohlwend, chair of the project.
Havre educators are seriously considering becoming an active participant in the Montana Behavioral Initiative (MBI), whose first training was held in Helena in August. Havre wasn't represented at that meeting, but has been welcomed to join MBI, Wohlwend said, director of personnel and special services for the district.
"Havre has gone on board," she said.
Some Havre personnel will attend training next Monday and Tuesday. "They go and become trainers, come back, and work with their peers," Wohlwend said.
Further training will be held in Havre in February for the Havre group.
"Havre will become a site and a trainer will come to Havre," Wohlwend said. "It is very successful at elementary and middle school levels across the state right now." That trainer will come at the expense of Montana Office of Public Instruction.
Wohlwend provided board members with the MBI mission statement, list of six MBI goals, and the MBI's eight belief statements.
"The belief statements are the heart of MBI," Wohlwend said. "Behavior has to be taught, just like reading, math. ..."
The belief statements are:
All students should be treated with dignity and respect;
Students can and should be taught skills for success;
Motivation and responsibility are encouraged through positive interactions;
Misbehavior provides a teaching opportunity;
Staff must work together to meet students' needs;
Schools and communities must work together to meet the diverse needs of students;
Safe schools create an environment where academics flourish;
Positive, proactive and preventative efforts of schools and communities can defeat violence.
MBI goals are aimed specifically at improving school environments and would fit in well with each of Havre's four elementary schools, Wohlwend said. The MBI goals are designed so they can be applied to fit into each participating school's setting with the school's students, staff and neighborhood in mind.
"Philosophically, they'll be the same," Wohlwend said, "but the individual implementation may vary according to the needs of each building."
The mission statement says, "MBI will assist educators and other community members in developing the attitudes, skills, and systems necessary to ensure that each student leaves public education and enters the community with social competence appropriate to the individual regardless of ability or disability."