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New pilot helps improve student behaviour, attendance: province

By Brad Perry May 7, 2024 | 5:36 AM

New Brunswick is praising a new pilot project for helping to improve behaviour and attendance in schools.

Positive Behaviour Intervention Support is being piloted at several anglophone schools throughout the province.

The proactive approach aims to create a “positive, safe and inclusive environment,” the province said in a news release.

Teachers, support staff, administrators, counsellors, and community members work together to ensure everyone knows what behaviours are expected from students, and how they will be rewarded for following those behaviours.

“The program is key to a system-wide strategy for improving behaviour,” Education Minister Bill Hogan said in the release.

“It reduces the need for higher-level interventions and is extremely valuable for our education system. Its success is evident by the improvement in student behaviour and attendance we have seen to date at our pilot schools.”

According to data provided by the province, the average absentee rate among students at participating schools decreased to 11.5 per cent in December 2023 from 15.4 per cent in November 2022.

In addition, serious misconduct dropped by about 10 per cent despite student population growth of more than 10 per cent.

Fifteen more schools were selected to apply the program in the current school year. More schools are expected to be added in the fall.

The department also touted hiring 40 more behaviour intervention mentors to “better support positive learning and working environments.”

“Behaviour intervention mentors help to support the application of Positive Behaviour Intervention Support by working with teachers and students who need support to identify the root causes of the challenges they are facing,” said Hogan.

“This personalized intervention has resulted in happier and more confident students who are able to stay in their classroom with their peers to learn.”