The Greene County Educational Service Center (ESC) has a large minority population in their pre-schools and elementary schools with over 20 different languages and cultures represented. Most students need services through the ESL (English language learner) and LEP (limited English proficiency) programs. ESC desired to effectively address diverse student needs while also engaging students and their families in a positive and respectful manner.
The ESC partnered with specific schools to reach out to parents and meet their needs in their home languages, with the goal of sharing information about the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) structure and training parents on how PAX GBG is used in their classrooms. The schools worked with translators and the PAX coaches to meet with families at a dedicated ESL family night. The families were pleased with the information and gained a respect and trust for the school staff, and the children acclimated well to the PAX program.
The results of the PAX GBG program are impressive. Fairbrook Elementary has the second highest rate of LEP students with only one LEP student receiving disciplinary actions in 2015. This shows improvement from 2014 where the disproportionality was 60% of LEP students disciplined vs. 40% of Non-LEP students disciplined.
Two other Ohio SS/HS communities found creative ways to engage families. Harrison Hills SS/HS staff contacted parents personally inviting them to participate on a Community Management Team (CMT). This approach resulted in three parents joining the team and students also becoming members. Other activities were implemented on a universal scale to engage parents and youth: 1) the District combined a health fair with the annual “back to school rally” that provided mental health and substance abuse prevention materials from community agencies; 2) the SADD youth group recruited and increased student participation; and 3) SADD youth provided prevention programs at the elementary schools; and activities at the middle/high school such as “the Great American Smoke Out” and “prom promise.” A parent survey was conducted to gather opinions of school climate and the culture in the schools.
- 473 parents responded representing over 1,000 children across 7 school districts.
- 79% of parents responded that they believed that their child was safe at school,
- 82% felt their child has the same opportunity as other students.