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North Crawford Elementary School

Grade Level
Elementary School

NORTH CRAWFORD ELEMENTARY’s implementation journey is a familiar one to small Wisconsin schools. They began by creating a PBIS team and embedded school-wide expectations into their building. The team was surprised by the impact. “We were just blown away at how fast and how quickly we saw the results and the improvement and the positive culture that it created,” said Becky Molledahl, first grade teacher and PBIS coach.

Positive culture leads to staff confidence

The positive culture was felt by students, but also by teachers. Having the support of colleagues to solve problems was valuable and increased staff confidence in what they can do to support students, said Molledahl. The number of office discipline referrals decreased as teachers felt more empowered to work with student behaviors in their classrooms.

When Amanda Killeen became principal two years ago, she immediately recognized the power of the school’s PBIS supports and the efforts from the staff that made that possible. “Our strong teacher leadership is one of my favorite parts about our school,” said Killeen. “We needed to set up some formal systems to have a teacher-leadership voice within our school decision making,” she said. In addition to their existing PBIS team, the school created a leadership team with a mix of teachers across grade levels and experience.

Integrating academic supports

The leadership team took the knowledge gained from the setup of PBIS as they began to integrate their academic supports and interventions into a multi-level system. “We’re trying not to put kids into categories, but looking at how the whole system can support a student,” Cara Wood, director of student services, said.

This approach provided an opportunity to focus on refining math instruction. Looking at their Forward and Star data, the team identified areas to grow student skills. “One of the biggest things we realized was that so many of our kids were qualifying for math interventions,” Killeen said. North Crawford knew that this was a sign that their universal math instruction needed adjustment. With the help of a grant from the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction, teachers received professional training in the curriculum.

Collaborative problem-solving approach

Because of the schools’ collaborative problem-solving approach, students with individualized education plans (IEPs) also benefited from the strengthened system. With improved collaboration between general education and special education, more students are moving towards proficiency.

The support from administration has given teachers a lot of strategies to fill their toolboxes and in turn, staff is empowered and united to do their best for students. “We are all in this together,” Molledahl said.