DFES Core Beliefs

1. We believe all people deserve to feel safe, valued, and loved.

2. We believe all children are curious about the world around them.

3. We believe learning is a social process.

4. We believe inquiry fosters an environment of noticing and questioning.

5. We believe learning should be viewed from multiple perspectives.

6. We believe in learning through authentic primary and secondary sources.

7. We believe in encouraging learners to take risks and discover their own learning.

8. We believe reflection should lead to change and growth.

9. We believe that learning should lead to social action.

10. We believe our actions should be aligned with our beliefs.

Beliefs about Behavior

Behavior is a learned (lack thereof) form of communication. When students are not properly socialized and given positive modeled behaviors, problem behaviors can appear. There is a link between relatively minor, nonviolent behaviors such as disrespect and noncompliance and later, more serious patterns of behavior, including violent and aggressive acts. Yet, educators rely on traditional discipline tactics that focus on punishing problem behavior. Nonetheless, punishment-based discipline generally increases rates of problem behavior. Challenging behavior occurs when a person does not have the appropriate language or social skills to achieve the same results, which negatively impacts learning and development. At Dutch Fork Elementary School Academy of Environmental Sciences, we believe the following with regards to behavior:

  1. All people deserve to be treated with dignity and respect.
  2. Students need to be taught the skills and behaviors necessary for success.
  3. Motivation and responsibility should be encouraged through positive interactions and building relationships with students.
  4. Student misbehavior represents a teaching opportunity to help them grow.

Beliefs about Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

Positive Behavior Interventions and Support offers a proactive approach to assisting schools with evidence-based strategies to decrease problem behaviors, increase academic performance and establish positive school cultures. “Success is associated with having appropriate models available, having their actions monitored on a regular basis, having regular opportunities for academic and social success, and having access to meaningful feedback that guides their behavior.” We will build systems of support to allow educators to implement strategies efficiently and effectively throughout the school year. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining primary (school-wide), secondary (classroom), and tertiary (individual) systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all youth by making targeted misbehavior less effective, efficient, and relevant, and desired behavior more functional. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling and reinforcing positive social behavior is an important step of a student’s educational experience. Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding. The overall goal of PBIS is to ensure that all educators as well as school support personnel are versed in teaching social skills, while implementing data to guide interventions in behavioral instruction.