Helping Our Young Students to Become Good Citizens


Over the last several years, schools have faced difficult decisions when examining available resources and increased operational costs. Our funding sources are varied but one revenue source that has increased is that of Section 31a At-Risk funding. Section 31a of the State School Aid Act provides funding to eligible districts for instructional and pupil support services who meet the at-risk identification characteristics specified in the legislation.*

Schools opt to use these funds in a variety of ways and in the past, NPS has used these dollars to fund counseling positions, English Language Learner support, and some other areas. We will continue to do this, but due to the fact that we have an increase in this funding, we are able to add two positions. One will be an Elementary School Behavioral Intervention Specialist and the other will be a Middle School Behavioral Intervention Specialist. This concept is not new. During the 2012-2013 school year when we had principals working in two buildings, we had a Behavioral Intervention Specialist working at the elementary schools to assist Mr. Bush there.

We are grateful for this funding and are excited to be able to provide additional support to students and families as our kids are required to continuously meet higher academic expectations. These people will work with students, teachers, families, and administration to provide additional support for students who need the assistance. I once saw this quote and perhaps this can lend some insight.
“If a child doesn’t know how to read, we teach.”
“If a child doesn’t know how to swim, we teach.
“If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach.”
“If a child doesn’t know how to drive, we teach.”
If a child doesn’t know how to behave, we…
teach?     ….punish?”
Why can’t we finish the last sentence as automatically as we do the others?
(Herner, 1998)

Some may wonder about how this will affect the school culture. This does not mean students will not experience discipline or that there are not consequences for behavior. There will always be consequences for behavior. One of my mentors who had his first career in the military told me, “Discipline is training.” As a result, we will help train students to develop their character and citizenship as well as their academics. Behavioral Intervention Specialists will be a key component of this.

*Source:  MDE website