2nd Annual Long Island Preschool Pyramid Model/ EC-PBIS Summit & RSE-TASC Preschool-Focused Behavior Specialist Training!

Here are some highlights from the 2nd Annual Long Island Preschool Pyramid Model/ EC-PBIS Summit and the RSE-TASC Preschool Focused Behavioral Trainings!

Resources for Regional Training in Long Island
Resources from Regional Training

A comprehensive packet of EC-PBIS Program-Wide Implementation resources, conference day agenda and professional development supports were provided to participants of the 2nd Annual Long Island Preschool Pyramid Model/ EC-PBIS Summit held at the Western Suffolk BOCES in Wheatley Heights, NY on October 12, 2018.

Summit Breakout Sessions
Summit Breakout Session: “Using Program, Classroom, and Individual Student Data to Implement Pyramid Model/EC-PBIS

The Summit included Breakout Sessions.  Marianna Mostovaya, NYC RSE-TASC Preschool Behavior Specialist, lead the break out session titled: “Using Program, Classroom, and Individual Student Data to Implement Pyramid Model/EC-PBIS.” She provided participants with hands-on activities that allowed them to explore early childhood social and emotional screening and assessment tools, as well as practice procedures to collect and utilize program data. The session also focused on how to examine classroom and student level data in order to  support a decision-making process that promotes full implementation fidelity and works towards meaningful child outcomes.

Alternatives for Children Showcase
Tri-Fold for the Alternatives for Children Showcase

The summit also included a EC-PBIS Showcase. Alternatives For Children, a private, not-for-profit, New York State approved Preschool Special Education agency offers both integrated and self-contained preschool classes. AFC  shared their journey toward Program-Wide Implementation of the Pyramid Model and provided examples of PBIS within early childhood settings. Discussion Topics Included: Leadership Team role & responsibilities, developing Program-Wide Behavioral Expectations, strategies for teaching social skills, student-classroom and program-wide reinforcement systems, staff buy-in, family engagement activities, data-based decision making and tools to assess implementation fidelity.

EC-PBIS Collaborative Conversations
Collaborative conversations between members of a Program-Wide EC-PBIS Leadership Team

Clara Murray, Region 3 (Mid-Hudson) RSE-TASC Preschool Behavior Specialist, capturing collaborative conversations between members of a Program-Wide EC-PBIS Leadership Team!

Lower Hudson’s Student Outcomes Conference (SOcon)!

In early June of 2018, over 250 educators and Regional Service Providers from across the Lower Hudson region gathered for a conference to celebrate school’s student outcomes and identify the practices and systems used to achieve them.

Garrison School SOcon Poster
John A. Coleman School’s Presentation at SOcon Conference

Student Outcomes Conference FLIER

Teams from 13 diverse settings, including Garrison School from Putnam County, presented workshops on their achieved Student Outcomes and measurable practices they implemented during the 2017-18 year.

SOCon Participants

NYC’s Second 4410 Cohort and Preschool Internal Coaches Institute!

This summer, Region 10 (NYC) launched their second 4410 Cohort! Eight 4410 preschools were trained in the program-wide implementation of the Pyramid Model Preschool Framework.

Participants engage in an activity during the Pyramid Model Module II Session

In June, Region 10 hosted the first Preschool Internal Coaches Institute for Cohort I. During this time the internal coaches had an opportunity to learn new content to support their work within their programs as well as network with other internal coaches from other programs.

Errick Road Elementary School Falcon Force Has Soaring Year!

Niagara-Wheatfield’s Errick Road Elementary School began the 2017-18 school year by implementing a new school-wide framework for developing positive behavior called PBIS. PBIS stands for positive behavior interventions and support. PBIS is a statewide-recognized system geared toward teaching students proper behavior, and then rewards students and classes that demonstrate those desired behaviors.

Principal Nora O’Bryan and her PBIS team worked on three to five behavioral expectations that would be easy for students to remember, which are: we are safe, we are respectful and we are responsible. A matrix was created of what each of the expectations would look like, sound like and feel like in the school wide areas.

To get the students more engaged they made the theme of their initiative a Star Wars one and called it May the Falcon Force Be With You – the falcon being the district’s mascot. The school year started off with a kickoff assembly. The assembly was used to promote the new PBIS framework and explain to students how they could earn Falcon cash and golden tickets by showing positive behaviors throughout the school. Teachers dressed up as Star Wars characters and O’Bryan introduced them by explaining how the characters showed the preferred behaviors expected at Errick Road.

The school’s approach is to reward students for demonstrating positive behaviors. Falcon cash is given to students when they show positive behaviors and golden tickets are given to the classroom when the entire class works together to show positive behaviors. Students and classrooms can cash in their tickets to purchase items at the school store known as the Galaxy Market. Golden tickets are cashed in to purchase classroom activities (disco party, pizza party, Lego party, extra P.E. etc.)

Also, every month, one student was chosen from every grade level that displays exemplary character and the Falcon Force expectations. The students are called Fabulous Falcons. A picture is taken and a brief description is written up about why they were chosen and displayed in the front foyer of the school. They are honored at monthly assemblies and given a falcon pendant. School staff also send postcards home to students for positive behaviors throughout the school year.

Teacher Anthony Vekich said, “Overall, the PBIS framework has made an impact on the Errick Road community this past school year. We are using common language, and children know the expectations in each area of their school environment. The assemblies, special recognition awards, school store shopping experiences and golden ticket parties have added so much positivity towards working and learning every day. We as educators feel PBIS is an opportunity to continue to foster kids’ intrinsic motivation, while also allowing them some fun and extrinsic rewards along the way. At Errick Road we teach children positive expected behaviors and how to feel good about doing the ‘right’ thing.”

The staff sent a special thank you to O’Bryan and the B.E.N. parent group for supporting and funding PBIS. Thanks to them, the school was able to purchase school store items, and other incentives for the children of Errick Road. Without the actively involved parents, PBIS would not be as successful as it’s been!

WNYpapers.com Newspaper Article

4th Annual Mid-Hudson RSE-TASC PBIS Showcase

The Mid-Hudson Region held their 4th annual RSE-TASC PBIS Showcase!

4th PBIS Showcase Flyer

Participating schools were able to highlight their successes from the 2017-2018 School Year. Schools also received Certificates of Appreciation from the RSE-TASC for their outstanding efforts!

Salt Point Center receiving a Certificate of Appreciation
Salt Point Center receiving a Certificate of Appreciation
Chester Elementary receiving a Certificate of Appreciation
Chester Elementary receiving a Certificate of Appreciation
Chester Elementary School PBIS Showcase Poster
Chester Elementary School PBIS Showcase Poster
Kingston City School District PBIS Showcase Poster
Kingston City School District PBIS Showcase Poster
Haviland PBIS Showcase Poster
Haviland PBIS Showcase Poster
Webutuck Highschool PBIS Showcase Poster
Webutuck Highschool PBIS Showcase Poster
EBIS Webutuck Central PBIS Showcase Poster
EBIS Webutuck Central PBIS Showcase Poster
WES Webutuck Central PBIS Showcase Poster
WES Webutuck Central PBIS Showcase Poster
Myers Tigers PBIS Showcase Poster
Myers Tigers PBIS Showcase Poster

First Pyramid Model Program-Wide Implementation Cohort!

Region 10 has selected ten 4410 programs to be part of the first Pyramid Model Program-Wide Implementation Cohort. Special Education Preschools Directors across the five boroughs attended an administrative overview and then selected members to represent their program. The selected participants were trained on modules 1-3 and then on the Positive Solutions for Families content. In these photos, you can see how excited participants were during Module 2 training when they got to make their very own Tucker the Turtle.

NYC’s First Pyramid Model Cohort making PBIS Mascot Tucker the Turtle
Expectations include Be Independent, Be Safe, Be Respectful, and Be Helpful
BP Bear meets with students to celebrate the Pyramid Model

John Adams High School Celebrations of Success in Mental and Emotional Health

The past several years have been busy times for the innovative forward thinking minds at John Adams H.S. in Queens NY

Recognizing the need for students to learn the intricacies of how their minds work in action, John Adams leaders such as Dr. Scott Silverman Assistant Principal, Amrr Alamarie Director of STEM Academy, Scott Tierney Director of Future Leaders Institute, Mike George Biofeedback Instructor, Tarek Alamarie Assistant Principal and John Mazzocchi PBIS Coordinator have developed a Neuroscience track in their STEM program.

Students are taught in Neuroscience classes that adolescent brains are different from adult brains:

  • When they make decisions or solve problems their actions are guided more by the emotional and reactive amygdala and less by the thoughtful, logical frontal cortex.
  • Also that research has also shown that exposure to drugs and alcohol during the teen years can change or delay these developments.

Students are taught that based on the stage of their brain development, they are more likely to:

  • act on impulse
  • misread or misinterpret social cues and emotions
  • get into accidents of all kinds
  • get involved in fights
  • engage in dangerous or risky behavior

and less likely to:

  • think before they act
  • pause to consider the consequences of their actions
  • change their dangerous or inappropriate behaviors

Once students understand these concepts they are given a variety of tools to help train their brains to become less reactive and more reflective. These tools include: Meditation, Biofeedback and Virtual Reality.

Using the PBIS system, Assistant Principal, Scott Silverman, Ed.D initiated a mindfulness program for students deemed in need of proactive positive behavioral support. Seven meditation classes meet daily for a full period in the school’s ‘meditation room’ with an instructor.

The program combines daily short periods of mindfulness practice and the study of the latest scientific pedagogy behind it. Building on the principles of ‘neuroplasticity,’ – the brain’s amazing ability to change and develop new neural pathways and synapses through new experience — students study the brain and how contemplative neuroscience confirms what meditators have reported for thousands of years.

Biofeedback – Students have the opportunity to take a biofeedback course and practice self-regulation taught by biofeedback trained instructor Michael George.

Brief Description of Biofeedback

  • Biofeedback is a painless, non-invasive technique for learning control of the processes of the mind and body.
  • Instruments are used that give precise, immediate and meaningful auditory and/or visual feedback of the child’s physiology.
  • Biofeedback is used to increase relaxation, relieve pain and the effects of stress.
  • Biofeedback is also used to train awareness and mindfulness for the promotion of healthier and more comfortable life patterns.
  • Each session can be fun, challenging and helpful.

Why Biofeedback

Biofeedback supports our emotional self-regulation: we can visually track what is going on inside us and train ourselves to manage our emotional state.

1.The American Psychological Association (APA) considers biofeedback or neurofeedback for ADHD to be “Probably Efficacious,” the third category in a scale of 1 to 5.

Effects of Biofeedback

Combining both brainwave (neurofeedback) and body measures, a young boy of 12 learned to effectively focus and concentrate better. The biofeedback techniques also helped him to fall asleep more easily at night. The quality of his school work improved dramatically. Many gains were noticed after six sessions but further gains continued through twenty sessions.

Virtual Reality

VR is a powerful behavioral and neural remapping tool, with the ability to show a new perspective and collect unique and insightful user data on student response. The use of VR in the classroom will be to put students in a situational moment that will affect their biorhythm and guide the students to self regulate their reactions and control their heart rate. This program will help students identify and cope with complex diversity opportunities, such as ethnic, ability, cognitive and experiential diversity.

Through the use of VR students will be put in real life situations that will affect their biorhythm and guide them to regulate their reaction and control their heart rate. This will help the students better understand how to properly cope when put in situations that cause anxiety or conflict, by recognizing their response to these situations. Through this program students will also learn how to create VR scenarios and videos to be used throughout the school community that portray relevant social emotional experiences. Through the implementation of this program the desired outcomes will be for students to walk away with a working understanding on how utilizing and developing socially reflective VR scenarios and content can positively impact their future decision making skills through the use of experiential practices and learning. Through reflection students will be able to better understand their own response when utilizing VR to simulate everyday situations that may require a quick appropriate response when facing obstacles and/or conflict within their diverse communities.

In Summary, John Adams High School is quickly becoming the Neuroscience and emotional regulation guru for the NYCDOE.

If you are interested in learning more about John Adams High Schools innovative practices or scheduling a tour, please contact:

Dr. Scott Silverman

Assistant Principal

John Adams H.S.

(718) 322-0591


Dr. Scott Silverman being interviewed by local news agency.




Watertown City School District Kicks Off the School Year with PBIS Pinwheels!

The Watertown City School District held it’s first ever District Wide PBIS kickoff this year.  The district consists of 8 buildings, 5 elementary buildings, an intermediate building, a middle school and a high school.  The kick off involved students’ kindergarten through twelfth grade.  Elementary classes were pared up with upper grade levels.  All Students made pinwheels together displaying the words, Respectful, Responsible and Safe.

Field of PBIS Pinwheels

Students were taught lessons on each of the characteristics and then played games to get to know one another in the group.  The two classes that were paired together will now become pen pals throughout the year and adopt a senior who they will do nice things for throughout the school year.

A PBIS Pinwheel with the words Be Responsible.

Once the pinwheels were made all 3500 students in the district walked to the main field and planted the pinwheels to be seen by the community. After planting their pin wheel all staff and students had a picnic lunch together.  This day was all about building community.  It was a huge success as each of the buildings created friendships and bonds throughout the district.

Watertown School PBIS Picnic

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