Getting ready for KG?

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Join our free virtual Kindergarten Readiness series to kick-start your journey.

Learn More
Donate

Campuses

Welcome to Julie Billiart Schools, a family of K-8 coeducational, independent day schools for children with learning differences.

Overview

Monday, February 22, 2021

Parents and educators of all children are familiar with tantrums and their accompanying behaviors. What adults may not consider a big deal can cause a full-blown meltdown in children. When they feel as if they don’t have a choice or don’t have the proper language or coping skills to self-regulate, kids of all ages can react with aggression or frustration.

While JB educators never expect perfection, they always try to arm children with the self advocacy skills and appropriate coping mechanisms that will set them up for a lifetime of success. Because JB teachers place such a strong emphasis on self advocacy and crisis prevention from day one, JB students learn to identify their feelings and their options for expressing those feelings in a way that doesn’t hurt themselves or others.

This year, Julie Billiart Schools in Lyndhurst and Akron partnered to provide an extensive training program around these core strategies. Katie Schaefer, M. Ed., BCBA, COBA, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA) at JB Lyndhurst, and Laurel Schneider, a third grade Intervention Specialist at JB Akron who is studying to obtain board certification, took the lead in the training program for their peers.

The pair, alongside JB administration, evaluated three different programs and decided on Professional Crisis Management (PCM) because of its strong emphasis on prevention and deescalation strategies. Unlike other methods or programs that rely on techniques for intervening during or after a crisis, PCM focuses primarily on preventing the crisis before it occurs.

“We don’t have many severe behaviors or crises to begin with because of how we work with students. Our students benefit from coaching and modeling during everyday interactions and pre-crisis which decreases the amount of crisis behaviors,” said Schaefer. “It was our goal to provide even more training to our staff about these non-coercive methods so that we can continue to offer our kids dignity and respect.”

Schaefer and Schneider completed an intensive PCM Instructor training program over the summer to become certified to teach their peers. Then, they worked with administration to create a plan for training JB staff who wanted to participate. They also evaluated and reconstructed Julie Billiart Schools’ data tracking system and forms to collect better data around crisis prevention and intervention.

In the fall, they held a Practitioner 1 Training for administration and select teachers. That training covered nonphysical strategies, personal safety, transportation, and immobilization. JB therapists and support staff received Basic Practitioner Training. Over the course of a few weeknights, they then held an 18-hour training with faculty and staff who chose to become certified in non-physical procedures, and personal safety procedures. In total to date, JB has 23 Practitioner 1s, 7 Basic Practitioners, and 2 Certified Instructors. As the year progresses and more trainings are offered, JB expects that all faculty will become certified in PCM.

The program focuses on prevention strategies like maximizing relationships, choice, and skills.

“Our teachers are great at maximizing relationships with their students, which is one of the best prevention strategies,” she said. “If you have a strong relationship with a student, they trust you and know you’re there to help them and keep them safe.”

She said that JB faculty and staff also appreciated the training around maximizing choice. Giving a student a choice to do his work at his desk or in a bean bag chair can go a long way in keeping behaviors at bay.

“The teacher knows what task they want the student to accomplish, but they always try to give kids a choice in how it is accomplished,” she said. “When we give our students a choice, it can make them feel like they have more control over the outcome.”

Schneider said that maximizing skills is about arming students with different coping strategies and skills that they can use if they’re becoming distracted or frustrated. JB Schools are designed to not only emotionally support students by teaching skills, but also physically support students by providing cool down zones, trampolines, scooters, and other areas or tools to help them self-regulate.

“We start by building relationships and mutual respect with our students,” said Schneider. “The more we know our kids, the better we are able to set up the right environment to help all of our students succeed.”

It also helps, according to Schneider, to understand that behaviors, both positive and negative, are communication.

“Some of our students have a communication barrier, and that can make them feel misunderstood,” said Schneider. “Through this training, our teachers and therapists have more tools to understand that there are more factors beyond a child ‘having a bad day’. Their behavior is communication and they are trying to tell us something. It’s our job to help them find healthy ways to communicate.”

The PCM training is just one more tool in teachers’ toolboxes to give students dignity, freedom of choice, freedom from pain, and strong strategies to mitigate crises.

“Strong prevention strategies decrease the amount of crises we have,” said Schaefer. “If we can emphasize the amount of strategies in place, then ultimately we can increase the amount of time our students have access to their peers, their teachers, and their curriculum.”

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools has helped my child become a better version of himself. The teachers and therapists at JB really know and understand how to reach children who learn differently. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote Julie Billiart Schools gave us hope after our daughter was diagnosed with a learning disability. At JB, she thrived in the small classes, received necessary therapies, and developed the self-confidence to ask for help when she needed it. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote I don’t think I will ever be able to put into words how grateful I am that you saw my daughter for all that she is today and all that she is yet to become. close-quote

Tammie Sommer

open-quote They have all the resources necessary, specialized to the individual learning of each child, and the heart that goes with it. I don't think we would have stayed in Ohio if it wasn't for JB! close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote All of the teachers and staff at JB are patient and willing to take the extra time to make sure we, as parents, understand and are comfortable. close-quote

JB Parent

open-quote My kids love everything about JB and look forward to going to school every day and seeing their friends and teachers. JB is truly a one of a kind school enriching young lives everyday. close-quote

JB Parent

Share This Page