Brad Smith is helping Dyersburg Primary School to meet the needs of the students by offering behavioral supports for students in need, particularly those students that meet the tier II criteria according to the School Wide Positive Behavior program. The supports take on many forms with the overall goal to remove any barriers that may impede the student’s chances to be as successful as possible in the academic setting.
Mr. Smith employs a variety of strategies in an effort to assist the students. One such strategy is to meet with the identified students in small groups to discuss social skills/character building. The groups also give the students the opportunity to “teach” the school rules to the facilitator, as well as solve various anger management situations utilizing anger management tools including age appropriate board games and scenario card games. Character building scenarios and various scenarios dealing with how to act responsibly are also discussed by utilizing card games. Building empathy is another part of these small groups. Discussions involve talking about how the students feel in various situations and how they think others feel in those same situations. Relating how others feel to how the students feel in the situations are powerful tools to help the students decide if their actions are being respectful and responsible.
In addition to small groups, Mr. Smith helps the individuals and their families face the daily challenges of navigating other systems including the medical and mental health areas. If a student’s family is seeking a service, Mr. Smith offers options for the family and then assists with setting up the appointments, transportation needs and then follow ups for pharmacy services or other recommendations as needed. Information sharing between the various providers is another part of the support services offered. Once releases are secured, Mr. Smith works to ensure the different systems being accessed are aware of each other and helps facilitate team meetings as necessary. Mr. Smith works to build positive partnerships with the families of the students in an effort to help them, help their student achieve the highest level of success possible for each individual.
In addition to the items listed above, Mr. Smith builds relationships with the students in order to help to de-escalate individuals when they are making inappropriate choices or refusing to follow rules or complete requests from the faculty and staff. He can be utilized as a possible step prior to a student being sent directly to the office for inappropriate behaviors. This new interim step has been used to help students regain control of themselves and then be able to return to class without serious interruptions to their academics.