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On June 4, we’ll share the 2018-19 Wisconsin Recognized Schools.

 

McNeel Intermediate

Grade Level
Elementary School
Region
South

Braiding initiatives into a multi-level system of supports to build relationships

Welcome to the home of the Lancers, where everyone feels at HOME (Honor, Ownership, Mindfulness, and Engagement). The leadership team at McNeel Intermediate School (grades 4-8) in Beloit credit their many years of strong success to this consistent message of HOME that resonates throughout the district, where staff, students, and families are familiar with these expectations. The idea of HOME is not just a figure of speech but is something that the community deeply believes and values.

McNeel began implementing PBIS (a framework for equitable, multi-level systems of supports), using these expectations since 2009 when Anthony Bosco joined the team as principal. McNeel has a strong, consistent leadership team that regularly reviews their system assessment and student-level data. After looking at their suspension data, the team set a goal to work on reducing the high number of suspensions for their underserved students. The leadership team meets twice a month before school starts to keep their universal system robust and healthy. Staff are focused on reducing disproportionality and keeping kids in the classroom, Bosco said.

The expectations of HOME are braided into all of McNeel’s initiatives including their behavior and academic supports such as recognition, rewards and referral practices, classroom management, restorative practices, culturally responsive practices, mentoring, and staff and leadership team meetings. According to Bosco, having the idea of HOME allows different initiatives to become one overarching central focus, which allows students to understand the expectations fully. This helps ensure each student is able to achieve personal excellence.

McNeel has embraced the importance of building relationships with all their students and understanding their unique identities. Concepts learned from Wisconsin RtI Center’s Building Culturally Responsive Systems training are braided into their expectations. Bosco associates the decreases in suspension rates with developing a strong sense of community within their school and establishing deep and real relationships with kids. Local student survey data shows over 70% of students indicate that they feel a connection with an adult in the school. McNeel staff continue to work at connecting with their students at every level to make them feel at HOME. “Our kids know if they need something (social, emotional, etc.), there are people here who can help them. They look forward to coming to school and being part of what is happening here,” Jennifer Nitz, PBIS coach, said.

https://www.sdb.k12.wi.us/mcneel