JPS Opens Welcoming Planning Centers in Elementary Schools

Jamestown Public School has initiated Planning Centers in each elementary school this year. Last year, JPS opened planning centers in all of the Jamestown middle schools. Planning Centers are a welcoming place to send students during the school day to provide coaching, re-teaching and support to students to learn or strengthen skills in areas where the student may be experiencing a skill deficit.  It could be anything from re-teaching of school rules to enhancing academic skills to just a time for a caring adult to help work out a problem that a student might be dealing with in his or her life.

“In Jamestown, we understand that students who have strong social skills and strong emotional management are better prepared to take on rigorous academic challenges. The Planning Center is a tool to help support social/emotional growth and learning,” said JPS Behavioral Specialist, Maureen Diehl. “It is meant to be a warm and friendly environment to help reduce suspensions and keep students in an educational setting. It is a proactive way to help students work through a challenge they are having in their life. Often it’s a place to infuse skills and allow students to also practice those skills so they are able to use them in their everyday life.”

For each student assigned to the Planning Center, the principal will set a goal for the student, determine the skills that need to be worked on to achieve this goal, and who will provide the intervention to best support the student.  There are multiple people that may be called upon to provide intervention for students in the Planning Center.  This list includes, but is not limited to: the Planning Center paraprofessional, the school counselor, principal, a teacher, an outside agency personnel, and even parents or fellow students.

The Planning Centers are manned by paraprofessionals who are trained by Ms. Diehl. They meet once a week to give them resources to pull in order to help students with their social skills, but also, how to energize students to learn those skills so that they stick with them. The Planning Centers only have five or less students at one time in order to keep the experience as one-to-one as possible. The Planning Center is not a punishment or negative consequence for negative behavior. A student using the Planning Center as an intervention may still receive consequences for displaying behavior that is unacceptable in the school setting. The purpose of the Planning Center is to provide intervention to prevent future behavior concerns, to help students gain social skills, and learn alternative appropriate behavior.

posted on 10/30/2017 - filed under: Academics, Elementary School, Spotlight, Staff, Students