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School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) or (SW-PBIS)
PBIS is a framework rooted in evidence based practices to increase behavioral and academic outcomes by improving school climate, preventing problem behavior, increasing learning time, promoting positive social skills, and delivering effective behavioral interventions and supports. PBIS supports the entire school and is being implemented across the territory.
PBIS es un marco enraizado en prácticas basadas en la evidencia para aumentar los resultados académicos y de comportamiento al mejorar el clima escolar, prevenir el comportamiento problemático, aumentar el tiempo de aprendizaje, promover habilidades sociales positivas y ofrecer intervenciones y apoyos conductuales efectivos. PBIS apoya a toda la escuela y se está implementando en todo el territorio.
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) when applied at the Schoolwide level is frequently called: SWPBS or SW-PBIS; SW-PBIS refers to a systems change process for an entire school or district. The underlying theme is teaching behavioral expectations in the same manner as any core curriculum subject. Furthermore it is a three-tired model:
PBIS se refiere a un proceso de cambio de sistemas para toda una escuela o distrito. El tema subyacente es enseñar las expectativas de comportamiento de la misma manera que cualquier materia del plan de estudios básico. Además, es un modelo de tres cansados:
Tier 1 support is significant- in that it -moves the structural framework of each educational unit from reactive approaches to proactive systems change performance. This effort cohesively unites all the adults in using 1) common language, 2) common practices, and 3) consistent application of positive and negative reinforcement. There are many caveats to the training, planning, and implementation of PBIS. Just a few of the features are listed below:
Tier 2 is focused on reducing the frequency and intensity of incidents of problem behaviors for students who are not responsive to primary intervention practices by providing more focused, intensive, and frequent small group-oriented responses in situations where problem behavior is likely.
Tier 3 focuses on reducing the intensity, frequency, and/or complexity of existing problem behaviors that are resistant to and/or unlikely to be addressed by primary and secondary prevention efforts by providing most individualized responses to situations where problem behavior is likely.
Each school in the district is implementing PBIS. Typically, a team of approximately five representative members of the school will attend a two or three day training provided by skilled trainers. This team will be comprised of administrators, counselors, paraprofessionals and regular and special education teachers. Schools will focus on three to five behavioral expectations that are positively stated and easy to remember. In other words, rather than telling students what not to do, the school will focus on the preferred behaviors. Here is an example from a school:
After the SW-PBS team determines the 3-5 behavioral expectations that suit the needs of their school, the expectations are brought to the faculty, staff and students. Consistency from class to class and adult to adult is very important for successful implementation of SW-PBS. The team will then create a matrix of what the behavioral expectations look like, sound like, and feel like in all the non-classroom areas. This matrix will have approximately three positively stated examples for each area. Here is an example:
Expectations are taught in each classroom. Lesson plans are available for teaching respect, responsibility etc.
Some schools choose to use several days at the beginning of the year to take the students around the school to stations, where the skills are taught in setting specific locations. For example, a bus may be brought to the school and the children will practice lining up, entering the bus, sitting on the bus, and exiting the bus using hula hoops to denote proper body space distance in lining up to enter the bus.
SW-PBIS also looks at the office discipline referral form. The team decides which problem behaviors are classroom managed and which are office managed. SW-PBIS focuses on developing enhanced classroom management strategies to set students up for success. Strategies include teaching and re-teaching expectations.
Schools analyze data from Power School and SWIS to monitor and graph academic achievement, attendance, and office discipline referral data. Office discipline referral data such as behavioral incidents per day, per month, time of day, specific behaviors, location and by specific student is examined. This allows schools to drill down information to create a precise problem statement in order to come up with strategies to resolve behavioral issues.
Furthermore, SW-PBIS recognizes positive behaviors through various modalities. Schools use reward systems, token economies and “gotcha being good” programs. Additionally teachers and staff are rewarded for using positive learning strategies.
As schools progress in PBIS implementation additional resources and strategies are developed to address more difficult situations.
The above activities are just a few of the steps SW-PBIS encompasses. For further information please visit: www.pbis.org
Imagine driving on the road and you are going 15 miles over the speed limit. In front of you, you see a police car on the side of the road. Immediately your foot touches the breaks and you slow down. Once you passed the officer, you felt grateful that you didn't get pulled over. So you start driving more slowly…for about a couple minutes and then you start speeding up again.
Okay, now imagine the same situation, but this time you get pulled over and you get a ticket. You get a little upset that you got a ticket, but there is nothing you can do, so you put it in your glove compartment. This time you really do slow down…for a few minutes, maybe even a few days. But do you ever truly stop driving over the speed limit?
What does this scenario tell you about punishment? Punishment stops unwanted behavior, but only for a short period of time, typically when the punisher is present. Punishment does not teach new behavior or provide intrinsic motivation to change one’s behavior.
As parents, administrators, teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals and school staff members, it is our job to shift focus from a punishment driven model to a model that emphasizes what students are doing right. We are working to spend less time on punishment and more time on what students can do to be successful. With that being said, we must first understand the principles of behavior.
Behaviorists did not invent positive reinforcement. They systematized and named it. Positive reinforcement is a naturally occurring process that wise teachers understand and learn how to use to promote effective management of groups and individual students (Schuermann & Hall, 2008). Behavior is strengthened or weakened by its consequences. Teachers can often accidentally reinforce the very same behaviors that disrupt the class by paying attention to them or giving the student a desired outcome (getting out of test etc.).
Once teachers develop their rules and procedures they must take action either to recognize or to correct student behavior. Such actions are referred to as consequences and rewards. Effective consequences preserve the student’s dignity and increase his or her motivation to behave appropriately.
Consequences work best when they are:
Positive Rewards List:
Positive Rewards to Behaviors:
Positive Rewards Levels
Level 1- Frequent (used every day in the classroom involving praise, or tokens).
Level 2- Intermittent (more powerful and can be awarded. For example, student of the week/month).
Level 3- Long Term (year-long or month-long types of recognition that students can work for. For example, FUN DAY, shadowing, lunch with their favorite teacher, counselor, and administrator).
Reward Recipients (students, staff, and families):
Guidelines for Providing Rewards
1. Immediately after target behavior occurs.
2. Frequently after teaching expectations.
3. Problem locations or situations.
1. Long delays between the display of positive behavior and reward.
2. Only quarterly or semester events.
1. Students should always be eligible to earn a reward.
2. Some students may need shorter time intervals between rewards.
How to reward?
Name the behavior, name the expectation, and provide positive acknowledgement.
Refrain from taking or threatening to take away a reward once it has been earned.
|St. Thomas/St. John||St. Croix|
|Addelita Cancryn Junior High School||Alexander Henderson Elementary School|
|Bertha C. Boschulte Middle School||Alfredo Andrews Elementary School|
|Charlotte Amalie High School||Alternative Education|
|E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary School||Arthur A. Richards Junior High|
|Edith Williams Alternative Academy||Claude O. Markoe Elementary School|
|Gladys A. Abraham Elementary School||Career & Technical Education Center|
|Ivanna Eudora Kean high School||Elena Christian Junior High School|
|Jane E. Tuitt Primary School||Eulalie R. Rivera Elementary School|
|Joseph Gomez Elementary School||John H. Woodson Junior High School|
|Joseph Sibilly Elementary School||Juanita Gardine Elementary School|
|Leonard Dober Elementary School||Lew Muckle Elementary School|
|Lockhart Elementary School||Pearl B. Larsen Elementary School|
|Julius E. Sprauve School||Ricardo Richards Elementary School|
|Ulla F. Muller Elementary School||St. Croix Central High School|
|St. Croix Educational Complex|
Tamatha Peck: Territorial Director of PBIS
Shanah-Nequai Rieara: PBIS Program Assistant
"The world we have created is a product of our thinking; it cannot be changed without changing our thinking." ~Albert Einstein
Shanah-Nequai Rieara was born in America’s Paradise; St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Although she left at the young age of seven, she has always found her way back home in paradise on school breaks, which is why there was no surprise when she moved back home after college. Rieara is a recent graduate of Old Dominion University; located in Norfolk, Virginia. She achieved a Bachelor of Science in Human Services. She plans to continue her education and receive her Master’s in Public Administration. She yearns to make a difference in communities by providing resources for basic needs to families, and she hopes to inspire others to want to make a difference too. She completed 450 hours of internship experience with The Focus Center (TFC) located in Norfolk, Virginia, serving impoverished school-aged children, grades Pre-K through 5th. In addition, she completed 100 hours of volunteering at For Kids, Inc., located in Norfolk, Virginia, within the departments of The Emergency Housing Crisis Hotline and Hot Meals & Homework. Additionally, Rieara has experience in creating anti-bullying groups for 4th and 5th grade girls that empowered and taught young ladies positive self-awareness, as well as how to build their self-esteem. She is continuously searching for opportunities that create growth and she strongly believes in giving back to the community.
Why I love PBIS? "I believe implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is necessary and very effective in improving school climates through evidence-based practices. The PBIS Framework focuses on preventing problem behavior, developing and encouraging pro-social skills, and increasing classroom instructional time. I love that PBIS is all about finding solutions rather than fixating on the problems. It is important to constantly encourage our students to make the right choices, and to focus on what they do right, rather than what they do wrong. PBIS is a prevention, not a punishment!"
As the PBIS Program Assistant, Rieara will be assisting the PBIS Territorial Director as well as the PBIS District Coaches in implementing the PBIS framework within several schools including: Ivanna Eudora Kean High School, Charlotte Amalie High School, and Edith Williams Alternative School.
Rieara’s favorite strategy to encourage positive behavior is providing behavior specific praises to students when they display a desired behavior. It is very important to consistently praise students and to let them know what they are doing right. Instead of telling a student, “Good Job”, it is more effective to say “Good Job Johnny, I appreciate that you are sitting in your seat quietly” or “Thank you for raising your hand Johnny”. Students need to know why you are praising them. You have to teach them the behavior by genuinely and consistently praising them, so that they will be more likely to continue the positive behavior.
Yolande Greene: PBIS District Coach
Be fair, be consistent, be sincere and be specific. Use positive/proactive language, be patient, remain calm and use routines.
Rewards, or using reinforcement, are one of the most consistent ways to change behavior and build desired responses. When a tangible reward is paired with a social reward, the positive feeling of success gets paired with both the verbal praise, and the person giving the reward. This helps to build the desired behavior, and also often improves the relationship with the parent or teacher using the reward.
Shernelle Smith: PBIS District Coach
“Your imagination is your preview of life’s coming attractions.” ~Albert Einstein
This is Shernelle Smith’s life mantra. Born and raised on the beautiful island of St. Thomas, Virgin Islands, she has made it a point to strive for her goals, which were nothing less than her greatest dreams. One of Shernelle dreams is to become a college professor. Another is to travel the world with her family. Shernelle is the mother of a two year old son, is the eldest of two brothers and two sisters. She always tries to keep busy by bettering the community, working and volunteering in the public schools, spending time with family or just trying new things. Shernelle has always been very family oriented because she knows her family members are the people who will always be there to support her as she reaches for the stars.
Shernelle is a graduate of Charlotte Amalie High School, a proud chicken hawk. She then furthered her education, receiving her Bachelors of Science from University of Delaware followed with a Master’s of Education in School Counseling from Wilmington University. An advocate of learning it is her passion that every child receives the opportunity to succeed.
Why I love PBIS? "Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is defined as a framework for enhancing adoption and implementation of a continuum of evidence-based interventions to achieve academically and behaviorally important outcomes for all students. Through this framework, PBIS seeks to improve school climate, reduce discipline issues and support academic achievement."
While working and implementing PBIS, Shernelle favorite strategy used to encourage positive behavior is providing praise (behavior specific) to students when a desired behavior is displayed. This is one of my favorite strategies to use because children are highly motivated by the attention of an adult. So when a teacher consistently gives attention, praise, or rewards to the behaviors he or she wants to see, it helps children learn which behaviors are valued by the teacher. Also, reinforcing one child’s behavior helps other children learn and display positive behaviors (for example, praising one child for “sitting” draws attention to that positive behavior and encourages the other students to do the same).
Darian Torrice-Hairston: PBIS District Coach
Good Day! My name is Darian Torrice-Hairston. I am very excited to be a part of the Department of Education and the PBIS team! I have a Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work from the University of South Carolina and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from Coastal Carolina University. I am currently working on completing my advanced independent license for social work practice. I have worked in mental health for the past several years as a youth, adolescent and family therapist. Additionally, I have worked as an independent contractor with foster children providing diagnostic assessments to improve levels of therapeutic care. I specialize in trauma-focused therapy, behavioral interventions, parenting strategies and in working with at-risk teens on sexuality education. Furthermore, I have experience as a Boys & Girls Club Unit Director; I enjoy working and volunteering in the community.
I believe employing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is effective in changing the climate of a school. The PBIS framework helps to improve behavioral and academic success by cultivating school climate, preventing problem behavior, increasing learning time and encouraging positive social skills. For me, teaching through positive behavior interventions means focusing on what children, and adults, do right, rather than wrong; it utilizes compassion, understating and effective interventions to foster a safe and supportive environment as well as creates a school-wide culture of respect and caring. The evidence-based practices utilized in developing PBIS provide a strong foundation for student and teacher success. My husband and I apply PBIS strategies at home with our son and value the success of the interventions and positive focused learning.
Strategies I find most helpful include: genuinely and consistently praising appropriate behaviors to increase their likelihood of occurring, focusing on problem prevention rather than reacting to problem behaviors once they occur and creating an environment centered on positive interactions and clear expectations.
Phillipa Castro: PBIS District Coach
“Tell me and I forget. Teach me and I remember. Involve me and I learn.” -Benjamin Franklin
Born the eldest of 6 girls on the island of Dominica. I relocated to the island of St. Thomas at a very young age and started attending the Lockhart Elementary School. I moved on to what was then called the Wayne Aspinal Junior High School (now Adelitta Cancryn Junior High School) and moved on to Charlotte Amalie High School. I have worked with the department of education for the past seven years and held several different positions. I earned an Associate Degree in Business Management and a Bachelor of Science degree in Human Services. Working with students has ignited a drive in me to further my knowledge and peruse a Master's in Education.
For me it’s all about the students. I am passionate about watching the younger generation succeed and building a future we can all be proud to be part of. I strongly believe that it takes a village to raise a child and everyone’s part is of great importance. Though I only have 2 sons of my own, I have children all over this island. In my short time with the Department of Education I have been fortunate to be part of different programs that has greatly impacted my affair to see the children succeed.
Some programs that I worked with that I hold dear to my heart are the Kinder Camp, a program held to prepare incoming Kindergarten students for the upcoming school year. Parent University is a program to increase parent involvement in the schools and empower parents to raise children who are successful in school, and in life and I have been a part of the Paradise Jam student Volunteer program for the past 6 years.
Back to school!
Thursday, November 16, 2017: Dober Elementary School Teacher and Staff Roll Out @ 2:30 PM!
Tuesday, November 28, 2017: Sibilly Elementary School Teacher and Staff Roll Out @ 2:30 PM!
Wednesday, November 29, 2017: Sibilly Elementary School Student Roll Out @ 2:00 PM!
Wednesday, December 6, 2017: Dober Elementary School Student Roll Out @ 9:00 AM!
Research shows that parent involvement is considered to be the key factor in academic achievement and the emotional functioning of children (National Education Service, 2000).
Define appropriate behaviors that are expected in school and at home. Use the blank matrix and set expectations at home.
Talk with your children, no matter how old, about what you would like to see from them and praise them when they do it (tell them you like how they are behaving); “Catch your children being good.” You can improve behavior by 80% just by pointing out what someone is doing well.
Set positive examples and model the behavior that you want to see. Think about it like this: if we tell our children not to yell when they get angry, but we yell when we are angry, how can they learn anything different? We have to practice showing our children the behaviors we want to see.
Work on “relaxation strategies” with your children:
Ask your school’s PBIS team for a PBIS presentation at a PTA meeting! Learn strategies to use at home and find support! Come to PTA meetings, volunteer at the school store, attend open houses, and correspond with your Panther’s teacher.
Here is an example Home Matrix - you can make this your own at home with children and families of any age.
Here is a blank copy of an existing Home Matrix...
Mrs. O’Donnell, a 6th grade teacher at Sibilly, created a reward program for her classes. She noticed that rewarding her students individually was a good step, however, so many of their behaviors were dependent on other students doing well in the class. To motivate students to motivate one another to do well, she created a way for the whole class to earn rewards as a team. There are numerous reward options on the bulletin board; when a student, or the class as a whole, does well, Mrs. O’Donnell lets the students add a “letter” to whichever reward they are working towards.
For example, if Johnny does particularly well today, Mrs. O’Donnell can choose to reward him; he would then get to choose a letter to add to the reward board. Johnny would choose where to put the letter.
If the entire class does well on something and earns a reward, they vote on which reward the letter goes towards.
Once a reward has all of its letters (i.e. TECHNOLOGY) the class earns that reward.
Mrs. O’Donnell reports that it is a great way for her students to act as a team and help each other do the right thing. Awesome job Mrs. O’Donnell, you are a PBIS teacher and it shows!
Ms. Webster - E. Benjamin Oliver Elementary School
Ms. Webster decorated her door in support of positive behavioral interventions and improving school climate! Ms. Webster decorated her door as a creative, stand out way, to teach the school values and PBIS language at EBO. More and more students are learning how to be a Wise Owl, thanks to this beautiful door display! Wise Owls “HOOT”!
Jane E. Tuitt's 1st grade teacher, Jessica Sibilly, created a "Chill Zone" in her classroom. The chill zone is a place for students to sit when they are feeling overwhelmed, impulsive or angry. Students can ask to use the zone when they feel they need time to calm down. The zone is equipt with drawing materials and positive behavior/social skill worksheets. Sibilly is a part of her school's PBIS Task Force Team. In her room, she has her "classroom matrix", crisis plan, and flowchart posted; she consistently uses PBIS language with all of her students. She is often heard saying things like "I love the way ______ is sitting quietly" and "you are showing JET behavior!" You are soaring to excellence Mrs. Sibilly!
Mrs. Saks teaches Physical Education at Jane E. Tuitt Primary School. She has been an integral part of PBIS since day 1! As the PBIS team leader at JET, Mrs. Saks not only facilitates meetings and plans events, she seeks to inspire others to think and act positively. Mrs. Saks believes in the PBIS program and has seen it work with her students. When P.E. class is in session, Mrs. Saks can always be heard using her JET Behavior language; she loves moments when she can “catch students begin good’’ and reward them with a positive behavior ticket. Tickets are exchanged for stickers and can be spent at the school store each week. Mrs. Saks does an excellent job looking for and praising good behavior, rather than focusing on problem behavior.
For the last several months, during P.E., Mrs. Saks taught 4+ PBIS cheers, songs and dances to the students at JET! At last month's PBIS Roll Out Mrs. Saks and a group of cheerleaders led the school in those chants, it was awesome to sees the entire school singing about being respectful, responsible ans safe. They clapped, stomped, danced and chanted praise for their school's values. Mrs. Saks, you are soaring to success!
Team Leader Mrs. Niles-Johnson, Joseph Gomez Elementary School
The loyalty she shows to the PBIS initiative as team leader for her school is remarkable. Mrs. Niles-Johnson is a reliable and hardworking first grade teacher, she kindly accepts all responsibilities with a smile on her face. Her hard work and dedication to the Mighty Lions does not go unnoticed! Let’s give Mrs. Niles-Johnson a Mighty Roar for her positive attitude towards our students and staff at JAGES.
The intent of the FAQ is to serve as a starting point for further investigation. FAQ Source: pbis.org
1. What does PBIS stand for?
“PBIS” is short for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports. This language comes directly from the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
2. What is PBIS?
PBIS is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students.
3. What does the OSEP Center on PBIS do?
The primary functions of the Center on PBIS are to study, organize, and disseminate empirically-supported behavioral practices and interventions within the prevention-oriented framework of PBIS systems. The Center mainly works with school, district, and state leadership teams to improve the social culture and behavioral climate of classrooms and schools.
4. What are PBIS “systems?”
PBIS emphasizes the establishment of organizational supports or systems that give school personnel capacity to use effective interventions accurately and successfully at the school, district, and state levels.
5. What does PBIS have to do with school discipline and classroom management?
Effective classroom management and preventive school discipline are essential for supporting teaching and learning.
6. Where is the best place for schools to access PBIS materials and information?
The Center is a great source for learning and obtaining information about PBIS, in particular, defining what PBIS is, what it looks like, how it can be established, what outcomes are possible, etc. However, other sources (e.g., consultants, publishers, universities, trainers) not formally associated with the Center also provide PBIS resources to schools.
7. How does the Center include and involve family and community members?
The voices and perspectives of family and community members are involved directly in the PBIS process through active participation on, for example, leadership teams, practice implementation, and outcome evaluations at the school, district, and state levels.
8. How is PBIS related to “Response-to-Intervention” (RtI)?
The logic, tenets, and principles of PBIS are the same as those represented in RtI (e.g., universal screening, continuous progress monitoring, data-based decision making, implementation fidelity, evidence-based interventions).
9. Does the Center on PBIS endorse or promote commercial products, vendors, or businesses?
No, because of its federally directed mandate, purpose, and functions, the Center on PBIS identifies and recommends general research-based practices (e.g., active supervision, reinforcement, social skills instruction, behavioral contracting, self-management). Although these practices may be included within the products, curricula, etc. of other providers, the Center does not promote specific vendors or endorse commercial products.
10. How does PBIS respond to the use of punishment (e.g., detention, timeout, verbal reprimands), especially for students with serious problem behavior?
Although PBIS has no specific restrictions on the use of consequence-based strategies designed to reduce serious problem behavior, teaching-oriented, positive, and preventive strategies are emphasized for all students, to the greatest extent possible. The emphasis is on the use of the most effective and most positive approach to addressing even the most severe problem behaviors.
“Bullying” is aggression, harassment, threats or intimidation when one person has greater status, control, power than the other.”
In order for a student’s behavior to be considered bullying, it must involve one or more of the following:
1.An intent by the perpetrator to cause physical or psychological harm to the victim
2. A power imbalance between the victim and the perpetrator (not always easy to identify)
3.Repeated negative acts
The Bully Circle - Who are you?
It is important to understand that bullying goes beyond the "bully" and the "bullied" - everyone plays a role. When we address bullying and bully prevention we need to target interventions for all those involved in the The Bullying Circle depicted below. If you witness someone being bullied what do you do? What does your child do? Taking steps to change how the bystanders react to bullying situations can decrease attention to the inappropriate behavior as well as help the victim find support and confidence.
Learn to recognize the warning signs involved in bullying; students could be bullied, bullying others, or witnessing bullying. Though warning signs could indicate other issues, parents should talk to their child if they display any sort of behavioral or emotional changes. Many times kids won’t ask for help.
Warning Signs a Child is Being Bullied:
Look for changes in the child. However, be aware that not all children who are bullied exhibit warning signs.
Warning Signs a Child is Being a Bully:
As part of a national response to bullying the Government of the Virgin Islands Department of Education PBIS Division has developed a Bully Prevention Manual adapted from evidence-based models of prevention. This manual will be used to train schools on bully prevention techniques and curriculums. Each school's PBIS team has a Bully Prevention Coordinator who will help train the entire staff on Bully Prevention and manage a student lead Bully Prevention team. These teams will work to reduce and prevent instances of bullying in the school.
St. Croix schools are divided into three cohorts (Cohort 1, Cohort 2, Cohort 3).Cohorts are divided by when each cluster of schools began implementing PBIS.
Cohort 1 began implementing PBIS in ___ and is made up of St. Croix Elementary Schools.
Cohort 2 began implementing PBIS in ___ and is made up of St. Croix Middle and High Schools.
Cohort 3 began implementing PBIS in January 2017 and is made up of St. Croix Alternative Education Programs.
St. Thomas/John schools are divided into three cohorts (Cohort 1, Cohort 2, Cohort 3).Cohorts are divided by when each cluster of schools began implementing PBIS.
Cohort 1 began implementing PBIS in 2015 and is made up of St. Thomas/John Elementary Schools.
Cohort 2 began implementing PBIS in 2016 and is made up of St. Thomas/John Middle and High Schools.
Cohort 3 began implementing PBIS in late 2016 and is made up of St. Thomas/John Alternative Education Programs.