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Pine Grove EI/ECSE staff implements grant focused on building social emotional skills of young children

This year marks the fifth and final year of a five-year grant offered by the Oregon Department of Education (ODE), focusing on Early Childhood Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (EC PBIS). In Hood River County, the staff at Pine Grove School in the Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) program implement the key efforts associated with this grant.

EC PBIS is a program that provides a framework for implementing practices that support children's social, emotional, and behavior development. In Hood River County, the focus is to develop positive relationships and high quality, supportive environments. Promoting children's success is the goal and this goal is accomplished by creating an environment where children feel good about coming to school, creating an environment that promotes child engagement, and focusing on teaching children what to do. Teaching expectations, routines, and skills is the foundation of this framework.

The program focuses on these strategies with teachers:

  • Making 5:1 deposits (positive to negative input)

  • Structuring the environment for success

  • Having consistent schedules and routines

  • Structuring transitions for success

  • Teaching expectations

  • Teaching social skills

The classroom expectations that are taught are to be kind, be safe, and be a worker. These expectations are taught by the teacher and are used in a positive way for children to understand. Social skills that are taught are share, take turns, trade, wait and take turns, get a timer, play together, say "please stop," get a teacher, ask for help, ignore, ask nicely, and take a break.

Pine Grove EI/ECSE staff is implementing EC PBIS in three classrooms, which include approximately 65 children between the ages of three and five. Staff is providing some guidance in three other classrooms. All of these classrooms are community partners.

Anne Cole, program coordinator, Jen King and Vickee Steele, early childhood specialists, and Cindy Murahashi, speech language pathologist, manage this ODE grant and lead efforts within it. This small leadership group meets monthly to set goals and make plans to fulfill them.

“EC PBIS is important to early childhood because it helps support young children's social, emotional, and behavior development,” said Ms. Anne Cole. “It creates a strong social skill foundation and builds positive relationships. Implementing in community preschools helps children entering HRCSD as kindergarteners have stronger skills in these areas and have an understanding of the PBIS programs implemented in elementary schools.”

Thank you, Pine Grove School EI/ECSE staff, for all that you do to support the youngest students in our community!