Three schools from the Franklin Special School District have been recognized as what are known as Model of Demonstration Schools by the Tennessee Department of Education and the Tennessee Behavior Supports Project (TBSP), a program implemented through Vanderbilt University.

Liberty Elementary, Poplar Grove Elementary and Poplar Grove Middle are among 29 schools in Middle Tennessee that have earned that distinction for the 2019-20 school year. Specifically, the three FSSD schools achieved the Silver level of the RTI2-B, or Response to Instruction and Intervention for Behavior. 

Within the designation of Model of Demonstration Schools, there are three levels — Bronze, Silver and Gold — depending on the fidelity of implementation at Tier I, Tier II and Tier III. 

Liberty Elementary, Poplar Grove Elementary and Poplar Grove Middle have been participants in training and technical assistance provided by TBSP, and have undergone the process of implementing a positive and proactive behavioral systems framework for all students. The RTI2-B framework consists of identifying common behavioral expectations across campus, teaching, re-teaching, reinforcing, and regularly acknowledging students, faculty and families for exhibiting these expectations. 

All model schools apply this framework to improve the climate, culture and proactive disciplinary practices, which directly impacts student engagement and school connectedness. In meeting this award criteria, Liberty Elementary, Poplar Grove Elementary and Poplar Grove Middle demonstrated use of school-wide behavioral data to inform teaching practices and levels of support provided to students based on need. Twice a year, they also reflected on overall fidelity to guide their implementation of the RTI2-B framework. 

It is TBSP’s goal to have model schools within a relatively close distance to others that are interested in seeing an exemplary school implementing RTI2-B. As a Silver RTI2-B Model of Demonstration School, these three FSSD schools can now serve as a mentors to other schools across Middle Tennessee. 

While the three schools applied for and received this level of statewide recognition, all FSSD schools work hard to create an RTI2-B framework that puts a methodical process in place to ensure that all students are supported as they work to their full potential in academics, social and emotional well-being, with the guidance and assistance from the faculty, staff and administrators.

“We have worked extremely hard as a school district to put in place positive behavior support programs in all of our schools over the last few years,” FSSD Director of Schools David Snowden said.

“A tremendous amount of time has been devoted to providing opportunities to grow our faculty and staff in the area of social emotional learning and how school culture affects student learning. We are very proud to have these three schools recognized for their work in creating a comprehensive behavior plan using the support from Vanderbilt’s program.”

Vanderbilt provides regional support for the Middle Tennessee schools, while the University of Memphis - Lambuth oversees West Tennessee and the University of Tennessee - Knoxville supports East Tennessee.

The FSSD schools will be recognized at the Tennessee Partners in Education Conference at the end of January in Nashville. The purpose of this identification is to promote model schools to share their practices and examples with others across the state as well as to celebrate each school’s effort and dedication to meeting the needs of their students. 

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