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Ministry Of Education To Expand Behaviour Intervention Programme In Schools

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KINGSTON, Sept. 28(JIS): BY: JUDITH A. HUNTER
An additional 1,800 administrators and teachers from 25 schools islandwide will be selected to participate in the Positive Behavioural Intervention and Support (PBIS) programme, being implemented by the Ministry of Education during the 2015/16 academic year.

They will represent the second cohort, following the initial 1,400 participants chosen from 24 institutions for the programme, which was first implemented during 2014/15, as part of the Ministry’s response to curbing violence in schools.

The initiative, being undertaken in collaboration with the Jamaica Theological Seminary (JTS), aims to create a healthy learning environment through organized evidence-based interventions, by targeting specialized training for principals, vice principals, deans of discipline, guidance counsellors, teachers, and ancillary staff.
The PBIS, which has recorded significant success in other countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom, fosters a disciplined and structured environment for dealing with issues such as violence in schools.

Clinical psychologist, behaviour analyst, and PBIS team leader at the JTS, Geraldine Garwood, tells JIS News that the programme represents a “systematic approach” to addressing inappropriate behaviour exhibited by students, while helping to enhance their academic performance.

“We collaborate with the Ministry of Education, based on the needs that they have in the schools to deal with inappropriate behaviour and low academic performances,” Ms. Garwood explains, pointing out that participating schools are selected by the Ministry based on these areas.

Data is collected from the schools, prior to the programme’s implementation, which entails, among other things, training sessions for teachers and administrators.

These sessions are held for three hours per day, over three consecutive days, following which the participants are
given a time frame to establish the PBIS system in their schools while the JTS monitors the implementation.
Additional data is collected at the end of the academic year for comparative analyses, to determine the programme’s effectiveness.

“Students are taught expected behaviours the schools design for them, based on the schools’ policies and systems,” she notes.

In pointing out that some schools are more advanced in the system’s implementation than others, Ms. Garwood informs that several institutions have established PBIS walls.

“They have placed expected behaviours on notice boards in different areas on the school compound, and they are reporting that they are seeing success from it,” she advises.

Ms. Garwood further informs that the expected behaviours are taught through a system which outlines how students should operate in this regard, which include a reinforcement and consequence.

The consequence system, she explains, deals with inappropriate behaviour, while the reinforcement system focuses on appropriate behaviour.

Ms. Garwood says the ultimate goal of the PBIS programme is to create a culture in each school that fosters morally upright behaviour and academic excellence for all students, and a harmonious environment of respect between all members of the school community including student and teachers.

Teacher and chairman of the PBIS Committee at Bustamante High School in Clarendon, Leo Mantock, says the programme has great potential.

“We see this initiative as the game changer in our schools. During this year’s Grade Seven orientation, we made sure to get the parents on board; and we will also use our Parent Teachers’ Association (PTA) meetings to reinforce to (them) the importance of the programme, not only for behavioural change, but also how it can increase academic performance because (of) the correlation between the student behavior and academics,” he outlines.

Mr. Mantock says, thus far, the parents are showing the greatest support, adding that “we want these students to be the change group and the benchmark, going forward, with the PBIS.”

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Government

Washington MISICK challenged, and holds onto Leadership of the PNP

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#TurksandCaicos, February 24, 2024 – Magnetic Media can report that WASHINGTON MISICK has emerged and remains LEADER of the governing Progressive National Party.It has been a contentious battle today at the PNPs National General Congress (NGC) for party leadership with interest coming from: Jas Walkin, the party’s 2021 campaign manager who this week publicly withdrew his bid; Dameko Dean, former Wheeland candidate who had published an article revealing his quest to lead the PNP and E Jay Saunders who today unsuccessfully challenged MISICK for the role.Saunders has tried for leader before and has served as the party’s deputy leader, at the pleasure and selection of Washington Misick since June 2019.The run for party leader was a risky maneuver by Saunders, son of former PNP Party leader and Chief Minister Norman Saunders.Delegates cast votes, giving E Jay Saunders 58 votes and Washington Misick 88. The elder statesman convincingly retaining delegates’ confidence.It is also reported that, based on the PNP Constitution, Saunders needed 70% support from delegates in a preliminary run off.  He was unable to secure that much backing.A constitutional motion to change the selection process of the deputy leader to a delegate vote reportedly failed.It is therefore unclear what the immediate future, politically is for Saunders whose party and government roles are hinged on Washington Misick’s prerogative to have him or someone else in these posts.However Misick is already promoting a strict focus on uniting the party following the NGC meeting held at the Shore Club.

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Crime

TCI Community College staff struck and robbed, another chased in car by attackers

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Dana Malcolm

Staff Writer 

 

#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – Attacks against several of its staff members last week have forced the Turks and Caicos Islands Community College to reassess its security.

“The college is robustly ending in immediate steps to review and reinforce our campus security protocols,” said a February 16 letter to staff seen by Magnetic Media.

The letter puts the date of the incidents as February 15th at one of its Providenciales campuses.

In the first,  a male member of staff was attacked and his car stolen after he left a meeting. When Magnetic Media queried police about the event, they released additional details of the robbery.

We were told around 9:15 pm, Thursday February 15, a 39-year-old male and his colleagues were leaving the TCI Community College Campus, Princess Drive, Providenciales, when a group of men surrounded his vehicle.

The man, noticing that one of the men had stopped at the rear of the vehicle, approached him to investigate and was struck on the head. In the immediate aftermath, the assailants escaped in the victim’s car, leaving the TCICC staff member injured at the scene.

The victim was transported to the Cheshire Hall Medical Center by police officers, and up until news production time, the car had not yet been recovered.

Following this incident, the Community College also revealed that a car chase had taken place.

A female member of staff this time, was chased down by suspected criminals as she left the campus. The employee managed to outdrive the people pursuing her and arrive safely at her destination, but she was described as shaken.

Now both, police officers and campus administration are urging residents to remain vigilant, especially when heading into their cars at night.

Safety tips that can help residents avoid attack, robbery, injury, or worse include:

  • Stay alert when heading to your vehicle; don’t be distracted by your phone; pay attention to your surroundings.
  • if you see anything or anyone suspicious, do not investigate on your own; go back and get a security guard or similar personnel to assist.
  • Have your keys ready in your hands before approaching your car, so you can enter the safety of your vehicle immediately.

The police have not yet arrested anyone for the robbery attack against the employee.

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News

Royal TCI Police share CAREER DAY Highlights

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#TurksandCaicos, February 23, 2024 – On Thursday, 8th February 2024, between 9 am – and 2 pm, the Royal Turks and Caicos Islands Police Force attended a Career Day event at the Enid Capron Primary School, Five Cays, Providenciales.

Under the theme “Be aware, choose a career”, the RTCIPF showcased the many career options available in policing.

Members of the Community Policing Unit, Safeguarding and Public Protection, Anti-Gang and Drugs Unit, Marine Branch, Traffic Enforcement, Air Support Unit and Mechanical Department were present.  Officers answered questions posed by the young, impressionable minds.

Insp Ensa Wilson lectured students on various topics, including: “Good Touch, Bad Touch”, alerting adults to inappropriate situations and the importance of calling 911.

Students were asked questions following the lecture and were given RTCIPF tokens.

Sgt. Kavin Mars, along with PC Fitzlewis McDonald and Kiyon Doughty of the Anti Gang and Drug Unit, freestyled “Don’t Huff, Don’t Puff, Don’t Do That Stuff” and warned students of the dangers –health and legal – of using drugs.

Superintendent (Community Policing and Divisions) Dwight Gardiner commended the school’s initiative and applauded the representation of officers present.

Supt. Gardiner said: “Career Days often highlight the importance of community policing and underscore law enforcement’s vital role in fostering trust, collaboration, and safety within neighbourhoods.

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