Y-City News

Maysville Elementary adopts PAX program

By Jessica Johnston, Reporter

Good behavior is anticipated to fill the classrooms of Maysville Elementary School, grades K – 4, through the implementation of the PAX Good Behavior Game Program.

Maysville Local Schools Superintendent, Ruth Zitnik, announced the notification of Maysville Elementary — in collaboration with Nationwide Children’s, Allwell and Muskingum Behavioral Health — is receiving a $75,000 grant to use the PAX GBG program.

The PAX GBG uses strategies in the classroom to help students who have been exposed to trauma. It incorporates all of the children in the classroom to encourage them to help one another, Zitnik said.

It’s designed to promote pro-social behavior in students and discourage disruptive behavior in the classroom in an effort to create community among the students.

“We want kids to want to come to school,” Zitnik said. “We want students to feel empowered to be self-regulated.”

According to the program’s website, the strategies “adhere to one or more of SAMHSA’s (Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration) 6 key principles of a trauma-informed approach: Safety, Trustworthiness and Transparency, Peer Support, Collaboration and Mutuality, Empowerment Voice and Choice, Culture Historical and Gender Issues.”

Each teacher will receive a PAX “kit” to help implement the model in their own classroom. Each kit costs $320, which totals close to $13,000 for Maysville Elementary.

The grant will go toward paying for an in-school, full-time clinician from Allwell to assist tier two and three students. Tier one students encompass roughly 80 percent of students who do not require assistance in the classroom, tier two students make up about 15 percent of students who may need some assistance and tier three students are the remaining 5 percent of students who need more intensive help, Zitnik said.

The grant doesn’t cover the complete cost of the clinician’s salary and the PAX kits that each teacher will receive. Thus, there are contributions from participating organizations in a program called “Services in Kind” to supplement the remaining costs.

The school is hoping to see improvements in attendance, a decrease in visits to the school nurse and less disruptive behavior. Zitnik explained that children often use stomach ache or headache complaints as avoidance-type behaviors to get out of school.

The program aims to lessen that behavior.

Attendance levels, nurse visits/referrals and other assessments from the upcoming academic year will be compared to the 2017-2018 academic year to track the progress and effectiveness of the PAX GBG.

The program does require the consent of the student’s parents or guardians.

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