AMS Building Leadership Team discusses progress and concerns


March 28th, 2012 by Ric Hanson

Members of the Atlantic Middle School’s Building Leadership Team (BLT) appeared before the Atlantic Board of Education Tuesday night, to report on their progress and concerns. Cam Smith, Middle School Principal said the team has discussed the Iowa Assessment tests, goals and “True Trojan Traits,” which is part of the PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports) System. He says it’s a “paradigm” shift on how discipline is looked at, student expectations, behavior in the classroom, hallways, etc. The team helped to establish those guidelines. 

Cam says part of the PBIS process involves figuring out how it will be implemented, how to get the community involved, possible reward systems and what professional development the teachers will need to make the system successful. He says the school looks to implement PBIS beginning with the 2012-2013 school year. He says the team hopes to limit instructional distractions in the classrooms, increasing the amount of time taught teaching, and decreasing the amount of time they use to “manage” students’ disciplinary issues. He says kids who are doing well will be rewarded with positive affirmations, and a culture that’s in unison with expectations of them. 

Smith says also the Atlantic Middle School remodeling and classroom moving process went fairly smoothly, as classrooms and teachers were shuffled around to accommodate construction crews and their work. He said the BLT discussed teacher and class scheduling issues also, over the past year. Teachers he said are concerned about being understaffed, technology-related issues, and other matters pertaining to the remodeling and changeover to the upgraded facilities. Smith says the staffing concerns teachers mentioned to members of the Building Leadership Team included how to address a feeling the Middle School is understaffed with core teachers and how the needs of students will be met with the current staff. 

Another concern is the lack of technology in the building. Smith says he’s checking with the AEA to see if grants are available to upgrade their computers and related technology.