The Power of Contribution

Our Behavior Intervention Support Team (BIST) is a tool for educators, students and parents to gracefully confront unhealthy behavior both in the classroom and at home. Developed in 1990, it has been implemented in schools across the country, reducing disciplinary actions and school suspensions, while helping kids to stay engaged and present at school. We’re honored to share a recent success story on behalf of guest blog contributors Kim Bishop and Tammy Zumaltt Santa Fe Elementary in Waverly, Mo.

Contribution and building relationships with students works! We had a young man move into our district as a 5th grader. His family had moved from a much larger district and did not realize that our school works as a team to build relationships with the students to help make them successful in school. Last year, the student had poor attendance and our principal would go to his house to pick him up for school if necessary several times a week. The student was responsible for getting himself ready for school and on the bus. He slept in the attire he would wear to school the next day. He had very little interaction with peers and did not develop relationships with his classmates due to his absentee rate. Academically, the young man was below grade level and did not turn work in or try.

This year, we added the piece of contribution to his plan: a preschool program for 3-4 year olds. The young man now helps the preschool teacher every morning with the preschool children before school and during the first 15 minutes of the school day. They love him and are glad he is with them. The young man loves his ‘job.’ In fact, he has only missed one day this year due to a funeral. Not only has his attendance improved, but so have his grades. He turns his work in, does his very best and has caught up to grade level with his efforts. He now accepts the challenge of new material, even during re-teaching, and is eligible to play basketball for the first time. His classmates and teammates include him in their activities. His mother speaks to us with pride about her son, and she is so glad she stayed in our district. BIST has made a pivotal changing point in his life.

—Guest Blog by Kim Bishop & Tammy Zumalt at Santa Fe Elementary in Waverly, Mo.