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TIG will be updating the self-advocacy suite.  Please note the resources may be discontinued after the 2023-2024 academic year.

Jefferson Elementary School

Grade Level
Elementary School

Overcoming challenges through the use of a systemic framework

Every day, staff and students at Jefferson Elementary begin with a promise to do their best. They have a culturally diverse student population. In addition, over 80% of students are identified as economically disadvantaged.

Over the past seven years, Jefferson Elementary has created a responsive, school-wide system that seamlessly integrates PBIS, reading, and mathematics supports to benefit ALL students. According to Principal Zach Petham, their journey hasn’t been a perfect process but, despite challenges, their system has proved to be robust.

One obstacle they’ve had to overcome involved responding to key staff turnover. The school brought on a new principal, new universal data coach, and a new PBIS coach, all within the last three years. A second obstacle came in the form of the closure of a nearby elementary school, which increased Jefferson’s enrollment by 25%.

With an influx of new students and changes to key staff members, Jefferson proved that their integrated, systematic, layered supports were solid. Principal Petham attributes this success to their strong, positive school culture and dedicated, compassionate teachers. Jefferson Elementary has seen a 44% decrease in the number of total office discipline referrals (ODRs) over the past three years. The decrease in ODRs correlates with improvement in academic reading achievement across all grade levels and have translated into higher reading scores on state summative assessments for all students.

Even though sustaining implementation hasn’t always been easy, Jefferson staff are confident that they have built a strong, responsive system that can overcome any challenge.