Lawrence Public School District To Host Visitors from Iceland


Lawrence, Mass. — The Lawrence Public School District in partnership with May Institute will be hosting a group of 20 professionals in the areas of developmental psychology, special education and administration from various cities in Iceland who are visiting the U.S. to learn about the District’s success with an innovative, system-wide Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program. The program is targeted at both the system-wide level, as well as at the individual level for students with autism and other special needs. Educators and administrators from the Lawrence School District will be available for interviews and photographs, as well as the visitors and professional staff from May Institute.





Lawrence Public School District Hosts Visitors from Iceland’s Special Education Community

Thursday, March 6, 2008
Tour at 10:30 a.m.

Guilmette Educational Complex – Elementary School
80 Bodwell Street, Lawrence, MA

Lori Koppenhaver or Eric Cyr – (978) 686-8810

The PBS program at the Lawrence Public School District began in 2006. The program encompasses over 13,000 pre K-12 grade students, involving 3 early childhood center, 15 elementary schools, 1 comprehensive high school divided into 6 individual high schools, a multifunctional high school learning center, and 1 therapeutic school serving students in grades 1-12. Initial comparisons between PBS schools and non-PBS schools has indicated that PBS schools have observed a shift towards an overall improved school climate, decreases in disruptive classroom behavior, increases in academic performance, on-task behavior and parent-student satisfaction.

About Positive Behavior Support (PBS)

May Institute is implementing PBS programs in partnership with many school systems across Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont and New Jersey. Effective behavioral interventions can be catalysts for positive change in the classroom. Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a proven, systems-focused approach that produces numerous positive outcomes, including: Decreases in problem behaviors, office referrals, and suspensions; Increases in on-task engagement and academic achievement; and higher levels of satisfaction with the overall school climate among students, teachers, and parents.

The comprehensive, systemic, and individualized continuum of positive behavior support is designed to provide opportunities for all students, including those with significant emotional and behavioral issues, to achieve social and academic success.

PBS enhances the capacity of schools, districts, and states to adopt and sustain effective behavior and academic support practices. May Institute is the Northeast regional partner to the National Technical Assistance Center on PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports,, established by the Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education. The Center and May Institute, along with University of Oregon, University of Connecticut, and eight other universities and agencies, are assisting in national implementation of PBS at the school, district, and state levels.

About May Institute

May Institute’s award-winning national network serves over 25,000 individuals and their families annually at more than 200 service locations throughout the Northeast, Mid-Atlantic, Midwest, Southeast, and on the West Coast. May Institute is an active center of research and training, maintaining affiliations with more than 40 universities, hospitals, and human service agencies worldwide. For more information about the Institute’s behavioral health programs and services, call 800-778-7601, or visit

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