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Cardinal Administrator Presents at National Conference

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Principal Michelle Nizen (right) presented at the 2019 OCALICON conference (MP Photo/CSD)

The Cardinal Local School District is proud to share that A.J. Jordak Elementary School Principal Michelle Nizen presented at the 2019 OCALICON (Ohio Center for Autism and Low Incidence) conference held November 20-22, 2019 in Columbus, Ohio. According to its website, OCALICON is the nation’s premier autism and disabilities conference where thousands of people from around the world come together to learn, network, and share research, best practices, and resources to support the life-long needs of individuals with disabilities, including autism spectrum disorder and sensory and low-incidence disabilities.

Mrs. Nizen was invited to the conference as a guest presenter and spoke on the innovative practices being employed in the Cardinal Local School District surrounding Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS); frameworks outlined and mandated by the state department of education for supporting both the academic and behavioral needs of students. The frameworks include three tiers, or levels, of service (Tier 1, Tier 2, and Tier 3) that become more intense as the student need increases in intensity.

With the help of State Support Team Region 4, Mrs. Nizen highlighted the variety of supports that Jordak Elementary School has put into place for students, as well as support throughout the district in a session entitled, “Integrating Tier 2 Behavioral Practices”. Participants in the session were able to identify key features of Tier 2 practices, learn how behavioral supports fit within the PBIS and MTSS framework, and hear about actual strategies being used within the school district. Tier 2 intervention examples that were highlighted include check-in/check-out, creating sensory integration rooms, social skills programs, and zones of regulation programing. All of these interventions help to develop students’ self-monitoring, self-regulation, and self-reflection skills through explicit teaching of expected behaviors, structured prompts for appropriate behavior, opportunities to practice skills and performance feedback, strategies for fading support as the student gains new skills, a system for communicating withparents, and regular data for monitoring student progress.

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