PAX Training comes to parish
Evangeline Parish is the first in Louisiana to implement the PAX Good Behavior Game training, which enhances classroom experiences for both students and teachers.
PAX Good Behavior Game (PAX GBG) is a scientifically proven classroom-based system that teaches skills for self-regulation, self-control, and self-management during any school or after school activity. Students use these skills purposely to collaborate with others to create peace, productivity, health, and happiness every day. While PAX GBG is not a classroom management program, teachers who use it report dramatic improvements in the management of their classrooms through student self-regulation. The program is especially helpful for children exposed to adversity or trauma by reducing disturbing, disruptive or inattentive behaviors.
Additionally, PAX GBG can improve academic outcomes, standardized test scores, and graduation rates. It can also reduce stress for teachers and reduce symptoms of mental, emotional, and behavioral disorders in students. PAX GBG also reportedly improves family relationships and can have major lifetime benefits (e.g., less drug use, risky sex, crime, unemployment, suicide). The program claims to trigger positive, protective gene expression, benefiting children with higher genetic risk.
Director of Special Education for Evangeline Parish, Kelli LaFleur, said they began implementing the PAX GBG program in May of 2019. “I think that it’s been having a remarkable impact on the students,” she said. “The students are able to reflect on various situations and make better choices. They are able to self-regulate and use coping skills. It also gives teachers the tools to use in the classroom to assist with behaviors and help students make progress.”
The Acadiana Area Human Services District (AAHSD) board served as a conduit between the PAX Institute and the Evangeline Parish School Board. AAHSD executive director Brad Farmer said the School Board reached out to the Louisiana Department of Health, Office of Behavioral Health (OBH) when they first started looking at this program. OBH agreed to partner with EPSB to help support the implementation of the project and since it was in this area, they contacted AAHSD to be the liaison with Pax and EPSB to make sure things continue moving forward.
Farmer said the public monies that are used to support the project are transferred to AAHSD and they distribute them in the form of a contract with PAX. As such, they have written the contract and continue to monitor its implementation thru reviewing the performance indicators. “We work closely with the PAX staff to coordinate/approve their implementation plan, look at their overall budget for training and supplies, and also stay in touch with the EPSB to make sure they are having their needs met as well,” explained Farmer.
AAHSD board member Elizabeth West of Pine Prairie said, “Seeing PAX GBG introduced to the educators in Evangeline Parish is something that excites me. Coming from a family of educators has made me realize that being a teacher is not easy. That is why I am so thankful to Superintendent Darwin Lazard and Mrs. Kelli LaFleur for really taking the initiative to find a way to positively impact the life of each student inside and outside the classroom. This program is making teaching more enjoyable and less stressful for the teacher. This is what our educators, administrators, supervisors and students deserve, and I am eager to see the good this will bring to our school district and parish.”