Implementing Positive Action on a small scale does not require extensive planning. These guidelines have been prepared to assist with the initial planning of larger implementations, where coordination is required at the school or district level.
In many instances a school or district may commit to implementing Positive Action but does not have the immediate resources to purchase all the required kits. A common strategy is to phase-in Positive Action over time as resources become available.
Positive Action recommends that schools start with all the classrooms of the lowest grade levels, and the participation of the Principal with a Climate Development Kit.
Districts that are struggling with funding issues should start with their lowest performing elementary schools. Efforts should stay focused on the target schools until school-wide implementation has been achieved.
Positive Action recommends beginning with the lower elementary grade levels because of its lasting effects. As an elementary Positive Action student progresses through a school, Teachers will begin to recognize which students come from Positive Action classrooms and which students do not.
This is formally called the feeder effect and is further detailed in the Research Primer. The feeder effect will change the opinion of Teachers who are reluctant to teach Positive Action.
The process of building support for a program is formally called buy-in and the Preparation section covers strategies that are useful when cultivating buy-in among reluctant participants. The feeder effect and word-of-mouth are powerful agents for building support.
It's important to remember that the effects of Positive Action are cummulative. Students who learn Positive Action throughout elementary school will be easily identified by secondary Teachers. By starting early, district and school leaders are setting the stage for easy and engaging secondary implementations.
Some schools and districts elect to pilot Positive Action in a small setting. This approach has advantages and disadvantages. A pilot program can help build support for a school-wide implementation.
The disadvantage to piloting is that other Teachers and classrooms will want Positive Action and the resources may not be available. Without long-term planning and a clear roadmap, piloting can lead to issues of equity and fairness within a school.
If a school or district is intent on piloting, Positive Action recommends that the design include all the classrooms of a particular grade level, and the participation of the Principal with the Climate Development Kit.
Click here to review guidelines for preparing implementations.