Student Behavior Focus Of MTSU Conference

MURFREESBORO – Educators who seek to help students with severe behavioral issues are slated to attend the fifth annual Positive Behavior Support (PBS) & Inclusion Conference Thursday, May 12 at Middle Tennessee State University.

“The primary goal of this conference will be to promote positive inclusive teaching and the quality of education services for students identified as having behavioral challenges in accordance with the provisions of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Improvement Act,” says Dr. Zafrullah Khan, assistant professor of elementary and special education at MTSU and conference organizer.

Khan says PBS encourages social competence and academic achievement through strategies, practices and interventions that have proven to be effective.

The featured speaker for the conference will be Dr. Rick Lavoie, who will address the gathering from 9:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m., 10:45 a.m. to 11:45 a.m. and 1:15 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. in the James Union Building.

Lavoie is the author of The Motivation Breakthrough: Six Secrets to Turning On the Tuned-out Child (2007) and It’s So Much Work to Be Your Friend: Helping the Child with Learning Disabilities Find Social Success (2005). He has served as an administrator of residential programs for children with special needs since 1972. Lavoie also has served as a consultant for the National Center for Learning Disabilities, USAToday, the Girl Scouts of America and National Public Radio, among other agencies and organizations.

Educators who have experience with PBS are scheduled to participate in breakout sessions in the afternoon. Teachers from Bradley Academy in Murfreesboro, Elzie D. Patton Elementary School in Mt. Juliet and Decherd Elementary School in Decherd will discuss how they have implemented PBS principles and supports in their classrooms. These and other sessions will take place in various classrooms in Peck Hall across the street from the James Union Building.              

Seating for the conference is limited. To register, go to For more information, contact Khan at 615-904-8429 or