The Jamesville-DeWitt school district has decided to implement a new screening system in all schools within the district lines. The Behavioral Intervention Monitoring Assessment System, or BIMAS, is a test that students ages 5-18 take to determine their emotional, social, and behavioral habits. This hopes to identify problems like bullying and trouble with social settings before they start, or before they become a larger problem. On top of this, the test aims to teach students how they learn best (memory, listening, writing notes), and encourage them to focus on that. While it has assessment in its name, this district intends to use it as a screening tool.
To create this test, Achilles N Bardos, Ph.D. and CEO of Edumetrics worked alongside Scott T Meiser, Ph.D., to write it. They also had help from esteemed professors and authors, Jim L Mcdougal, Psy.D, Mary Zortman Cohen, Ph.D., and Elaine Leong, M.A. For this test to be produced and published on a large scale, all of these people had to approve of it and believe that it would achieve what they wanted it to.
To see if this was a good fit for our district as a whole, the piolet was sent to two of the three elementary schools. The results that came back were accurate and helpful enough for the district to further this program into a universal assessment program in all elementary schools and the middle school. In these schools, classroom teachers will administer and proctor the exam. However, BIMAS isn’t coming to the high school until the 2021-2022 school year.
Once scores and answers come back to administrators, they’ll be able to address concerns in students. With quarantine affecting everyone differently, the board thinks it’s important to identify individuals’ needs. Instead of having to seek all these issues and red flags visually and through intuition, the BIMAS allows for a more reliable identification of the resources individuals need.
This test has a $190 flat fee. On top of this, because the Jamesville-DeWitt School District has 2,900 students, it will cost $4 for each copy. This comes out to $11,790 a year to implement this test for every student in the district (it must be renewed annually).
Tracy Menapace, the Director of Pupil Personel Services for the Jamesville DeWitt District said in an interview about why BIMAS was implemented in the first place, “[Social, and emotional learning] is a core initiative of our strategic plan. The world is ever-changing. If we are to prepare our students for the 21st century we must support the growth and development of the whole child.” She also claims that while JD was preparing the test for our schools, they were able to talk to the people directly responsible for the creation and production of it, which proved to be a big help. Overall, BIMAS is an important tool for the general mental and social well-being of not only the students but all people involved.