What is PBIS?
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a systems approach to preventing and responding to school and classroom discipline problems. PBIS develops school-wide systems that support staff to teach and promote positive behavior in all students. Schools that implement PBIS focus on taking a team-based system approach and teaching appropriate behavior to all students in the school. The purpose of PBIS is to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, that promotes unity, and that maximizes learning.
Schools that have been successful in implementing school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports describe the following benefits:
• Increases in attendance.
• Student self-reports of a more positive and calm environment.
• Teacher reports of a more positive and calm environment.
• Reduction in the proportion of students who engage in behavioral disruptions.
• Reduction in the number of behavioral disruptions.
Previously, school-wide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behavior is an important aspect of a student’s educational experience. Teaching behavioral expectations and recognizing students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding. The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.
The PBIS Process
1. Establish a PBIS Team – Establish PBIS Universal team; attend training; commit to 3-5 years of PBIS; get school-wide agreement and support.
2. Establish an On-Going System of Reward – Acknowledge expected behavior and use tangible rewards and acknowledgements (i.e., cards) and social recognition (i.e., bulletin boards, name over PA system, name in newsletter, etc).
3. Establish a System for Responding to Behavioral Challenges – Develop an agreement about which behaviors are handled in the classroom and which result in an office referral; use a variety of consequences; use pre-correction and restatement of expected behaviors.
4. Establish a Data System to Monitor Progress & Aid in Decision Making – Develop a system to review the office discipline data to make decisions during implementation of PBIS.
5. Encourage Family Involvement – Building a strong and caring partnership between schools and parents/guardians/community.