What is PBIS?

  • Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success.


    What is Positive Behavior Support? 

    Examine environmental factors. When students understand what is expected of them, and how they can follow expectations, they will do so! Teachers provide clear expectations for student behavior, with examples of what that looks like. Students who struggle to meet expectations receive additional teaching, and get celebrated for meeting expectations once they have learned how to do so! 

    Energize the positive. Kids are used to getting certain responses from adults. Responding harshly to negative behavior, while not responding to positive behavior, sends a child the message that negative behavior is how one gets attention. *Changing these habits can be challenging!* But we have to energize that behavior we want to see - even if it is the briefest display of concentration, body control, or kindness. Recognizing and commending the behavior will increase the likelihood that it continues. 

    Celebrate Success! Students who are struggling in school need to feel belonging and significance. There is no better way to help instill that feeling than to celebrate when they do get it right! 


    Tiers of Intervention: 

    Tier I: Schoolwide positive behavior supports, delivered to every student by every staff member at school. Not just teachers, but everyone - playground supervisors, specialists, non-classroom staff - get trained in positive behavior support. Expectations are unified. Everyone uses similar language and tactics to energize the behaviors we want to see, and to de-emphasize the behaviors that aren't helping the student or the community. 

    The year begins with explicit teaching of the behaviors we expect in each area. Our Behavior Rodeo teaches expectations in the areas we expect them - so, for example, students are taught lunchroom expectations in the lunchroom, by the lunchroom supervisor. We revisit expectations when issues occur in problem areas, and we also revisit expectations after substantial breaks to refresh students on them. 

    One of our main teaching tools is a Problem-Solving Wheel, which is up in many places around school so that students can refer to it when faced with a challenging situation. By encouraging students to use it, we are encouraging self-efficacy. Students who feel they can solve a problem without adult help will feel empowered in their own lives. See the tabs on the left - we encourage you to use it at home, too! 

    Additionally, as a schoolwide tier I intervention, twice per week the counselor leads the school in a Mindfulness routine, which includes deep breathing and progressive muscle relaxation. 


    Tier II: For students who need more support, the PBIS team creates targeted interventions. Examples include mentorship with extra adults in the building, targeted classroom lessons, "Check and Connect," and social-emotional support with the counselor. The idea is to give students more support: these extra interventions are layers on top of the baseline instruction that all students receive. 

    We are careful to note that students who are quiet or withdrawn often escape adult attention. This doesn't mean that students who internalize don't need help too! To ensure that all students' needs are met, teachers complete assessments for both externalizing and internalizing behaviors, so that we make sure that everyone who needs it gets pro-social support. We also use discipline data to inform us what areas of school need extra teaching or supervision, and we use climate surveys and the statewide Healthy Youth Survey to periodically gauge how students are experiencing life at LFP. 


    Tier III: Some students need even more support. Tier III is for those students. In addition to tier II supports already in place, some students need wraparound services, extracurricular activities, or mental health counseling, in addition to supportive interventions during the school day. This is in addition to academic support - students who need extra academic support receive it through our Title I teachers. Often the academic and social-emotional are intertwined: students who have had Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACES), or who are simply struggling to self-regulate, will have trouble learning, and will then internalize the frustration of feeling unable to keep up in class. 


    The PBIS Pyramid: Tier I is universal, Tier II is supplemental and targeted, and tier III is intensive and individualized.