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. We strive for five-to-one positive-to-negative interactions - especially with students who are having trouble following expectations. Being treated with kindness and respect will make them more likely to exhibit those attributes going forward.
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. 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.
New for 2018, we will be using the Second Step curriculum to teach students the social-emotional competencies that Washington State has outlined. You can think of these benchmarks as akin to academic study areas: students need to be taught social-emotional skills, just as they need to be taught math or reading skills.
The Problem-Solving Wheel 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.
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. This is intended to teach students self-regulation strategies for when they become upset or stressed throughout the day.
Tier II: For students who need more support, the team creates targeted interventions. Examples include mentorship with extra adults in the building, responsive classroom lessons, daily check-ins, and social-emotional support with the counselor. 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. 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, more intensive school supports, extracurricular activities, or mental health counseling. This is in addition to academic support, which is also available as needed. 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.