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? 

    The behavior, not the student, is the problem. Kids can feel when adults are down on them, and they internalize both verbal and non-verbal messages. We adults need to carefully consider how we are responding to the challenges kids put in front of us. 

    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!* Sometimes, when a kid is quiet and on-task, the adult has some time and attention to spare. It's hard to notice when a student is not demanding our attention. But we have to energize that behavior we want to see - even if it is the smallest show of peace, or kindness, or respect. 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 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, 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. 

    In terms of classroom curriculum, teachers and the school counselor work together to ensure that each classroom is receiving social-emotional instruction in addition to academic instruction. 

    At Lake Forest Park Elementary, we have 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. See the tabs on the left - we encourage you to use it at home, too! 


    Tier II: For students who need more support, the PBIS team creates targeted interventions. Examples include the "check and connect" program, behavior contracts, structured breaks, and pro-social small group activities. The idea is to give students more support: these extra interventions do not replace tier I. They layer on top of it. 

    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 will be completing assessments for both externalizing and internalizing behaviors, so that we make sure that everyone who needs it gets pro-social support. 


    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 multiple interventions during the school day. While we don't provide mental health counseling, we will work with parents and community providers to ensure that student is receiving the support needed in every facet of his or her life. 


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