Positive Behavior Supports

Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports
Q. What is PBIS?
A. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports. It is a way of managing school behavior and discipline that creates a positive, nurturing school environment. Teachers teach students how they are expected to behave in school. These expectations help students understand how to behave in the halls, on the playground, in the classroom and on the bus. When students do well, teachers acknowledge and praise their behavior. That acknowledgement encourages students to continue to do well. By making sure students know what’s expected and focusing on the positive, schools are able to use a PBIS approach to prevent issues at school and set students up to succeed.
Q. What makes PBIS so different?
A. Traditionally, schools spend a lot of time focused on disciplining students who do not behave in a positive way. Schools have found that sometimes when a student is doing something disruptive, it is because he/she does not understand the expectation. We don’t send students to the office, if they are struggling with math – we teach them in a different way. This is what PBIS does. It clearly explains what things can and cannot happen in school. PBIS is not focused on punishing a negative behavior…but on preventing it...by making sure students understand how they are supposed to behave and by acknowledging them when they do.
 Q. How do we know that PBIS works?
 A. PBIS is based in research. That research shows schools that use a PBIS approach have a more pleasant atmosphere that is welcoming to students and families. With PBIS, students spend less time in detention or in the office, and more time in the classroom. Research shows that schools with PBIS have a reduced drop-out rate, fewer suspensions, better class attendance, and improved test scores. And, PBIS helps teachers too. They don’t have to spend as much time disciplining students and can get back to the business of teaching. That can lead to more student success.
Q. What kinds of expectations are you teaching my child?
A. In many cases, it’s simple things like how to walk safely through the hallway. In other cases, it’s how to resolve an argument with a friend on the playground. But it’s not just about teaching the rules and expectations. Schools also work with students so they develop the skills they need to respond to situations in positive, productive ways. This can help them not only in the classroom, but in life.
Q. Why is it important to teach students expectations?
A. It’s like having a new job and not knowing what you are supposed to do. Research shows when schools take time to explain to students how and why they need to behave a certain way and teach them the skills they need to follow through, they encourage those behaviors in their students. And research shows when schools recognize and acknowledge positive behaviors, students will repeat them. That’s like getting a raise at your job…you feel proud inside and want to continue to do your best.
Q. What happens when students don’t behave appropriately?
A. That’s where the “Intervention and Supports” part of PBIS comes in. Interventions and supports are additional programs and resources that can help students learn and grow. Most students will do well with the PBIS training. But research shows that some students will need additional support. School staff will work to figure out why. Sometimes students simply don’t understand expectations. In these cases, school staff will work with them to make sure they do. In other cases, children need more skills to be able to do their best in the classroom. School staff will work to put interventions in place to help them develop those skills. In some instances, a student may need even more support to succeed, and the school may partner with a community agency to provide interventions for that student.
Q. What about students who may be struggling, but their classroom behavior is not an issue? A. In some instances, we can recognize that a student is struggling. In other cases, it’s not so clear. With PBIS, we screen all of our students to track how they are doing with their behavior. The screening test is good at helping us identify all students who are struggling, so we can provide the help and interventions they need.
Q. Why is EVSC adopting PBIS?
A. The PBIS approach of teaching and recognizing behavior is part of a new process at EVSC called Response to Intervention or RTI. The idea behind RTI is to provide what students need to succeed both academically and behaviorally. If they need more support, we provide more and we continuously track how students are doing using screening tests. With PBIS, all students receive training in behavior. For students who need extra training, support, or interventions we can provide them in a coordinated way.
Q. How Can I help?
A. At EVSC, we believe education is a partnership. We encourage you to talk with your child’s teacher about ways you can help support your child’s learning and we encourage you ask questions and share your concerns and ideas. Together we can make sure your child reaches his or her potential.
Q. What if I have questions on PBIS?
A. If you have questions, contact your child’s teacher or school. Or, call EVSC’s Center for Family, School, and Community Partnerships at 435-8866, or email at fscp@evsc.k12.in.us.