It is a privilege to partner with the CSRA RESA districts to improve school climate through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a data-driven framework allowing schools to address student behavior and improve school climate within the context of their own unique needs as determined by their data.
For districts implementing PBIS, I look forward to assisting District PBIS Coordinators in their role of supporting and coaching school teams. For districts considering PBIS implementation, I will be glad to help with readiness and planning activities to prepare a good foundation and awareness of PBIS. There is much confusion about PBIS which may prevent the whole staff from embracing what they perceive as “another program.” I have listed some of the misconceptions which I believe are most common among educators.
Misconception #1- PBIS is all about giving students rewards.
PBIS advocates teaching students behavioral expectations, practicing those behaviors, and recognizing when students meet the expectation. This does not mean students need a reward every time they make a good choice. Acknowledgment alone is a powerful motivating tool both inside and outside the classroom. Even adults are empowered to improve their performance at work when their boss notices their moments of success.
Misconception #2 - PBIS is all about removing students’ consequences.
PBIS teams consistently analyze discipline data and create practical action plans to address current behavioral patterns, with the outcome goal of lowering incident numbers. The goal is not to remove consequences, but instead to ask what will get us better results? When we set clear schoolwide expectations, teach how to meet those expectations, and provide time for practice with feedback, our approach becomes proactive, instead of reactive.
Misconception #3 - PBIS is just another “program.”
PBIS brings together best practices that schools should already be doing into a cohesive, logical framework. The idea is to work smarter not harder by creating a system allowing all our research-proven practices to fit together within one framework that is flexible enough to meet the unique needs of your school. The framework includes clear expectations, data driven decisions, ongoing behavior instruction with practice and feedback, student recognition, and focused improvement plans revisited monthly.