What is PBIS?
PBIS is a process for creating safer and more effective schools. Through PBIS, schools teach and support positive behavior for all students and all staff everywhere in the schools.
Is this a new program?
PBIS is not new. It is not a packaged curriculum schools can purchase. PBIS is a process schools go through to address student behavior and discipline issues. Schools focus on structuring their environment so that students can be successful both academically and behaviorally. Student expectations are developed and taught. At the same time schools work at preventing problem behaviors.
Is this a fad?
No. PBIS is based upon research. Research continues to show how well it works. PBIS has been implemented in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in numerous other countries. Schools must commit to 3-5 year process to put PBIS in place. Guilford County Schools is committed to this process.
Is this for every student or just for students with special needs?
PBIS is for all students, all staff, and every area in the school.
Why do schools need to do this?
Schools historically have tried to control students with punishment such as detention, loss of privileges, or forcing them to do undesired tasks. When that hasn't work, students were suspended or excluded from school. Sometimes schools attempted counseling to help students talk out problem behavior. Most of these strategies don't work to prevent student misbehavior.
As schools go through the process of PBIS, they develop a clear set of positive expectations and behaviors which are taught through classroom instruction and rewarded throughout the school. Students learn that all school staff will hold them to the same expectations.
Does PBIS mean that students will not be punished for misbehavior?
No. Schools will use procedures to encourage the behavior they want. Schools will also use procedures to discourage the behavior they don't want. The consequences will match the behavior. Students will learn that by behaving appropriately, they will get positive consequences. They will also learn that if they don't behave appropriately, they will get negative consequences.
How will schools find time to teach behavior? Won't this hurt EOG and EOC scores?
Schools implementing PBIS spend less time punishing and correcting. Schools find they have more time to teach academics. Research shows that schools using PBIS have higher scores on tests like the EOC and EOG.
Why should students be bribed for doing that they are supposed to be doing?
A bribe is used to get somebody to do something illegal or immoral. In the real world, everybody works for something. Adults work for money and recognition. Rewards are natural, just like getting a glass of iced tea after cutting the grass on a hot summer day. Students enjoy being recognized for the good job they are doing at school.
My child does not misbehave at school. Will he/she still have to participate in PBIS?
Yes. PBIS is for all students and staff. When schools implement PBIS, there are three systems in place. These systems are in effect at the same time:
- Universal (Primary) Systems: Staff develops, teaches, and reinforces rules, routines, and physical arrangements to prevent problem behavior throughout the school. All students learn, practice, and are supported for displaying desired behavior.
- Targeted Group (Secondary) Systems: Students having difficulty learning rules and routines and who are at risk for more serious problem behavior need a little more attention. These students may participate in special activities such as Check In/Check Out.
- Intense Individual (Tertiary) Systems: Students at this level typically exhibit behavior that impedes learning and can get them suspended from the school. At this point, the focus is on the needs and characteristics of the student. Individual behavior plans based on the reason for the behavior are developed by a team of people who know the student best.
Does this mean I won't get phone calls from the school about the behavior of my child?
Some students may need more intense behavioral support; about one to five percent of the students in a typical school need this level of support. One of the best things about PBIS is that schools and families stop playing the "Blame Game" and collaborate to find solutions and supports for both the home and school environment.
What are Guilford County School's plans for implementation of PBIS?
Expanding PBIS in Guilford County Schools is one of the objectives of the Guilford County Schools Strategic Plan 2012.
What can parents do to support PBIS in their child's school?
The implementation of PBIS is a big undertaking for a school. As schools progress through the implementation, they need to hear from parents. Call your school principal to see how best you can help out.