Answers to Frequently Asked Questions about PBIS
In most cases, the school’s Office Discipline Referral form is missing one or two pieces of valuable information such as “motivation.” Asking “why” we think the problem behavior occurred or what might have motivated the student to display the problem behavior gives us a jump start on how to prevent the behavior from re-occurring. Actions taken by teacher “prior” to referral and Location are two other sections that are usually not available on the referral prior to PBIS implementation.
Often, PBIS is used in combination with the district’s current Code of Conduct policy. The PBIS team members work together to develop a flowchart that will equip the building staff with the ability to distinguish between what is classroom managed versus what should be referred to the office.
PBIS should be incorporated into the monthly staff meetings. Time should be allowed during the meetings to inform the staff of the status of the implementation as well as the results of analyzing the data. Monthly and/or quarterly newsletters should be generated as well.
Planning in advance will allow the team to brainstorm their funding options such as fundraisers with the PTO, donations from community organizations and companies as well as grants. The team will develop a system of acknowledgement for rewarding students daily/weekly, monthly, and quarterly. Teachers will also receive information and ideas regarding the development of a reinforcement system in their classrooms.
PBIS is appropriate for all environments: pre-school, elementary, intermediate, middle school, high school, and home.
With Achieve Consulting, you receive training, training materials, on-site coaching and consultation, as well as progress monitoring and feedback. Staff will receive the training they need for PBIS implementation while the coach is there to guide them through the process and assist in any trouble-shooting areas.
No, PBIS does not mean a school will get rid of their current consequences. PBIS adds and or enhances the school’s opportunity to acknowledge students for behaving appropriately while following through on implementation of meaningful consequences. Meanwhile, training in PBIS will equip the staff to teach alternative/replacement behaviors to those students struggling to positively respond to the universal rules.
Although PBIS was originally implemented in some schools with the goal of addressing struggling areas that exist within Special Education units, it is a framework that can be used in any school to reduce disruptions that interfere with instruction while improving the social and learning behaviors as well as academic outcomes. PBIS is for all students, all ethnicities, all ages, with or without an IEP.
It is advised that all schools implement tier 1 systems with fidelity before moving into tier 2 and/3 interventions. This provides the opportunity for all students to respond to interventions on a universal level.
When older students are involved in the planning process, it seems to speed up the “buy-in” time. In most cases, middle school and high school students need to see and reap the benefits before they “buy-in” to the process. After older students have witnessed students being rewarded and/or acknowledged for things such as decrease in tardies, they are more motivated to be a part of the process.
If the building staff members are implementing PBIS with integrity, you will see results. The key is consistency. If everyone consistently follows the process, uses the data to make decisions regarding improving areas of need, implement interventions based on the identified needs then office discipline referrals will decline, suspensions will decrease and academic achievement will be gained.
Using one to two semesters to train and plan prior to implementation is an extremely wise decision. This often saves the district money and troubleshooting time. Although PBIS is an ongoing process and changes based on the needs and culture of the building, planning a head is proactive and sets the tone for a strong sustainable year of implementation. Planning ahead of time allows the district to seek funds and provide the technical and financial assistance to support the installation of all 3 tiers. It is not impossible to train and plan a few weeks before school begins. If you have a committed and enthusiastic team, you can still have a successful year. The goal is be proactive versus reactive. The team has to work to put plans in place to prevent problem behaviors while providing the rest of the building staff with the appropriate PBIS tools, feedback and updates.