Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is a process for creating school environments that are more predictable and effective for achieving academic and social goals. For some schools, PBIS will enhance their current systems and practices, for others it will radically change the culture for the better.
A key strategy of the PBIS process is prevention. The majority of students follow the school’s expectations, but are never acknowledged for their positive behavior. Through instruction, comprehension and regular practice, all stakeholders use a consistent set of behavior expectations and rules. When some students do not respond to teaching of the behavioral rules, PBIS schools view it as an opportunity for re-teaching, not just punishment.
The PBIS model is a research based strategy that is supported by the state of North Carolina and the federal Department of Education. The 3-tiered approach reduces problem behavior as a barrier to student achievement. Public schools have 180 days each year to advance academic progress. So instructional time is very valuable. Within Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools, there are many PBIS success stories involving individual students as well as entire schools. At the district level:
PBIS school teams develop a documented discipline system that is integrated with the district’s Code of Conduct. When problem behavior occurs, students are provided with a full continuum of supports to address the behavior. If students do not respond, the intensity of the support increases. Most problem student behaviors either have an academic or social base. Properly addressing the root causes of behavior can prevent student failure later in life.
Parents are an important part of PBIS implementation. Schools encourage parents to use the same expectations and rules that the school teaches. This common language creates consistency and a unified support for expected student behavior. Parents are asked to discuss the common rules and expectations and post them at home for easy reference. Children thrive when they have consistent, predictable expectations and consequences.
The concept of PBIS has been researched in education for approximately 15 years. PBIS is based upon sound educational practices grounded in psychological and sociological theory. It was started as a joint initiative by the University of Oregon and the federal Department of Education to prevent the isolation of high school students. Currently, PBIS is implemented across the United States and in many foreign countries.