With many years of experience implementing PBIS in schools and classrooms, winning several PBIS awards, and seeing positive student growth as a result of the systems put in place, I can honestly say that PBIS was one of the best initiatives that my school teams implemented to promote a positive, proactive school culture. That being said, there are many common misperceptions about what PBIS actually is/does.
According to PBIS.org, “PBIS is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students.” By definition, PBIS is not a packaged curriculum, scripted intervention, or manualized strategy.
Here are a few PBIS dos and don'ts to be aware of when implementing this framework at your school.
As school leaders, we must accept that true leadership means building the capacity and empowering the people we lead. PBIS does not work if there is no team. The PBIS framework purposefully engages school stakeholders in the process of promoting positive school culture.
There are always excuses as to why we can not meet. However, PBIS team meetings, if effectively structured, are purposeful, relevant, and imperative. The continuous improvement that takes place from meeting to meeting through the lense of looking at data cannot be circumvented and must be prioritized.
If you want schoolwide support and buy-in, then you must have broad representation on your PBIS team. The team should not just consist of only school administrators. Teachers, assistants, and school support staff should be represented so your team can build champions within the school who will serve as a resource to their colleagues.
The PBIS framework involves the ongoing use and analysis of schoolwide data to make informed decisions about how to support children and families. That means data must be a part of your ongoing meetings and conversations. School teams must be able to objectively, without shame and blame, measure what is happening in schools to be able to fix it.
The process of changing a school culture takes time, patience, and consistent practice. To keep children, families, and school personnel motivated it is important that small victories are celebrated, as well as large ones. It is important to shine a light on the people, as well as the processes that are making a difference.
Remember, PBIS is not a program. PBIS is a framework that your school individualizes based on your student data and your school population’s needs. Your team creates the expectations. Your team determines how you will teach those expectations to your students. Your team creates systems that respond to the data being produced. You can go to another school to see their version of how they implement PBIS, but it will not look exactly the same in your school.
Here at Kickboard we have seen school culture transform because of effective implementations of PBIS. We also have the tools and resources to support your school team as they begin to implement PBIS as a way to promote positive school culture. Click here to learn more about how Kickboard can support PBIS in your school.