Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS)

Tier 1 at Farnsworth - including expectations and behavior matrix

In the first tier, behavioral expectations are established and taught to all students. In the second tier, students needing additional support are offered group level interventions. Students needing significant support for behavioral challenges are provided evidence-based interventions tailored specifically to their needs in the third tier.

Tier 1 supports are intended for all students in the school. The core components of prevention include setting clear behavioral expectations, creating an acknowledgement system to reinforce desired behaviors, and developing a system for addressing misbehavior. A PBIS school will have a Universal Building Team that guides the school in implementing PBIS to fidelity.

Creating clear expectations is the first step in developing a school-wide PBIS program. The Universal System consists of rules, routines, and physical arrangements that are developed and taught by school staff to prevent problem behavior. Research indicates that 3-5 behavioral expectations that are positively stated, easy to remember, and significant to the individual school are best. A visitor should be able to walk into the school and ask ten random students to name their school’s behavioral expectations and at least 80% of the students should be able to state what they are and give examples of what they look like in action.

A school-wide matrix lists the general behavioral expectations and specific expectations for various settings within the school. The settings chose for the matrix are areas where the behaviors can be taught, modeled, practiced, and observed. The matrix provides a clear visual of all school-wide behavioral rules/expectations.

It is necessary to teach the school-wide expected behaviors to all students. Practices include:

  • Kick-Off and Booster Events: The Universal Building Team designs kickoff and booster events to teach the expected behaviors to students, staff, and families.
  • Cool Tool Lessons: Another method used to teach appropriate behavioral actions are Cool Tool Lessons. These are behavioral lesson plans that define, teach, model, and practice desirable behaviors.
  • Assemblies: All-school assemblies help improve the school climate by reinforcing behavioral expectations and celebrating the positive school community.
  • An Acknowledgment System: An acknowledgment system is a systematic approach for observing and reinforcing expected behaviors. The system provides immediate (high-frequency), intermittent (unpredictable), and long-term (quarterly) ways of acknowledging desirable behaviors.
  • System for Managing Misbehavior: PBIS schools have a system in place for addressing misbehavior. Having a school-wide system provides accurate monitoring of behavior and consistent interventions for misbehavior.
    • Re-Teaching: Re-teaching students the appropriate behaviors is an efficient and effective way of encouraging positive behaviors. Immediate re-teaching requires a staff member to interrupt the undesired behavior, define and model the replacement behavior, and have the student practice it. After a student models the appropriate behavior, positive reinforcement increases the change of the appropriate behavior continuing.
    • Office Discipline Referral: Office discipline referrals monitor problem behaviors. Minor behaviors are teacher-managed behaviors. This means that the teacher intervenes by following the process that buildings have determined. Major problem behaviors are office-managed behaviors. This means that the administrator intervenes by following the process that the building has determined.

Primary Prevention is effective for at least 80% of all students in a given school. But obviously, no intervention works across the board for all students. For a variety of reasons, some students do not respond to the kinds of efforts that make up Primary Prevention, just as some children do not respond to initial teaching of academic subjects. Some children need additional support to encourage positive behaviors. Those students may receive tier 2 (secondary) interventions and supports.