The Pleasanton Unified School District was the recipient of a School Climate Transformation Grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS). The funds are being dispersed over the course of five years (2014-2019). Per the grant requirements, funds are being used to guide the planning and implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) at all school sites.
What is PBIS?
- PBIS stands for Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. PBIS provides a multi-tiered system of supports for school sites to organize evidence based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students.
- Evidence based features of School-Wide PBIS (SW-PBIS) include:
- Define and teach positive social expectations
- Acknowledge positive behavior
- Arrange consistent, appropriate consequences for problem behavior
- On-going collection and use of data for team based decision making
- Continuum of intensive, individual intervention supports
- Implementation of the systems that support effective practices
- Research has demonstrated that the social culture of a school matters.
- The fundamental purpose of PBIS is to make schools more effective and equitable learning environments. We do this by making school environments 1) Predictable 2) Consistent 3) Positive and 4) Safe
- Schools should provide a continuum of supports that begins with the whole school and extends to intensive, wraparound supports for individual students and their families.
- Implementing School-Wide PBIS has led to a:
- Reduction in problem behavior
- Increased academic performance
- Increased attendance
- Improved social emotional competence
- Improved perception of safety
- Reduction in bullying behaviors
- Improved organizational efficiency
- Reduction in staff turnover
- Increased perception of teacher efficacy
- Research articles, additional resources and information regarding PBIS can be found at PBIS.org and APBS.org
Goals from PUSD's grant include:
- Enhancing school cultures with equal access and treatment for all students
- Investing in prevention first, and then providing multiple tiers of support with increases in intensity of research based practices
- Providing common social and emotional development of all students at the elementary school level
- Reducing office discipline referrals (ODR's) and student suspension and expulsion rates
- Increasing student attendance rates
Scope and Sequence of Work
The 2014-15 school year was designated as a planning year for training and implementation of Tier one interventions for elementary schools in the following year. Activities involved in planning included the hiring of grant-funded personnel including a PBIS Coordinator, and two School Social Workers, as well as developing two district level PBIS teams. The PBIS Implementation team, and PBIS District Leadership Team. These teams met monthly to review the PBIS implementation blueprint and develop plans for the 2015-16 school year.
The 2015-16 school year has included the development of PBIS site teams at each of our nine elementary schools. Team members meet monthly at their respective school sites and also participate in four training sessions throughout the school year. These sessions assist in developing School-Wide PBIS Tier one systems and interventions. Systems include:
- Establishing 3-5 positively stated school rules
- Directly teaching the school rules across multiple environments (classroom, library, playground, restrooms, cafeteria, etc.)
- Development of an acknowledgement and reward system
- Clearly defining consequences and procedures to reduce ambiguity
- Compiling the year's work into a site based PBIS handbook for sustainability
Once in place, school site teams focus on reviewing patterns and trends of school-wide student behavior. Proactive and preventative approaches are then discussed, and actions plans for supporting students with their social, emotional and academic success are developed.
The 2015-16 school year also serves as a planning year for the secondary schools (middle and high schools). Training and implementation of Tier one interventions with site based teams for all six secondary schools will occur during the 2016-17 school year.
District level implementation and leadership teams continue to meet regularly to discuss systemic PBIS implementation.