By Julie Bennett, Specialist, ASAPconnect
If you haven’t heard of PBIS yet, the odds are good you will soon. PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and is a framework of evidenced-based practices that are proven to improve the social culture of a school when implemented with fidelity. PBIS establishes a common purpose and approach to discipline throughout the school by establishing positive expectations for all students. These expectations are taught, practiced, modeled and reinforced by the adults working with youth. PBIS is rooted in the belief that students learn best in a physically safe, emotionally safe and well-managed learning environment.
PBIS is not a curriculum or a kit you can just pick up off a shelf; it’s a system that’s meant to be learned, implemented and taught to peers over time. Each school site has it’s own unique PBIS team composed of site-based administrators, teachers and other school staff. PBIS teams attend periodic trainings to understand different components of the PBIS framework, and meet regularly to develop and implement the framework and support other staff at their sites. PBIS teams track data to drive their decision-making and continuously improve.
More and more expanded learning professionals are hearing about PBIS as a way to improve students’ behavior. Regardless of your reasons, whether you’ve been asked to be part of the regular day’s PBIS team or if you’re interested because it’s proven to work to address behavior, you should have a good understand of PBIS before you commit to implementing.
For the past several years, PBIS researchers from the University of Connecticut were contracted by the Connecticut State Department of Education to determine which components of PBIS were proven to work in after school settings. These researchers discovered that some of the Tier 1 components, or those elements of PBIS that are proven to work with all students in a school, also work in after school settings. In 2015, ASAPconnect developed a partnership with these researchers and created a three-part training series for expanded learning professionals called PBIS in Expanded Learning. In fall 2015, ASAPconnect piloted the training with 2 district-based and 3 community-based after school program teams in Santa Clara County. (Click here to view the pilot cohort evaluations.)
If you’re interested in learning more about the PBIS in Expanded Learning, please contact Julie_Bennett@sccoe.org to see if your team/your organization might be ready to begin implementing PBIS.
Sam Piha is the founder and principal of Temescal Associates, a consulting group dedicated to building the capacity of leaders and organizations in education and youth development.