Several years ago, District 47 committed to the implementation of a District-wide student behavior system called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to establish and encourage expected behaviors, decrease inappropriate behaviors and increase time for learning.
What is PBIS?
PBIS is a proactive systematic approach designed to improve student behavior across all grade levels to help students achieve social, emotional, and academic success. Data about student behavior is collected and analyzed by a school’s PBIS team in order to respond proactively to identified areas of concern. All staff members work together to consistently teach, model, reteach, and reinforce the school behavior expectations. These expectations are used across all settings in the school, including areas like P.E., the cafeteria, the playground, the bus, and even bathrooms.
PBIS allows schools to:
Does PBIS work?
Currently, schools across District 47 are at varying levels of PBIS implementation but all have implemented or are in the process of implementing Tier 1. Through communication with school staff from various buildings, success stories have been shared about the increasing staff and student commitment as part of this process.
Bernotas Middle School language arts/social studies teacher Jennifer Campisi shared that teachers are on board and enthusiastic about the school-wide acknowledgement system in their building.
Canterbury dual language teacher Lydia Sollenberger reported that the implementation of positive behavior supports is very powerful because it allows students to take ownership and self-monitor their behavior. Moreover, she said, “It gives students the opportunity to receive acknowledgement from adults if they demonstrate the expected behavior as well as the opportunity to correct their behavior if necessary.” Since the beginning of the school year, Sollenberger says she has observed a noticeable improvement in one of her student’s behaviors and is excited about being able to further utilize the PBIS framework.
In addition, schools have cited parent involvement and support as being helpful to the implementation process. Some parents have gotten actively involved as PBIS team members while others help by using PBIS language and reinforcing the positive/expected behaviors at home. Some schools have already begun soliciting parent/guardian input of their PBIS implementation efforts to help guide and improve the process going forward.
In 2015, District 47’s PBIS implementation efforts were recognized by the Midwest PBIS Network. North Elementary was one of 216 Illinois schools to receive the silver award and Coventry and Woods Creek were two of 76 schools to receive the bronze award.
“Establishing an environment where students feel safe and cared about is critical, and this must be in place before any learning can occur,” said Matt Grubbs, Principal at Coventry Elementary. “It has been important in our implementation of PBIS to establish a positive approach utilizing a common language and set of expectations throughout the building. We’re excited to build on our positive energy this school year!”
In general, positive changes in behavior have been noted throughout the District. Students and staff enjoy and look forward to regular school-wide PBIS assemblies to celebrate their accomplishments and successes. To learn more about the impact of PBIS in District 47, click here to watch a brief video.