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What is PBIS?

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive approach that schools use to promote positive behavior. The focus of PBIS is support, teaching of expected behaviors, prevention, and avoiding punishment.

It’s not unusual for students to struggle with behavior in school, especially when they’re not sure what’s expected of them. If a school reacts only with punishment, students don’t learn the skills they need to make positive changes in the future. That’s where positive behavioral interventions and support (PBIS) comes in.  

At its heart, PBIS calls on schools to teach students positive behavior strategies, just as they would teach about any other subject—like reading or math. In these schools, all students learn about behavior, including those with IEPs and 504 plans.

PBIS recognizes that students can meet behavioral expectations if they know what the expectations are. Everyone learns what’s considered to be appropriate behavior and uses a common language to talk about it. Throughout the school day—in class, at lunch, and on the bus—students understand what’s expected of them.

At Montague PBIS has a few important guiding principles:
Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible
Students can learn behavioral expectations for different situations and locations. Students learn expected behaviors for each school setting through explicit instruction and opportunities to practice and receive feedback. Each student is different, so schools need to give many kinds of behavior support.School staff members are consistent in how they encourage expected behaviors.

How PBIS Works:
PBIS program is set up in three tiers of support for students and staff.

Tier 1 is a schoolwide, universal system for everyone in a school. Students learn basic behavioral expectations, like how to be respectful and kind. School staff members regularly recognize and praise students for good behavior. They may also use small rewards, like tokens or prizes, to recognize when students meet the expectations.

Tier 2 provides an extra layer of support for students who continue to struggle with behavior. The school gives those students evidence-based interventions and instruction. For example, some students struggle with social interactions. A Tier 2 strategy might be providing counseling and other support to help students better understand how to read and react to situations.

Tier 3 is the most intensive level. It’s for students who need individualized supports and services because of ongoing behavioral concerns.

In a school that uses traditional discipline, teachers may try to correct behavior through punishment. At Montague through PBIS we handle this differently. With PBIS, the school looks at behavior as a form of communication and our staff and support teams implement a variety of tools to teach students expected behaviors in a variety of settings with outcomes that are positive and have life-long learning effects for the better.

PBIS and Token Rewards
PBIS allows schools to use reward token rewards for meeting behavior expectations through positive reinforcement of expected behaviors. At Montague we use Marvelous Mustang Tickets to reward positive behaviors. Students in turn use these tickets to redeem a variety of different incentives and activities.