Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports


PBIS: A Proactive, Preventative, Supportive Approach to
Behavior & Character Development

At ASA we believe that all things are possible through Christ, so when we address the question “How might we positively approach matters of character development, behavior expectations and discipline in our school?” we naturally tend towards interventions and supports that mirror the teachings, mercy and compassion offered to us by Christ.

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a framework for assisting schools with establishing evidence-based behavioral interventions as a whole community expectation to enhance academic and social behavior outcomes for all students. Research-based practices such as social skills introduction, positive behavior reinforcement, behavior contracting and an emphasis on student self-management are integral components of the PBIS framework.

To begin designing a PBIS model a school will develop 3-5 community expectations that are clear, concise, and positively stated. Reinforcements are then established for adhering to these, and interventions or consequences are defined for breaking expectations. Instructional activities are designed and implemented to teach the necessary behavior and empower students to take responsibility for their choices. The aim is to:
  • Acknowledge and encourage positive behaviors with reinforcements
  • Prevent negative behavior when possible
  • Identify the function of negative behavior and develop support systems that will have the opposite effect so they do not continue
Supports and systems necessary for PBIS include: team-based leadership, data-based decision making, active supervision and monitoring of student behavior, regular universal screening and effective ongoing professional development.

Teaching-oriented, positive and preventative strategies are emphasized for all students to the greatest extent possible with a PBIS approach to behavior. Most students will be successful in a positive school culture with informative, corrective feedback and practice of pro-social skills. When student behavior is periodically unresponsive to PBIS, data about the student’s behavior is used to understand the function of the problem, provide alternative behavior options, remove the factors that trigger the problem, and provide reinforcement for acceptable alternative behavior choices.
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Student created, positively stated expectation poster for the 4th grade classrooms. 
In the 2016-2017 school year the All Saints Academy staff began a series of professional development training days, working with the Notre Dame Program for Inclusive Education, to develop a PBIS framework for ASA. Work started with building teams defining a set of positively stated expectations for each campus.

At the elementary campus, the expectations were defined as: Be Safe, Be Kind, Be Fair.

Staff began posting these 3 key phrases around the elementary building and working them into daily conversation this past school year.

At the middle school, teachers are doing a little more work to articulate building expectations. At the start of the 2017-2018 school year expectation for the middle school with be introduced with the phrase “Be like CHRIST.” Meaning that the middle school expectations are to: Communicate, (Honoring all with) Respect, Integrity, and Self conTrol.

For both buildings these expectations will be expanded on, further defined, talked about and implemented with more depth within each classroom or common area as the needs of the age group and the learning that happens in that space dictate.

At both campuses this past year you might have seen or heard about our common school wide Voice Level expectation. Depending on the learning situation students are told which voice level is expected:
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Throughout the 2016-2017 school year also, ASA staff began slowly implementing some of the PBIS reinforcement strategies developed for our school community. You may have heard about elementary students celebrating kind and fair behavior at lunchtime with a special movie. At the middle school, students and staff tracked examples of leadership with a Leader board and gave each other Eagle Pride shout-outs to celebrate shining examples of respect and integrity.

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As we get ready for the 2017-2018 school year the All Saints Academy staff will again participate in collaborative work to continue developing our positive behavior supports at ASA. This year our focus will be on the direct connection between academics and behavior. This multi-tiered system of support links the preventative school discipline of PBIS with effective academic instruction, in a positive and safe school culture, to maximize student success. Work will center around designing systems, as well as activities and instruction to support growth for all learners, because at ASA we also believe that we can all grow! Look for more information throughout the school year as we continue to develop and implement PBIS.

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