I keep hearing about "PBIS" at Converse. What does this mean?
PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. It aims to prevent inappropriate behavior through teaching and reinforcing appropriate behaviors. PBIS addresses the systems in place for the school as a whole, establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional, and academic success.
The foundation for PBIS is having clear expectations for behaviors that are taught, modeled, and rewarded across all settings by all staff. More intensive supports are available for students who need additional intervention.
Why do these expectations need to be taught? Shouldn't kids just do what's right?
Students come to school with widely differing understandings of what is socially acceptable. Traditional approaches to behavior often respond with punishment or consequences, under the assumption that children should have already mastered good behavior. These types of approaches often don't work well on their own, especially when different expectations of correct and incorrect behavior exist between the home and school environments.
How does PBIS offer positive support for students?
As mentioned earlier, a key component of PBIS is having clear expectations of behavior. At Converse, these expectations are:
- Be respectful
- Be responsible
- Be safe
The school's behavior matrix allows us to be more specific with students about what these behaviors look like in different settings. The expectations are reinforced throughout the school with posters.
Other behavioral supports that all our students receive are Cool Tools and Second Step lessons. Cool Tools are the lesson plans used to teach the behavioral expectations that have been laid out in Converse's matrix. They provide students with opportunities to discuss, do activities, and role-play in order to learn the behaviors that are needed throughout the school setting. Second Step is our universal guidance curriculum that teaches social-emotional skills aimed at reducing impulsive and aggressive behavior while increasing social competence. Lessons are taught weekly by classroom teachers in order to increase consistency in the language used at school, reinforcement of the skills taught, and generalization of lesson content throughout various situations and settings.
PBIS also ensures that rewards are in place for students who are doing the right thing. This includes classroom behavior charts, charm necklaces, ...
What can I do to support my child's social, emotional, and behavioral success at school?
- Talk with your child about the behavioral expectations at school. How are they the same as home? How are they different?
- Try to incorporate some of the strategies taught through Second Step into your discussions with your child, whether you're helping them calm down when they're upset or problem-solving an argument with a friend.
- Ask about what your child is learning at school, both academically and during Second Step lessons.
- Stay on the same page with your child's teacher. Communicate about what color your child is ending his or her day on. Provide rewards or consequences at home to reinforce what school staff are doing to address behavior. See your child's teacher or Converse's student services staff for additional ideas or support.
- See the page on "Converse PBIS Materials" for additional information.