Monday, June 15, 2015

Postive Behavior Interventions and Supports

The Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) initiative has been a part of the CAM CSD since 2002.  Having been one of the original three districts in the state of Iowa to receive a grant to establish PBIS, it's been an important part of our character and behavior plan in all of our buildings.  CAM High School as begun the process of re-training staff and re-implementation of all three tier levels of the PBIS program.

PBIS is set up as a multi-tiered system of support for behaviors, both good and bad, and a team from the high school attended "Tier I" training during the 2014-2015 school year and a second team will attend "Tier II" training in 2015-2016.  "Tier III" training will be held in the future, possibly the year after Tier II training is completed.


Tier I addresses the needs of 80% of the student body, the main feature is teaching and communicating the expectations of behavior to the students in a constant manner and vocabulary.  Staff and students go through, what many of us consider obvious, standards of behavior in the classroom, lunchroom, gym/locker rooms, bathrooms, hallways, music events and athletic contests.  Signs are posted, expectations or listed in programs and each building spends time 2-4 times a year teaching and re-teaching the expectations of behavior.
A second feature of PBIS Tier I is communicating a continuum of "consequences" for both GOOD behavior and problem behavior.  Everyone is used to punishments, but a big component of PBIS is establishing a ratio of 5 good consequences delivered by staff to every one bad consequence.  The Tier I team helps coach the entire faculty on the delivering of these consequences and staff are to keep the ratio of 5-1 in mind as they go through their teaching day.  Coupons are given to a randomly determined set of students from the students acknowledged for meeting expectations in any setting.  Prizes and privileges are then selected by the students, drawn by faculty or recognized by the Tier I team for those receiving coupons.

Much of the focus of Tier I are the rewards and the need and purpose of giving coupons for expected behavior.  Like everything in PBIS it has been designed around best practice interventions backed by data.  Click on the link below and check out how giving rewards, or "extrinsic" motivation actually helps develop intrinsic motivation.

The Tier I team will look at reteaching expectations during the year, set up "boosters" that are group rewards for students doing good things over a set-period of time and monitoring all data surrounding the good and bad behaviors happening in the school.

 Tier I is not all rewards and pats on the back, the continuum of consequences for problem behavior is used to collect data and decisions are made for addressing problems.  Since Tier I deals universally with 80% of the students, broad synthesis of the data happens, looking at locations, tendencies and a large scale interventions are established.  

Tier II

Components of Tier II are in place at CAM High School, including the "Room of Opportunity" or ROO, a place where minor problem behavior situations are dealt with rather than the Principal's Office.  Tier II interventions target 10-15% of the student body, those individual students who through data collection and analysis from the Tier I team are identified as needing support.  Many of our at-risk population are served in this room with study halls and support and the ROO working with the building's at-risk coordinator Rex Mehrhoff.  If a student is not responding to the teacher he/she will be asked to go to the ROO so that the learning environment in the classroom is maintained and the student has an "opportunity" to think through what happened, cool down, or just given time to process next steps.

The referral sheets completed by teachers for student problem behavior is very detailed and thought out.  This is used to collect more data on students exhibiting problem behavior for the Tier II team to look at and analyze and come up with individual interventions.  There are several new interventions that the team will learn about in this year's training that are new to PBIS since CAM was trained previously.  We'll look forward to reporting on those as they are implemented.

For the Adults too

While a frequently asked question about the reward system is - "Why do we acknowledge the expected?" - there are many sides to the answer.  One part is the fact that as teachers, administrators, and other staff we too need reminded what the expectation is and to identify and acknowledge those who are meeting the expectation.  We're always identifying the problem behaviors and giving attention to those instead of the obvious good behavior.  We need to continually give students a reason to meet expectations by simply engaging them when it happens.  Simple enough, but too often we forget to, or don't because this is what the students should be doing.

It also gives us a common language when dealing with behaviors and establishes a baseline of consistency in which we can then individualize to fit our classrooms and other areas of the school.  Lastly the data piece, probably the most important, allows us to be purposeful about our decision making process allocating time and resources to the most needed areas.

Look for more PBIS information in the near future!