School-Wide Positive Behavior Support: Definition & Examples

Instructor: Frank Clint

Frank has been an educator for over 10 years. He has a doctorate degree in education with a concentration in curriculum and instruction.

If office referrals and misbehavior have become a problem, school-wide positive behavior support is here to rescue you! Learn about this critical process for promoting good behavior in all areas of a school.

School-Wide Positive Behavior Support

Prepare to revolutionize your entire school! Imagine stopping the causes of misbehavior before they start. That is what school-wide positive behavior support does for schools and districts. Let's define this process and look at examples of how to started implementing the process.

Definition of the Process

School-wide positive behavior support is a process that aims to change the way a school or district thinks about behavior management. Simply put, this process is about promoting positive behavior decisions in every area of a school, including common areas and classrooms.

The most common way to implement this process is to assemble a positive behavior support (PBS) team on your campus. Administrators, counselors, and teachers from both special and general education classrooms make up the team and attend several days of training with someone who is well versed in the process. School-wide positive behavior support emphasizes using data - such as referrals and attendance records - to find the root causes of misbehavior and put interventions in place to stop them. Let's dig deeper into this process and look at specific examples of how this data could lead to interventions.

Examples of the Process

The process of school-wide positive behavior support takes on many names but refers to the same approach. Here are some of the most common names you'll encounter:

  • Positive behavior support (PBS)
  • Positive interventions and supports (PBIS)
  • School-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS)
  • School-wide positive interventions and supports (SW-PBIS)

To get started, your team needs to decide on 3-5 straightforward and easy to remember behavioral expectations, otherwise known as rules, for the entire campus. Expectations should use positive wording.

For example, some schools use:

  • We will be respectful, responsible, and safe in all areas of the school.
  • Be respectful / Be safe / Be responsible
  • Respect others / Respect yourself / Respect property

These expectations can be posted in areas where your data shows students misbehave. For example, if you find that office referrals are coming from the cafeteria, you'd develop relevant lessons and expand on what it means to be respectful, responsible, and safe in the cafeteria. School-wide positive behavior support teaches behavioral expectations the same way as the core subjects. Once the expectations have been established, the team can plan the interventions that will help all students in the school.

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