Positive Behavior Intervention System (PBIS)

  • What is PBIS?

    In the past, schoolwide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behavior is an important step of a student's educational experience. Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur before responding. The purpose of schoolwide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

    PBIS is a process for creating safer and more effective schools. It is a systems approach to enhancing the capacity of schools to educate all children by developing research-based, school-wide, and classroom behavior support systems. The process focuses on improving a school’s ability to teach and support positive behavior for all students. Rather than a prescribed program, PBIS provides systems for schools to design, implement, and evaluate effective school-wide, classroom, non-classroom, and student specific plans. PBIS includes school-wide procedures and processes intended for all students and all staff in all settings. PBIS is not a program or a curriculum. It is a team-based process for systemic problem solving, planning, and evaluation. It is an approach to creating a safe and productive learning environment where teachers can teach and all students can learn.

    As part of our PBIS process, teachers and other staff members use evidence-based practices to increase student learning and decrease classroom disruptions. To keep students following rules in a positive manner, we do the following when teaching academics and behavior:

    • Constantly teach and refer to our school-wide expectations.
    • Provide students with more praise than correction.
    • Talk to students with respect using positive voice tone.
    • Actively engage everyone in the class during instruction.
    • Use pre-correcting, prompting, and redirecting as we teach.
    • Look for the positive first and provide positive, immediate, frequent, and explicit feedback.

    We also have a school-wide system of reporting consequences:

    - Verbal Warning

    - Documented Warning (Uh-oh) for minor behavior referrals

    Uh-Oh’s are a school-wide reporting system for minor behavior infractions at Westridge Elementary.  We use them as a staff to help support safe-learning environments and as a way to track minor behavior infractions. This allows us as a staff to be responsive to areas of demonstrated need, and reteach appropriate behavior expectations. When a child receives a minor behavior referral, the classroom teacher receives a copy as well as the principal. In the event a student demonstrates a repeated pattern of behavior, parents may be notified.

    - Documented referral for major infractions (principal, teacher, and parent will be informed)

    Expectation Stations

    Throughout the year our school community gathers together to learn the behavior expectations of the school. Teachers and students rotate through the various areas of our school to review and practice a quick list of expected behaviors about that location. Students review the expectations at our arrival and dismissal points, bathrooms, drinking fountains, lunch drop & compost, playground, and hallways. We want students to feel successful when they travel about the building. This event is a great way to build community with the students and support positive behavior in our school and is repeated after winter break, and after spring break.


    If you have questions about Positive Behavior Support, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher. We look forward to a wonderful year of teaching your child.