Southbridge Public Schools uses a program of Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) district-wide. What exactly is PBIS and how will it help in Southbridge? Below, we answer some common questions.
What Exactly Is PBIS?
PBIS is a way of communicating what good behavior looks like, rather than focusing only on what happens when behavioral challenges arise. We all know that kids react well to clear expectations.
PBIS is flexible & it is adapted to the strengths and challenges of the places where it is used. Each school develops a specific set of expectations to suit their specific population of students.
Students experience consistency and clear expectations with successful PBIS implementation. Expectations are the same in every classroom, with every teacher.
Students receive positive feedback and rewards for behavior that reflects the positive expectations. Students who receive the positive feedback serve as an example to other students.
PBIS provides a way to help all students feel safe, supported & ready to learn. It has been shown to improve outcomes under even the most challenging circumstances.
This may seem like an obvious thing to do, but it takes a specific effort to be consistent with positive behavioral expectations. Students thrive when a consistent, positive culture is reinforced all around them.
What value does PBIS add to the district?
Together with The University of Connecticut (UConn), we are working toward making Southbridge Public Schools the national demonstration site for PBIS. This collaboration will minimize the financial burden on our district. An initial investment in training expense was covered in whole by a grant from The Health Foundation of Central Massachusetts.
The UConn partnership is guaranteed over the next five years and will remain in place regardless of any other changes in the district.
When will we return to “traditional discipline” in Southbridge Schools?
As Benjamin Franklin said, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
That sentiment is helpful in understanding PBIS. PBIS does not replace consequences for negative behavior. It is one line of defense in preventing the behavior that is addressed by “traditional discipline."
With PBIS, Every student, no matter what their background or history, is capable of positive behavior. No one is lost or beyond hope. Positive behavior is within reach.