Howard J. McKibben Elementary School

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Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

What is Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports?


Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an approach to supporting students to be successful in schools.  PBIS was developed from research in the fields of behavior theory and effective instruction.  PBIS supports all students through intervention ranging from a school-wide system to a system for developing individualized plans for specific students. School-wide PBIS focuses on the development and implementation of pro-active procedures and practices to prevent problem behavior for all students and improve school climate.

McKibben’s 4 B’s:

Be Respectful              

Be Responsible       

Be Safe     

Be a Learner

Why do we have School-wide Rules?

Having a few simple, positively stated rules facilitates the teaching of behavioral expectations across school settings because students will be learning through the same language.  By focusing on 4 simple rules it is easier for students to remember.  It is also important for staff because instruction focusing on a few simple rules will improve teaching and consistency across staff through the use of a common language.

Positively stated rules are important, because research has shown that recognizing students for following the rules is even more important than catching them breaking the rules.  By stating rules positively, the hope is that staff will be more likely to use the rules to catch students engaging in the appropriate behavior.

By selecting only a few rules it is important that the rules are broad enough to talk about all potential problem behaviors.  With the rules selected, the PBIS team believes that we can then teach all specific behavioral expectations across all school setting according to these simple rules. For example:

  • Saying, “Thank you” to a classmate when they hold a door open for you is an example of Being Respectful.

  • You were Being Responsible when you asked your classmate to walk in a straight line in the hallway.

  • Putting away your equipment in the gym is an example of Being Safe because someone could trip on it and get hurt

  • You are Being a Learner by using active listening during instruction time and applying yourself during independent time.

The Behavioral Expectations Matrix (see the following pages) uses the school-wide rules to identify specific behavioral expectations across all school settings.

All staff and students in the school are expected to know the School-wide Rules.  Schools will be evaluated twice per year (Fall & Spring) to see if staff and students know the school-wide rules.  The goal is that 90 % of staff and students know the school-wide rules.  To be most effective, regular teaching using the school-wide rules should become part of the school culture.  

Acknowledgment System Overview


Why do we want to recognize expected behavior?

It is not enough just to teach expected behavior; we also need to regularly recognize and reward students for engaging in appropriate behavior.  Research has shown that recognizing students for engaging in expected behavior is even more important than catching students breaking the rules.  In fact, research on effective teaching has found that teachers should engage in a rate of 5 positive interactions with students to every 1 negative interaction (5:1 ratio). The goal of an acknowledgment system is to increase the number of positive interactions that all school staff have with students.

At McKibben Elementary we use PAWS tickets to acknowledge students for appropriate behavior.  Through this program, we hand out PAWS to students for following the school rules and for going above and beyond without being asked.  

When recognizing students with an acknowledgement (PAWS ticket), it is important to identify specifically what behavior the student engaged in and link it to the appropriate school rule.

Consequence System

Consistent and fair discipline procedures are crucial to a successful consequence system in all schools.  It is important that we are respectful of students in our disciplinary responses.  Consequences should focus on teaching, remediation, or logical consequences as much as possible.  In providing consequences, we also want to be mindful of the instructional time students are missing with the goal of minimizing the amount of instructional time missed.