Whittier Elementary is a PBIS School!
What is PBIS? It began in 1997 when an amendment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) included the language, “Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports,” which described methods to identify and support desired behaviors in the school setting. PBIS seeks to reduce or eliminate challenging behaviors schoolwide through the encouragement of positive behaviors. It provides a framework to help ensure schools are safe places to learn, work and grow together.
Nationally, thousands of schools have adopted PBIS practices and have seen an increase in positive behaviors and a decrease in office referrals and challenging behaviors. Everett Public Schools has worked for several years to personalize a framework that works in our schools, with our students and our families. Specific practices, strategies, or rewards may be different in different schools and at different grade levels, but the goal is the same. Our schools should be safe places in which students can learn and grow together to become successful, responsible leaders of the future.
Key components of the schoolwide PBIS approach at Whittier Elementary are well defined behavior expectations paired with thoughtful reinforcement. We recognize that students can only meet behavior expectations if they know and understand what the expectations are. In our school, students are taught what positive behavior looks like in all settings – in the classroom, in the hallways, on the school bus, in the lunchroom. Students learn and practice the skills needed for positive behavior, just as they learn and practice skills and strategies for math, science and reading. In our school hallways and classrooms, you will see brightly colored signs calling out positive behaviors that reflect “The Whittier Way” – Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Your Best.
How does PBIS work? PBIS sets up three tiers of support for students and staff at school:
Tier 1 is when students and staff learn basic behavior expectations – for example being respectful and kind to each other. Good behavior is called out and recognized frequently. Support for “doing the right thing” is positive.
Tier 2 is an extra layer of support for students who might struggle to understand or consistently do “the right thing.” These students might get specific instruction to develop skills in their challenge areas as a support strategy.
Tier 3 is the most intensive level. Students and families in this level work with school staff on specific, individualized services to overcome behavior issues.
PBIS approaches help make Whittier a welcoming place for each student’s learning, social development and life-long success. Parents and families are an important part of PBIS success at school. We encourage parents to ask your student about the Whittier Way!