School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports at Park Forest Middle SchoolFor the 2023/2024 school year, Park Forest Middle School will be in its 9th full year of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS). SWPBIS is a proactive approach to behavior management on a school-wide level for creating and sustaining safe and effective schools. SWPBIS places emphasis on prevention of problem behavior, development of pro-social skills, and the use of data-based problem solving for addressing existing behavior concerns.
Park Forest Middle School’s PBIS Team meetings began during the 2014-2015 school year. The meetings focused on developing a system to teach students what is expected of them, to acknowledge students when expectations are met, and to have staff be consistent in correcting and acknowledging the expected student behaviors.SWPBIS methods are research-based and schools have discovered that SWPBIS:
- Addresses the behavioral needs of all students with proven, easy to implement strategies.
- Allows the school to create the “right fit” for them, so that practices are appropriate to the context and sustainable over time.
- Is doable and does not have to overwhelm staff given the limited time and resources that schools generally experience.
- Is affordable.
- Helps to create a positive school climate.
- Results in increased time for instruction and fewer disciplinary incidents.
One of the keys is to focus on prevention. It is based on the idea that when students are taught clearly defined behavioral expectations and provided with predictable responses to their behavior, both positive and corrective, 80-90% of students will meet these expectations. The 10-20% of the students not responding to universal interventions will receive additional support through group and individual interventions.
Another key element is an analysis of discipline referral data. This team-based approach to data analysis allows Park Forest Middle School’s SWPBIS Team to identify problem areas, brainstorm interventions, acknowledge students exhibiting positive behavior, and communicate the findings to staff, students, and parents.
The key components of an effective SWPBIS system involve:
- Clearly defining and teaching a set of behavioral expectations
- Consistently acknowledging appropriate behavior
- Constructively addressing problem behavior
- Effectively using behavioral data to assess progress