- The Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program, implemented at John Hartranft School in North Philadelphia in 2012, is paying off with improved attendance and school quality scores, a local news source, WHYY.org, reports.
- The PBIS program, which is now implemented in 50 elementary and middle schools in the district, rewards students for positive behavior in order to reinforce those behaviors.
- Recently, the school partnered with the Philadelphia 76ers to provide positive reinforcement activities such as meeting players and setting up basketball clinics; as a result, the team set up its own PBIS-inspired rubric called SCORE that reinforces healthy behaviors by offer team gear, autographs and parties as incentives.
The PBIS program, which receives funding from the U.S. Department of Education, has been implemented in many school settings with varying degrees of success. The premise of the model is that positive behaviors must be taught and reinforced.
However, for the model to be successful, the rewards must be consistent and must be worth the effort for students to respond. For many school districts, this presents a challenge due to funding issues. Children, especially students in the upper elementary grades and beyond, are looking for more than just stickers and gold stars.
Success of the program depends on creativity and the enlistment of community support. For instance, the St. Simons Elementary School in Brunswick, Georgia kicked off this year’s PBIS program with a sports-themed event. Community partners can provide gift cards or nights a local restaurants as rewards and local sports teams may be encouraged to provide tickets to events. Creating such partnerships takes time and effort. However, they have the added benefit of helping students understand good behavior is a community expectation, not just a school rule.