Last week, I wrote about the increased emphasis the Ohio Department of Education (ODE) is placing on educating the whole child. This week, I would like to write about an initiative that began last year in our schools that focuses on helping children learn appropriate school behavior called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). PBIS is a school-wide systematic program that supports staff as they teach and promote appropriate, positive behavior in all students. Schools that implement PBIS focus on taking a team-based approach in teaching and reinforcing appropriate behavior to all students in the school. In the Huber Heights City Schools, PBIS is a district-wide initiative and is in use, or will be in use, in all of our schools.
In schools using PBIS, students learn about what behavior is appropriate, just like they learn math or science. Students are taught social skills, including how to act in different settings, such as the classroom, in the hallways or cafeteria, or on the playground with friends. They may learn through role-playing, modeling, or through actual lessons and class discussions. Teachers and other school staff at the regularly recognize and praise students for good behavior.
The purpose of PBIS is to create an environment where everyone feels welcome, promote unity, and maximize learning. In utilizing PBIS, the focus is not on responding to problems, but on preventing them. Districts and schools that have been successful in implementing PBIS have seen many benefits including an increase in student attendance and a reduction in school and classroom disruptions. The three general PBIS expectations: Be Respectful, Be Responsible and Be Safe are uniform among all of our Huber Heights City School buildings and are displayed on banners throughout each of our schools. As always, if you have questions about our schools, please contact me at the Administrative Offices (237-6300) or through e-mail at Susan.Gunnell@huberheightscityschools.org.