What is PBIS?

"PBIS is an evidence-based approach that focuses on preventing challenging behavior through the implementation of positive, proactive strategies throughout the entire school. It teaches pro-social behaviors, recognizes students who exhibit expected behavior, and changes the environment so it supports positive behavior and creates safe, learning communities." (Janney, 2008)

One of the foremost advances in school-wide discipline is the emphasis on school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Instead of using a piecemeal approach of individual behavioral management plans, a continuum of positive behavior support for all students within a school is implemented in areas including the classroom and non-classroom settings (such as hallways, buses, and restrooms). Positive behavior support is an application of a behaviorally based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs.

What Makes PBIS Different?

In the past, school-wide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behavior is an important step of a student's educational experience. Teaching behavioral expectations and rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than responding after misbehavior has occurred. The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

The staff of Desert Shadows has developed a PBIS Chart of Behavioral Expectations, with a focus on expectations in the classroom, walkways, playground and cafeteria.

What are Jawsome Cards?

Students are rewarded with a Jawsome Card when caught following these expectations and a portion of the card is placed into a collection container in the child's classroom. Once a week, all those stubs are turned into the front office, and collected by grade level. Names are pulled from each grade level on a weekly basis and those children are awarded a prize. At the end of each quarter, all students that were awarded a Jawsome Card during that same quarter are entered into a drawing for a larger prize.