PBIS in the Sun Prairie Schools


PBIS is all the rage in school districts across the country. No…Sun Prairie didn’t just dream this up all by themselves. What, exactly, is PBIS? PBIS stands for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. It’s an offshoot of the IDEA program (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act). You may see/hear it as SWPBS (School-wide Positive Behavior Supports). In a nutshell, PBIS is a system of behavior modification, with three stages of intervention.
Primary intervention is targeted to all students and is s system designed to clearly identify which behaviors are acceptable and which are not. Exhibiting positive behavior is rewarded in some fashion. In theory, about 80-85% of students respond to this primary level of intervention. The overall target is to develop a system in which positive reinforcements (for “acceptable/desired” behaviors) outnumber negative reinforcements (for unacceptable behaviors) by about 4:1. In this way, kids overwhelmingly see that “being good” is the place to be. You get rewards.
PBIS extends further to the 2nd tier, kids that do not respond well to these primary tactics. These kids represent about 10-15% of the population and are those that potentially are at risk for “failure”, or at the very least not realizing their academic potential. This group, however is not in need of individualized attention, but rather is targeted in small groups (a modernized form of “group” therapy). The third tier, which includes about 5-10% of students, covers those students who require individualized attention to develop positive behaviors and squelch those behaviors which are not acceptable.