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PBIS Support for Schools

Staff Development:

Systems Training – The district offers on-going staff development through training sessions focusing on increasing the capacity of schools to provide school wide Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports. All school teams spend the first one or two years developing and implementing school-wide systems. After that teams can choose to work in areas such as supported implementation, classroom systems and individual student systems. The content of these training strands is updated yearly to reflect training evaluation input and the latest research on Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports. Some trainings are on-site, others at a central location; some require release time, others are outside of the school day. The trainings are led by the 4J PBIS Coordinator often in partnership with coordinators of Lane ESD, Bethel and Springfield and participation by University of Oregon staff and graduate students, district staff, and staff from PBIS schools.

Our current emphasis is on Individual Student Systems. In this strand staff members willing and able to learn to do Functional Behavior Assessments and to take a leadership role in developing and implementing Behavior Support Plans in their buildings learn the skills to do so. They meet monthly for training and case support sessions that are closely tied to the district process for dealing with requests for assistance from schools.

Support for PBIS Teams –

Coaching and Consultation – Whenever possible, a coach with experience in developing and implementing PBIS systems is assigned to each team for its first two years. After that coaches are assigned as needed if they are available. Coaches, who come from the ranks of School Psychologists, the PBIS Coordinator, UO graduate students and others, volunteer their time and efforts. Consultation with the district’s PBIS Coordinator or UO PBIS experts is available on request. Often the coordinator is asked to attend a team meeting to help deal with a problem or interpret data.
Financial Support – Funds, when available, are provided to PBIS schools to help them implement their action plans. They use the money for planning time, extra training, extended contracts for summer work, printing of posters and signs, acknowledgement incentives, printing forms and pads, planning retreats, etc.
New Member Support – Each year new members of teams are invited to an introductory session to help them get up to speed on PBIS and the process each school has gone through to develop and implement systems.
Principal Support – Most principals of PBIS schools tell us that PBIS, with its emphasis on prevention and positive support for student behavior, reduces their discipline burdens. However, since the active participation and support of the principal is essential to effective behavior systems, they must give a high priority to spending their high-demand time attending PBIS meetings. The PBIS Coordinator and UO PBIS experts are eager to consult with principals new to established PBIS schools, wanting to establish programs or experiencing difficulties with their school’s implementations.

PBIS Team Facilitator Support – The school’s PBIS team facilitator is the key person in a successful behavior system implementation. These volunteers provide the leadership that makes sure that regular meetings are held, trainings are attended, tasks are accomplished, stakeholders are informed and consulted, the budget is well used, data is collected and reported, and more. Delegation of tasks is important if they are to avoid burnout. It is a demanding leadership role that is often under-appreciated but is vital to the school.

Team facilitators tell us that they are willing to do the job because they see the need for a systematic approach to behavior and either want to be involved in leading the effort or nobody else will do it. In either case, their belief that PBIS will make a positive difference gives them a good chance to succeed in the role. If, on the other hand, the facilitatorship is assigned to an unwilling or uninterested staff member, success is unlikely.

Facilitators in 4J do receive a small stipend as a token of appreciation for their work. They attend regular team facilitator meetings to share their successes, challenges and ideas with other facilitators, to get updates on the project, hear about upcoming tasks and turn in completed surveys and reports. At the meetings each school receives its own task checklist (example below) and also fills out a status report (also below). The School Status Report gives the PBIS Coordinator information on how to adjust trainings and which teams may need some extra attention.

PBIS Support for Social Skills Instruction –

PBIS helps schools develop systems that give students clear expectations and predictable consequences. The emphasis is on teaching (and re-teaching when necessary). While learning to observe the behavioral expectations is vital to the mission of schools, such learning can be rote in nature and thus have little impact on the emotional growth of students. So teachers help students develop emotionally through class meetings, discussions of literature and current events and direct instruction of social skills. Although there are many good social skills curricula available, in 4J we’ve selected the programs described below to support. For grade level descriptions, sources of materials and recommendations see the 4J Social Skills webpage.

Second Step
– Published by Committee for Children in Seattle, Second Step has become an important complement to school-wide behavior systems in most PBIS schools. The Pre-K through grade 8 curriculum uses picture cards, role plays, video and other means to assist teachers in giving instruction in empathy, impulse control, problem solving and anger management. The emphasis is on transfer of training to real life. The PBIS project has provided kits and trained staffs to teach the curriculum and to use the skills school-wide to help students have positive healthy relationships with their peers. 23 4J schools have been trained and have implemented Second Step to date. Five 4J employees are certified trainers.

Steps to Respect – Steps to Respect, Committee for Children’s most recent offering, focuses on bullying and harassment. Schools implementing Steps to Respect will have all staff members trained to receive and deal with student reports of bullying and harassment. They will take steps to be sure the reporter will be safe from further harassment or retaliation for reporting and they will place the matter in the hands of trained coaches. The coaches will interview each of the children separately to help them develop the skills needed to stop the harassment and to make agreements for future interactions. 4J is piloting the reporting/coaching model in 13 volunteer schools in 2002-03. District PBIS is providing the materials and training with the support of the Superintendent’s office and the 4J Equity Committee which feel is system provides a non-punitive way to help curtail harassment.

There is also an excellent curriculum component to Steps to Respect. Many schools in the pilot as well as other interested schools have purchased or are planning to purchase the kits. In 4J Level 1 will be taught in 3rd or 4th grade, Level 2 in 4th or 5th, and Level 3 in 6th grade.

First Steps to Success – First Steps to Success is an early intervention program for grades K-3 and was developed at the University of Oregon with support of the Eugene School District. This program aids children in getting off to the best start possible in their school career by teaching them: (1) to get along with teachers and peers; and (2) to engage in schoolwork in an appropriate manner. Bruce Stiller, a 4J school psychologist coordinates this excellent program. PBIS benefits from First Steps and Bruce serves on our Leadership Council but Bruce and his colleagues at UO do all of the training.