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School-Wide PBIS: Middle/High Getting Started. George Sugai OSEP Center on PBIS Center for Behavioral Education & Research University of Connecticut August 12, 2008 [email protected] PURPOSE

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School wide pbis middle high getting started l.jpg

School-Wide PBIS:Middle/High Getting Started

George Sugai

OSEP Center on PBIS

Center for Behavioral Education & Research

University of Connecticut

August 12, 2008

[email protected]

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Enhance capacity of school teams to provide the best behavioral supports for all students and maximize academic & social achievement.

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  • Leadership team

  • Staff agreements

  • Working knowledge of SW-PBS practices & systems

  • Yr 1 SW-PBS individualized action plan

    • Proposal, Agreements, Team, Data

Today: Content Orientation

Tomorrow: Team Action Plan

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Getting Started - Today

  • Foundations (George)

    • Rationale, Definitions, Features

  • Practices & Systems (Charlie)

    • Teaming, agreements, data-decision making

    • Teaching & encouraging expectations

    • Discouraging rule violations

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“141 Days!”

Intermediate/senior high school with 880 students reported over 5,100 office discipline referrals in one academic year. Nearly 2/3 of students have received at least one office discipline referral.

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5100 referrals =

51,000 min @10 min =

850 hrs =

141 days @ 6 hrs

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Da place ta be”

During 4th period, in-school detention room has so many students that overflow is sent to counselor’s office. Most students have been assigned for being in hallways after the late bell.

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Four corners”

Three rival gangs are competing for “four corners.” Teachers actively avoid the area. Because of daily conflicts, vice principal has moved her desk to four corners.

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“Smoke Pit”

45 cigarette smoking violations have been reported in past month by security staff & neighbors.

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“Where ya supposed to be?

During 3rd & 6th block periods, more students are in the hallways & outside the building than in class…& neighbors are complaining!

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MS/HS worry about…

  • Low academic achievement

  • Antisocial school culture & behavior

    • Insubordination, dress code, language use, etc

    • Low attendance, tardies, substance use

    • Withdrawal, depression, emotional disturbances

    • Dropping out, substance use, delinquency

  • Graduation, careers, postsecondary

  • Social skill deficits

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SWIS summary 07-08 July 2, 20082,717 sch, 1,377,989 stds; 1,232,826 Maj ODRs

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2 Worrisome & Ineffective Responses to Problem Behavior

  • Get Tough (practices)

  • Train-&-Hope (systems)

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Worry #1:Getting Tough approach

Runyon: “I hate this f____ing school, & you’re a dumbf_____.”

Teacher: “That is disrespectful language. I’m sending you to the office so you’ll learn never to say those words again. When you’re ready to take responsibility for your actions & behave like an adult, you can be in my classroom!”

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Increasingly “aversive” reactive discipline continuum

  • Warning

  • ODR & warning

  • ODR & in-school suspension

  • ODR & out-school suspension

  • Expulsion hearing

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Get Tough Philosophy

  • Increase monitoring for future problem behavior

  • Clamp down on rule violators

  • Re-re-re-review rules & sanctions

  • Extend continuum of aversive consequences

  • Improve consistency of use of punishments

  • Establish “bottom line”

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Predictable reactive responses

When we experience aversive situation, we select interventions that produce immediate relief by

  • Removing student

  • Removing ourselves

  • Modifying physical environment

  • Assign responsibility for change to student &/or others

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System’s response…Get tougher

  • Zero tolerance policies

  • Security guards & metal detectors, & surveillance cameras

  • Student uniforms

  • Expulsion

  • Exclusionary options (e.g., alternative programs)

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But….false sense of safety & security!

  • Fosters environments of control

  • Triggers & reinforces antisocial behavior

  • Shifts accountability away from school

  • Devalues child-adult relationship

  • Weakens relationship between academic & social behavior programming

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  • Adolescents should know better…most do

  • Adolescent will “get it” & change…many do

  • Adolescents must take responsibility for own behavior….most know they should & do….appropriately & inappropriately

  • Punishment teaches right way….not really

  • Parents will take care of it…many try

  • Adolescents will learn from natural consequences….most do


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Science of behavior has taught us that students….

  • Are NOT born with “bad behaviors”

  • Do NOT learn when presented contingent aversive consequences

    ……..Do learn better ways of behaving by being taught directly & receiving positive feedback

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Pay attention to function

  • “Lantana, you skipped 2 school days, so we’re going to suspend you for 2 more.”

  • “Phloem, I’m taking your book away because you obviously aren’t ready to learn.”

  • “You want my attention?! I’ll show you attention,…let’s take a walk down to the office & have a little chat with the Principal.”

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Worry #2:“Train & Hope”

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So…How should we respond?

  • Surgeon General’s Report on Youth Violence (2001)

  • Coordinated Social Emotional & Learning (Greenberg et al., 2003)

  • Center for Study & Prevention of Violence (2006)

  • White House Conference on School Violence (2006)

  • Positive, predictable school-wide climate

  • High rates of academic & social success

  • Formal social skills instruction

  • Positive active supervision & reinforcement

  • Positive adult role models

  • Multi-component, multi-year school-family-community effort

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SW-PBS Logic!

Successful individual student behavior support is linked to host environments or school climates that are effective, efficient, relevant, & durable for all students

(Zins & Ponti, 1990)

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Supporting Social Competence &

Academic Achievement

4 PBS Elements






Staff Behavior





Student Behavior

p. 10-11

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Tertiary Prevention:



Systems for Students with High-Risk Behavior







Secondary Prevention:

Specialized Group

Systems for Students with At-Risk Behavior


Primary Prevention:


Wide Systems for

All Students,

Staff, & Settings

p. 16

~80% of Students

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p. 24-32





Action Plan



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p. 12-14








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p. 33 A


1. Common purpose & approach to discipline

2. Clear set of positive expectations & behaviors

3. Procedures for teaching expected behavior

4. Continuum of procedures for encouraging expected behavior

5. Continuum of procedures for discouraging inappropriate behavior

6. Procedures for on-going monitoring & evaluation

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p. 69


  • Positive expectations & routines taught & encouraged

  • Active supervision by all staff

    • Scan, move, interact

  • Precorrections & reminders

  • Positive reinforcement

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p. 78


  • Classroom-wide positive expectations taught & encouraged

  • Teaching classroom routines & cuestaught & encouraged

  • Ratio of 6-8 positive to 1 negative adult-student interaction

  • Active supervision

  • Redirections for minor, infrequent behavior errors

  • Frequent precorrections for chronic errors

  • Effective academic instruction & curriculum

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  • Behavioral competence at school & district levels

  • Function-based behavior support planning

  • Team- & data-based decision making

  • Comprehensive person-centered planning & wraparound processes

  • Targeted social skills & self-management instruction

  • Individualized instructional & curricular accommodations

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  • Continuum of positive behavior support for all families

  • Frequent, regular positive contacts, communications, & acknowledgements

  • Formal & active participation & involvement as equal partner

  • Access to system of integrated school & community resources