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Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

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Dr. Ross Greene, author of Lost at School, describes the challenges we face due to the impact of negative behavior on learning in our schools:

“The wasted human potential is tragic. In so many schools, kids with social, emotional, and behavioral challenges are still poorly understood and treated in a way that is completely at odds with what is now known about how they came to be challenging in the first place. The frustration and desperation felt by teachers and parents is palpable. Many teachers continue to experience enormous stress related to classroom behavior problems and from dealing with parents, and do not receive the support they need to help their challenging students. Parents know there’s trouble at school, know they’re being blamed, feel their kids are being misunderstood and mistreated, but feel powerless to make things better and are discouraged and put off by their interactions with school personnel.

School discipline is broken. Not surprisingly, tightening the vise grip hasn’t worked….yet public elementary and secondary schools in the United States continue to dole out a whopping 110,000 expulsions and 3 million suspensions each year, along with countless tens of millions of detentions.”

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a broad range of systemic and individualized strategies for achieving important social and learning outcomes while preventing problem behavior with all students. As such, PBIS is a decision-making framework for selecting and utilizing the best and most appropriate academic and behavioral practices to ensure improved student performance and learning.

The focus of PBIS is on prevention, as it is a system that minimizes behavioral problems and increases the amount of time for students to concentrate on academics. This proactive framework embraces big ideas, outlines a rationale and context, and contains features for achieving safe, caring, and effective schools for all students. The strategies of PBIS, when properly applied, can go a long way in alleviating the problems highlighted by Dr. Greene.

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