Skip to main content

Introduction to AUSD's PBIS Programs

Poster showing 4 Bs from Maya Lin School

The goal of School-Wide PBIS is a school environment that is safe, predictable, inclusive, and welcoming for students and families. 

PBIS Benefits

Research has shown that the benefits of PBIS include:

  • Increased attendance
  • Student self-reports of a more positive and calm environment
  • Teacher reports of a more positive and calm environment
  • Reduction in the percentage of students who engage in behavioral disruptions
  • Reduction in the number of behavioral disruptions

In 2012,  AUSD began implementing a Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) Program in our school sites. PBIS is a proactive and school-wide approach to defining, teaching and supporting appropriate student behavior.  It emphasizes acknowledging and directly teaching appropriate behavior over punishing.  It also provides a continuum of supports for students who struggle to meet the school expectations"


PBIS is generally implemented as a schoolwide program, so that students learn that the same behavioral expectations apply to every classroom, as well as areas outside the classrooms (including the hallways, cafeteria, restrooms, and outside spaces). That way all students are receiving the same guidelines, the same consequences, and the same supports. That kind of consistency and clarity has been shown to help students learn.

Lincoln Lions 4 Bs

pbis elements

Not every school site’s PBIS program is the same. But all robust PBIS programs consist of:


Clearly defined school-wide expectations

A small number of clearly defined behavioral expectations are communicated to students in positive terms. Each school develops its own expectations, such as Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be an Ally. The expectations are reinforced school wide via the use of regular lessons in classrooms, posters, videos, and assemblies.  


Explicit teaching on the expectations

Teachers and staff clearly and consistently explain the behavioral expectations for various settings. A behavioral expectation for a cafeteria might be "clean up your area," for instance, while an expectation for the playground might be, "take turns."  The behaviors are taught to all of the students in the school through direct teaching in the classroom and across other areas on campus.


Acknowledgment of appropriate behaviors

Teachers and staff acknowledge appropriate behavior and efforts when they see them.  A specific verbal acknowledgment ("great job cleaning up the block area!") may be paired with giving an acknowledgment ticket.  Each school has its own ticket that reflects their school expectations and mascot. Examples include Star Cards from Ruby Bridges; Otter Cards from Edison; RISE awards from ASTI; and Hoot Hoot Hoorays from Otis.  The tickets are turned into the teacher or front office for a chance to win a larger award or activity prize.


Data collection 

Office discipline and low-level (minor) discipline data are collected on school-wide behavior. The school's PBIS team reviews the data regularly to look for patterns that indicate a need for re-teaching expectations. 


Individual support where needed

Each site has a Coordination of Services (COS) Team that meets regularly and connects students with appropriate interventions in any area of need (e.g., behavior, academics, attendance, health, and social-emotional).  Parents are engaged as active partners to ensure that the best plan is created to foster student success.


Active support by all stakeholders

In the most successful implementations of PBIS, the entire school community - including all teachers, staff, students, and families - understand, support,  and participate in the PBIS. The goal of school-wide PBIS is a school environment that is safe, predictable, inclusive and welcoming for students and families.

PBIS Contacts

Cassie Ferguson

Program Manager, Student Services

(510) 337-7135


PBIS Leads at school sites:

Bay Farm - Connie Li

Earhart - 

Edison - Lisa Lee

Franklin - Martha Zenk

Love - Sherry Rouse

Maya Lin - Anne Levy

Otis - Lisa Holt

Paden - Amy Carlson and Betsy Weiss

Ruby Bridges - Brian Cooper

Wood MS - 

Lincoln MS - Regina Sorey

Island HS - Amanda Wong

ASTI - Amanda Wong

Alameda HS - Jessica Downs

Encinal Jr./Sr. HS - Laura Nielsen

A Three-Tiered Approach
Triangle of intervention

The PBIS framework incorporates three tiers.


Tier 1/Universal Support: This is the training that all students in all settings receive on the behavioral expectations and climate of their school.


Tier 2/Selected: About 10-20% of a school's students may need more focused support via, for example, social skills groups, daily check-ins with an adult, or behavioral interventions in the classroom.


Tier 3/Targeted Intensive: Some 3 to 5% of a school's students may need individualized behavioral interventions with, for instanced, a psychologist or behavioral interventionist.


Haight Elementary 4 B's
Love (originally Haight) Elementary School's "4 Be's"