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Introduction to AUSD's PBIS Programs

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Haight Elementary 4 B's
Haight Elementary School's "4 Be's"

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 systematic approach to teaching students about behavioral expectations. It emphasizes rewarding good behavior over punishing misbehavior. It also provides support and consistenty for students who struggle with meeting these 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 posters, videos, and reminders - such as "uh oh" cards if an expectation is violated and rewards is an expectation is met.


Explicit teaching on the expectations

Teachers and staff clearly and consistently explain the behavioral expectations for various settings. A behavioral expectation for a cafteria 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.


Acknowledgement of appropriate behaviors

Teachers and staff acknowledge appropriate behavior when they see it.  Those acknowledgements can include individual awards, class prizes, grade-level competitions and staff acknowledgements.


Data collection 

Office discipline and low-level (minor) discipline data is collected on school-wide behavior. The school's PBIS team team reviews the data regularly to determine  where the problems are occurring and then thinks of positive (non-punitive) ways to address them.  


Individual support where needed

Each school has protocols for supporting individual students who may be having a difficult time following the school's behavioral expectations. 
Staff teams [COST?] meet regularly and involve parents as active partners in helping students to succeed.


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 system.  the entire school community participates in PBIS. system successful.  

pbis contacts

Joanne Murphy

Sr. Program Manager

(510) 337-7135


Catherine Rodecker

Lead Psychologist

(510) 337-7928


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.