Educator Networking
November 6, 2019

Ac-cent-tchu-ate the Positive

Reading, writing and arithmetic. For generations, kids have gotten on the bus each day (or walked uphill both ways!) to go to school to learn these subjects. And when kids misbehaved and disrupted the classroom or hallways, quite often punishment was the norm. Today, attitudes towards misbehavior in learning environments are changing. More schools are teaching the proper way to behave rather than the punishment for acting out. How?Through PBIS.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports -- or PBIS --is an evidence-based framework for:

      - Providing instruction and support for positive and pro social behaviors,

     - Supporting social, emotional, and behavioral needs for all students, and ultimately, preventing problem behavior.

Currently 33% of Minnesota schools use the PBIS framework in their curriculum, and that number continues to increase for good reason. The data tells a story of reductions in behavioral problems and suspensions,leaving more time for learning.

How does PBIS work?

School-wide implementation of PBIS requires training,coaching, and evaluation for school staff to consistently implement components that make the framework effective for all students.

First, Minnesota schools send a leadership team to participate in a two-year training cohort. The cohort attends nine training sessions intended to build capacity, skills, and competency to implement PBIS into their own school. Erin Engness, PBIS Coordinator at Resource for the northern region of Minnesota, has coordinated the training for nearly 200 schools in the northern region. “We focus a lot on those first two years oft raining and getting teams started,” she said. “Once they’re done, there isn’t a lot of extra training and support for schools that are trying to sustain or reconnect after they go through that initial training.”

Then, when an energy boost is needed, Resource has a network for support. Because let’s face it, leadership and staffing teams change. New teachers are hired. Teachers retire. It’s important for schools to be able to continue the PBIS framework and maintain a thriving learning environment. The PBIS Network provides schools the opportunity to re energize their staff, innovate and collaborate with their peers, and to sustain fidelity to ensure students have continued access to consistent evidence-based practices.

“A lot of schools struggle with a lack of resources,particularly funding and staffing. So they may ask how we are going to put some of these systems into place without the proper resources,” Erin said. “With the PBIS network, we are able to get together and collaborate with our peers and to find creative solutions with one another.” Funding for PBIS comes through a Minnesota Department of Education (MDE) grant, and Resource Training &Solutions is the fiscal host.

The PBIS Network is one of eight networks hosted by Resource each year. Every network serves its own niche within the education system,providing opportunities for educators to connect and collaborate with each other within their specialized field. Network members also have opportunities to attend specialized training's that Resource occasionally hosts. These training's are based on topics of interest and professional development that is generally not available for educators within their work place.

For more information about Resource's PBIS Network visit our website here.