So your school has decided to implement PBIS. Great! PBIS is a journey that has the potential to produce powerful change in your school’s climate and culture. Among the benefits of PBIS are improved academic achievement, reduced disciplinary actions, increased student engagement, and improved staff retention. Be aware, however, that the journey towards full PBIS implementation can take anywhere from three to five years. PBIS implementation Year 1 is when you establish the foundations of your initiative.
Because PBIS implementation is a marathon and not a sprint, it’s important to have realistic and achievable goals over the course of the process. It’s tempting to fully implement the PBIS framework at the outset, but in doing so you risk overwhelming both staff and students. Instead, develop a three-to-five-year plan outlining the ramp-up to full implementation and follow that blueprint.
Understanding the policies, procedures, and goals of each stage will go a long way toward a successful initiative, resulting in positive impacts for everyone. Let’s take a look at the first year of implementation.
Begin at the Beginning: What to Focus on in PBIS Implementation Year 1
For many schools, the first year of a PBIS initiative begins before the first day of school.
Establishing a framework for PBIS ahead of the school year will help your staff to start strong on the first day. During this preparation period, you should:
- Build a PBIS team
- Establish a schoolwide behavior matrix
- Develop your token economy
- Train staff on PBIS
Once you’ve prepared your staff for launch, you’re ready to debut your PBIS initiative to students and families. The beginning of a new school year is the perfect time to introduce PBIS. Educators can leverage the fresh start of a new school year to outline and establish behavior expectations, both schoolwide and within individual classrooms. These expectations can form the foundation of better classroom management and, ultimately, help to create greater student success. During this introductory period, staff can help build student buy-in to PBIS through
- Teaching and modeling expectations
- Recognizing students for positive behavior by awarding points
- Creating groups for easy recognition and quick points awards
- Providing incentives to allow students to redeem their points
Keep in mind, however, that a PBIS initiative can begin at any point in the school year. Some schools opt to introduce PBIS at the beginning of a new grading period or after an extended break. The timing of PBIS is unique to each school, and it’s important to establish a timetable for implementation that works for your school.
Taking Your PBIS Implementation to the Next Level
As you move through your first year of PBIS implementation, you will want to periodically assess your initiative’s effectiveness. Your initiative will generate a lot of information, and it’s important to review this data to see what’s working and what needs to be adjusted
Schools using PBIS Rewards have a wealth of reports at their fingertips, enabling them to examine their PBIS initiative from multiple angles. This progress monitoring provides a clear picture of student progress, staff buy-in, family involvement, and areas for improvement. It also allows you to begin planning for Year 2, particularly as the school year comes to a close.
PBIS Rewards Makes the First Year of Implementation Easier
PBIS implementation Year 1 is an opportunity to introduce a more productive method of behavior management, one that can improve school climate and culture, impact student achievement, and produce positive staff culture.
A PBIS initiative can be surprisingly complex, especially when it comes to tracking data and maintaining a consistent message schoolwide. For many schools, digital management of PBIS helps to push positive changes forward. PBIS Rewards enables thousands of staff members to create positive and supportive learning environments for millions of students. Our software suite allows educators, admins, students, and families to work together in improving schoolwide culture and turning concerning behavior and necessary discipline into learning moments. In the first year of PBIS implementation, PBIS Rewards offers training sessions for both staff and administrators to help them get a handle on digital PBIS management.