Schools that embark on a PBIS journey typically do so in order to improve school culture and climate. Full implementation, with fidelity, can take anywhere from two to five years, though positive outcomes are often observed in a much shorter time frame. Introducing PBIS in a school can be challenging, and most schools will experience various obstacles along the way. Here, we examine some of the more common PBIS pain points and share how PBIS Rewards can help.
Common PBIS Pain Points
You’re drowning in paper tickets
Let’s face it, a lot of schools begin their PBIS initiative with a physical token economy. It’s a great way to drive home the point of positive behavior = tangible recognition. The problem with paper tokens (or any sort of physical token) is that they can make your PBIS initiative extremely inefficient. Your students might be excited to receive them, but the constant cycle of printing, cutting, stocking, and redeeming paper tickets can be cumbersome. Physical tokens can get lost or damaged, and your students might not be able to use all the points they’ve earned.
Different expectations from classroom to classroom
To be its most effective, a PBIS initiative needs to be consistent throughout the school. When your teachers each have a different set of expectations for their classrooms, it can cause confusion among students. While teachers should have the autonomy to establish rules and routines for their classroom, students don’t get the opportunity to build positive behavior skills. Additionally, students may be unclear about expectations in the school’s common areas, such as the cafeteria. As a result, improvement in overall behavior can be slow to happen, if at all.
Lack of buy-in
A PBIS initiative can only be effective if you have buy-in from your staff and students. There are plenty of reasons that your staff might not be all-in. Some may view PBIS as just another behavioral system that will run its course and fade away. Others may assume that PBIS will eliminate any form of discipline and will make behavior worse in the long run. Tiers of implementation can be overwhelming, as well, causing some staff members to avoid PBIS completely. And if staff isn’t all-in, you can’t expect students to be excited about PBIS.
Inconsistency of use
It can be tempting to approach PBIS as a sort of hybrid system, incorporating the parts of a punitive disciplinary system that feel comfortable. This can lead to inconsistency, particularly in the recognition of positive behaviors as compared to a response to negative ones. It can be difficult to change the focus of behavior management away from traditional methods. Inconsistency in PBIS can render your initiative ineffective, at best.
A PBIS initiative generates a lot of data. Keeping track of this data, however, can be challenging. Many schools use spreadsheets to track everything, but unless staff is diligent about entering information, totals can be inaccurate. Accurate data is important, however, for adjusting your PBIS initiative to better reflect the progress being made in your school. Without accurate data, you don’t have a clear picture of staff buy-in, student behavior trends, school store inventory, or any of the other elements that make up an effective initiative.
Building a PBIS initiative from the ground up is a complex endeavor. Determining what your school values need to be and what they look like in action is only the beginning. Assigning points values for positive behaviors, developing your incentives inventory, setting up your school store, creating a protocol for redeeming points… the list goes on, and that’s just the beginning. How well your initiative is structured in the beginning affects implementation, staff buy-in, and student excitement. Poor or incomplete planning can sink your PBIS initiative before you even get started.
If you’re only using PBIS for Tier I, you’re only scratching the surface of what a PBIS initiative can do! As you probably know, Tier I encompasses the majority of the students in your school, serving as a baseline for positive behaviors. That’s great for approximately 80% of students in your school. What about students who need a little more in the way of supports and interventions? PBIS should be for them, too! Limiting your initiative to only Tier I limits the impact that PBIS can make in your school.
Do any of these pain points sound familiar? Solving these pain points can help improve implementation and set your school on a path to significant behavioral change. PBIS Rewards can help you do just that!
Solving Your PBIS Pain Points With PBIS Rewards
PBIS Rewards is a fully digital PBIS management solution that allows you to track every aspect of your PBIS initiative. Let’s take a look at how our software solves some of your biggest PBIS pain points:
No more paper tickets
Because PBIS Rewards is a fully digital solution, that means paper tickets are a thing of the past! A digital token economy has numerous benefits, including accurate student points balances, ease in recognizing students anywhere, and less effort in redeeming points. Plus, you save on your paper expense and free your staff and volunteers from the endless cycle of printing and cutting out paper tokens.
When you establish a schoolwide matrix of expectations, you form a foundation for teachers to create expectations in their classrooms. The rules and routines of each classroom are still under the control of individual teachers, and they can incorporate schoolwide expectations as part of their classroom management plan. Whether they are in the classroom or in community areas such as the cafeteria or library, students benefit from explicit instruction in expected behaviors that align with your schoolwide matrix. PBIS Rewards allows teachers to recognize any student, anywhere, at any time, for meeting schoolwide expectations. When everyone is reinforcing schoolwide expectations, students jump on board more quickly!
Staff and student buy-in
A manual PBIS initiative can struggle with adoption, buy-in, and enthusiasm from staff and students alike, mainly because it’s hard to see the bigger picture. Start with getting your staff on board. PBIS is a process, and many resist it because it feels complicated. PBIS Rewards enables you to simplify the process by making it easy to recognize students, track data, and redeem points. Taking the time to train your staff on PBIS and PBIS Rewards can make a difference in how they feel about it. Once you’ve got staff on board, their enthusiasm will help generate excitement among your students. PS – you can level up your staff buy-in with the Workplace Rewards for Teachers feature within PBIS Rewards.
Consistency goes hand in hand with buy-in. Staff members who are all-in on PBIS will be more likely to be consistent in recognizing students for positive behaviors. As your school moves through the academic year, you will see the consistency start to pay off – improved behaviors, increased academic performance, and reduced discipline referrals. PBIS Rewards allows staff to consistently recognize students quickly and easily with a simple scan or click of a button. With PBIS Rewards, you can also generate reports that will help you to know if any of your staff needs additional coaching to use the software more fully.
The accuracy of manual data tracking relies on numerous factors, many of which are out of your control. The more people you have inputting data, the greater potential for error. Additionally, recording data in near-real time is sometimes not possible. PBIS Rewards solves the data accuracy issue by tracking every single bit of data entered into the system. You can choose from dozens of reports and even create customized reports to help you assess how well your PBIS initiative is working. Accurate data means accurate reports, giving you the information you need to make decisions and adjustments in your initiative.
PBIS Rewards is a fully customizable software suite designed to make it easier to build and manage a PBIS initiative. Once you establish your baseline criteria in terms of expectations, there is virtually no limit to the ways you can tailor the software to suit your school’s needs. Set up your school store, assign points values for incentives, award points, track student points balances, create house groups… use the system for all of this and more. Many features in PBIS Rewards are the result of input from thousands of schools, making it possible for you to manage every single facet of your initiative.
Cover all three tiers
To be its most effective, a PBIS initiative needs to provide support and intervention to ALL students. While the majority of students will fall into Tier I, there are those who need additional support and encouragement in building positive behaviors. PBIS Rewards supports all three tiers of PBIS, including more specialized interventions commonly associated with Tier II and Tier III. Features such as Check-In/Check-Out and our Advanced Referral System allow schools to meet the needs of students who require more intensive forms of intervention.
Want to Know More?
PBIS Rewards can help you to solve these PBIS pain points and more, enabling you to take your PBIS initiative to the next level. We’d love to show you how it works. Contact us to request a demo!