What is PBIS?

The teachers, parents and students behind Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports are working to improve Dunbar.

The Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) committee, led by behavior specialist Mrs. Erin Adcock, meets at least once a month with teachers and parents. Their mission is to spread positive culture across the school as an attempt to decrease negative behavior. PBIS takes into account the reasons for referrals, fights and skipping to establish expectations, rules and create recognition programs to reward students for positive behavior. “Our mission is to create a positive, safe environment for all students to work and learn,” said Mrs. Adcock, “It’s a positive, proactive system.”

The core structure in PBIS asks that schools first identify expected behaviors. At Dunbar, this is why we have the P.R.I.D.E. acronym in every classroom and in the hallways. The acronym stands for Positive, Respectful, Involved, Dependable and Excellence. The premise is that if students are taught behavioral expectations, they will know how to behave in the school setting. According to pbis.org, students should also have the expectations modeled, and they should have time to practice what those behaviors look like, sound like, and feel like. The goal is to improve school culture, and to help students keep behavior from interfering with their own, or others’, education process by implementing needed behavioral supports.

Another big component of PBIS is targeted praise of appropriate behaviors, in other words, when a student does something well, he or she should be praised either privately or publicly. One way that students are recognized publicly has been through monthly “Bulldog Bucks” drawings, which acknowledge and reward students for exemplary behavior. PBIS also sponsors the Top Dawg programs, where students have the opportunity to recognize teachers who go above and beyond in the classroom. These teachers are announced weekly on WPLD and earn a special parking spot for the week.

On Feb. 15, representatives of Dunbar’s Student Voice Team presented what they have discovered about student behavior. Although PBIS committee meetings are not open to everyone, Dunbar students can share their voices with SVT members or the SVT adviser, Mrs. Wendy Turner. 

“After our last PBIS meeting, the student voice team noted that in a school of 2400, having nine students recognized a year doesn’t seem adequate,” said Mrs. Turner. “The committee agreed, and now the award will be given weekly.”

“The PBIS committee can be an effective tool by positively impacting the overall culture and morale of the school,” said senior SVT member Arya Shoa. “By increasing factors like school spirit, we could see direct impacts to work ethic, attendance and student relations. It is important that students have a say in this process as well to ensure the most effective strategies are implemented.”

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  • Mrs. Adcock leads the recent meeting for Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports. Members of the Student Voice Team were present for this meeting to give their input and ideas.

  • English teacher Mr. Daniel Janbakhsh looks on as members of Student Voice Team present their ideas.

  • Sophomore JT Jett was one of the members of Student Voice Team present at the meeting.

  • Juniors Rohan Palla, Santiago Duque, and Ashley Holsclaw present their ideas to the PBIS committee.

  • The agenda and mission of the group were given out at the start of the meeting.