San Mateo County Schools Receive Recognition for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Work
Three schools in San Mateo County were recently recognized by the California PBIS Coalition for their outstanding implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).
Sandpiper School, in the Belmont-Redwood Shores school district, received the highest level platinum award, while Cipriani Elementary, also in Belmont-Redwood Shores, received the silver award. San Mateo Park Elementary, in the San Mateo Foster City school district received the Bronze award.
Through these awards, the California PBIS Coalition acknowledges the implementation with fidelity of PBIS at these schools and the creation of a supportive school climate and equitable system for supporting student behavior.
Staff at the San Mateo County Office of Education, led by David Brashear, Director of Networks for Success, served as both trainers of PBIS and evaluators for the award recognition. Brashear had previous experience as a school principal successfully implementing PBIS at Central School, a low-income, multilingual elementary school in the National School District in San Diego County.
Brashear and his staff have been leading trainings in PBIS for many schools in the county over the past few years and encouraged schools to apply for this statewide recognition. The training involved identifying a leadership team at each school and helping the schools develop school-wide expectations for behavior and lesson plans to teach these expectations. Schools then developed behavior flow charts and decided what were major and minor infractions, and which behaviors could be handled in the classroom as opposed to sending the student to the school office.
"Having the expectations and consequences laid out ahead of time makes the system equitable for all kids," notes Brashear. Spending more time on setting and teaching expectations also reduces the number of behavior incidents.
For Tami Moore, principal at Sandpiper Elementary School, PBIS was the subject of her master's thesis. She saw its effectiveness when she was assistant principal of Booksin Elementary in the San Jose Unified School District. When she became principal at Sandpiper four years ago, she helped her staff to develop PBIS expectations, and completely revamped discipline and referrals.
"It's been wonderful--a complete shift for many of our teachers," she says. "The teachers and staff have embraced PBIS and have been the drivers of setting expectations and consequences." As a result, the school has seen a drop in suspensions and an improved school climate. Teachers are now able to steer away from a punitive approach, focus on the top five percent of kids with behavior issues and provide them with more individualized support.
Lisa Rosenthal is a freelance writer.