Students walk the hallways of Murray Park/Quest Elementary School. The walls are decked with bright colors, projects and encouraging slogans.
Students walk the hallways of Murray Park/Quest Elementary School. The walls are decked with bright colors, projects and encouraging slogans.

This is part one of a two-part column on Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS).

... For children, school isn’t only a place where new ideas and new learning experiences bombard them on a daily basis.

They also meet new people. They encounter new situations. They feel new emotions. Their bodies and minds change rapidly.

All that can be pretty overwhelming — so overwhelming, in fact, that some students can have difficulty being productive at the main reason they’re in school in the first place: learning.

“If [students] are not feeling safe or understanding the expectations that are being placed on them or there’s something just not predictable about the environment, it can be difficult for them to do any of the actual academic learning,” Barlow Park/Journey Principal Tanya Sanderfoot said. ...

One system that schools are increasingly turning to is called Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). ...

At its heart, PBIS is an approach to teaching behavior so that kids have clear, positively stated expectations of how to interact with others at school.

“I think our students need that — especially as they first come into the system, and they’re coming from all different home environments where rules are different — to understand, ‘Oh, these are the rules at home, these are the rules at school,’” Superintendent Mary Whitrock said.

Read more about PBIS, and it's importance in helping children learn, in the Dec. 22, 2016 edition of the Ripon Commonwealth Press.