September 16, 2015
The PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports) approach is designed to establish the social and behavioral support students need in order to reach academic, emotional and social success in a much more effective way than might otherwise be possible. Undesirable behavior can stand in the way of learning. As most educators know, there is no universal way of dealing with behavioral issues. Each problem needs to be discussed and analyzed in order to arrive at an appropriate solution for each individual student.
PBIS’s main focus is on creating systems of support that extend throughout each area of the student’s life, including the school (primary), the classroom (secondary) and the student himself (tertiary). These systems of support can significantly enhance children’s relationships, their schoolwork, their outside recreational activities, as well as their home life and personal goals. As many educators have seen time and time again, any type of misbehavior can be visibly diminished when PBIS is used appropriately.
The PBIS approach was based on the premise that effective teaching requires a continuous strategy and that positive feedback produces desirable changes in students’ behavior. Desirable behavior, in turn, will lead to an increased rate of productivity and learning on the part of the child. Schools that utilize the PBIS approach have systems in place that track and analyze student behavior for the purpose of developing targeted and individualized interventions and supports school-wide.
An Introduction to the PBIS Check In Check Out System
Sometimes referred to as the Behavior Education Program, the Check In Check Out system may be seen as a method of intervention designed for groups of students who are not responding to other disciplinary approaches. Because this is a group-based intervention method, the costs involved are minimal. Within a few days implementing the system, a group of as many as 30 students or more can be entered into the program. The check in check out program monitors students’ progress and assesses how well PBIS is being implemented. Ultimately, the check in check out system can be turned into a self-managing program.
Features of the System
- Students and adults are in constant contact with each other, with the focus placed on positive interaction.
- Adults need to provide frequent feedback to students.
- Adults help students to build social skills.
- Educators communicate with the students’ parents/guardians on a daily basis.
- Adults provide positive reinforcement whenever students meet behavioral goals.
- Expectations must be in line with behavioral goals.
When it comes to implementing the program, students who are involved in a PBIS check in check out system are also involved in “concrete” activities, such as the following:
- A check in check out coordinator is assigned to the students at the beginning of each day.
- Every student carries a point card on which the school’s expectations are listed.
- Frequent feedback is provided by adults throughout the whole day, on a regular basis.
- The coordinator or the homeroom teacher checks to see how each student has worked to attain his/her goals at the end of the day.
- Each student takes the point card home at the end of the day to allow his/her parents to sign off on the card and provide further feedback.
Here is an illustration showing how this process is implemented in schools:
Monitoring Students’ Progress
Some of the most important steps in following this strategy are maintaining an open line of communication and improving the implementation of the process, as well as closely supervising and assessing the students’ progress and intervening whenever adjustments to the system must be made.
In order for effective, data-based decision-making to take place, the educators facilitating the program must follow some basic guidelines:
- Questions need to be very clearly formulated, so that the data can be as transparent as possible.
- Each school must establish a means for entering the data into the system.
- Effective data-collecting tools must also be used.
Why Should the PBIS Check In Check Out System Be Used?
A PBIS check in check out system offers several advantages to educators:
- It enhances a student’s accountability.
- Students can monitor themselves and auto-correct accordingly.
- Behavioral and academic pursuits are significantly improved in situations where other strategies have failed.
- The student will be more organized, motivated and excited when involved in the program — enjoying its support, incentives and structure.
- The everyday home-school communication link is ensured.
- Students’ success and accomplishments are internalized.
The PBIS check in check out program is effective in virtually any situation where other interventions and strategies meant to correct bad behavior have failed. When a student consistently fails to do homework, has emotional or attention issues, lacks motivation and is not willing to make any effort to improve, the PBIS check in check out system can resolve these issues much more effectively than other means.