In 1997, an amendment of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) included the language, “Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports,” which described methods used to identify and support desired behaviors in the school setting.
The educational research community has been developing and studying Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) ever since. PBIS seeks to reduce or eliminate poor behavior schoolwide through the encouragement of positive behaviors.
The goal of PBIS is to create a positive school climate, in which students learn and grow. However, school climate can vary widely from school to school. A number of factors affect school climate, including school location, neighborhood culture, instructional methods, student diversity, and school administration.
Changing school climate may seem like a daunting task. Employing the PBIS framework can make the task more manageable. The key to an effective PBIS implementation is an “all-in” mentality among teachers and administrators in a school. For PBIS to produce positive change in a school’s climate, it needs to be employed schoolwide and with consistency.
School climate has bearing on attendance rates, academic achievement, and graduation rates. Regardless of socioeconomic status, students in a positive school climate are more likely to have higher test scores and greater academic success. In addition, positive school climate helps students to develop the social and emotional skills they will need to become productive members of society.
In short, positive school climate includes: