Creating Sitewide Positive Behavior Expectations

As you may have been reading from my previous posts, our site has been on a journey to improve student behavior through a tiered and systematic approach. Specifically, we have begun implementing a variety of Tier 1 strategies from the PBIS model. During our first year, our goal has been to:

  1. Create a positive reward program
  2. Create sitewide positive behavior expectations
  3. Create a sitewide behavior intervention flowchart

These are three big goals…but we are hoping that they will also bring big changes!

One of the most important parts of implementing a Tier 1 PBIS program is creating sitewide positive behavior expectations. These expectations should become the language of your site when talking about appropriate behaviors on campus. For instance, instead of creating a list of things that students shouldn’t do, these expectations focus on what students should do. In addition to this, the behavior expectations should be location specific. Expectations should be created for all areas on campus, such as the classroom, gym, cafeteria, office, etc. Here is a quick example of our behavior expectations for our classroom and cafeteria:

To get started on developing your sitewide positive behavior expectations, here are my Top 5 Tips:

#1: Develop with Your PBIS Team

First and foremost, you must have a PBIS team that can help you develop these behavior expectations. These people will help drive the conversation and help you develop these expectations. You truly cannot be an island in this process – you need the input!

#2: Create Your Acronym

Create an acronym that will become the motto of your site. As you can tell, ours is RISE which is Responsibility, Integrity, Service, and Excellence. Our behavior expectations are completely based on these four words and it is the foundation for our positive behavior program, too.

#3: Determine Your Locations & Get Input

Our PBIS Team determined that we had 10 places on campus that would benefit from behavior expectations:

  • Classroom, Library, Cafeteria, Quad, Locker Room, Office, Hallway, Bathrooms, Technology, and Wellness Center

Since these are such diverse areas, we also created a Google Form where we sought input from employees that worked in these specific areas. After all, they understand the expectations far more than anyone else!

#4: Create Your Expectations

Once you have created your acronym and determined your locations, I highly suggest creating a Google Slide or Doc to brainstorm the behavior expectations with your PBIS Team. I believe it took us about 2-3 meetings about 1-2 hours each to develop all of these expectations. Honestly, it was tough at first but then we started to fall into a pattern and it went much quicker.

Again, these expectations should be focused on what students should do, rather than what students shouldn’t do. Also, try to keep them short and sweet. No more than three expectations per category and keep the sentence short.

#5: Take to Your Leadership Team & PLC’s for Revisions & Input

One of the most important parts of implementing positive behavior expectations is receiving input from your leadership team and staff. Once we developed these expectations, we took them to our leadership team for input and they took it to their teams for further input. We received some great ideas from these teams and made adjustments accordingly.

#6: Create Your Posters!

Here’s the fun part…design your poster! I know that people just love a matrix or rubric…but that is SO hard for kids to read! Try to create something that is eye-catching and easy to read. If you are struggling with this, you can make a copy of ours by clicking on this link:

Copy of RISE Behavior Expectations

If there is any final advice I would give, it would be to take your time and get plenty of input. I was highly encouraged to do this by leaders that I greatly admire and it was some of the greatest advice I ever received. While it is important to create a quality program, it is crucial to get input to create buy-in with staff.

Has your site created positive behavior expectations? If so, share in the comments below!

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