Return to Headlines

Ten U-46 Schools Recognized for Positive Behavior Programs

Sept. 26, 2019

Ten U-46 schools earned regional recognition for implementing a proactive positive student behavioral program at the highest level. The approach, called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), aims to teach behavioral expectations in the same manner as any core curriculum subject.

The program is an important part of the Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) implemented in all U-46 schools to meet the full range of academic and behavioral needs of all students. Effective implementation has been tied to a healthier school climate and culture.

“The Multi-Tiered System of Supports we implement in our schools helps create learning environments where all students know what is expected of them and how to ask for help if they are experiencing challenges,” said Chief Executive Officer Tony Sanders. “We’re pleased that all U-46 schools are dedicating time and resources to this proactive approach. We’re especially proud of these 10 schools that went above and beyond to support student behavior and well being.”

The Midwest PBIS Network annually reviews each school’s practice and data and determined the following 10 U-46 schools earned the highest level of implementation, called the “platinum” level. They are:

  • Bartlett High School
  • Larkin High School
  • Streamwood High School
  • Canton Middle School
  • Kenyon Woods Middle School
  • Century Oaks Elementary School
  • Channing Elementary School
  • Liberty Elementary School
  • Ontarioville Elementary School
  • Timber Trails Elementary School

To earn platinum level, PBIS must be implemented at all three levels, or tiers, from the most basic to the most in-depth with individual student plans. The first tier is provided for all students and focused on teaching universal behaviors expected in the school and society, such as being safe and respectful, through classroom lessons and activities. The next tier involves implementing behavioral and social skill interventions, such as small groups and progress monitoring, for students who need more support. The final tier provides individualized student plans specifically targeting their unique needs. Each school forms teams that look at student and school data to determine what interventions need to be put in place. A cohesive implementation of PBIS in a school has been correlated with overall improved school climate and safety.

At Ontarioville Elementary in Hanover Park, students are recognized and celebrated when exhibiting behaviors that meet school-wide expectations. That could be walking quietly in line in the hallway (being safe), listening to a friend share a story during class (being respectful), or picking up trash in the cafeteria after eating (being responsible), said Assistant Principal Jonathan Bacheller.

“We set the standard for school-wide expectations by using common language around the school that reinforces what positive behavior looks like in all areas of the school,” Bacheller said. “We clearly define and reinforce these expectations through posters in the school and reteaching in the classroom. We also proactively teach these positive behaviors by giving students real life application to our expectations in their classroom lessons.”

Within the MTSS and PBIS system, students are empowered by their teachers to become leaders in the classroom as they model and teach positive behavior to others. This leads to recognition of these students and leads to celebrations of the positive school and classroom culture being formed, which contributes to creating a safe and stable learning environment for all students.

"Involving students in the creation of a warm, supportive, and engaging learning environment through PBIS and MTSS programs is crucial for the success of everyone in the building,” said Ontarioville 1st grade teacher and MTSS Universal Coach Carmina Nevarez. “By recognizing behavior and actions that are conducive for a community to grow and thrive in, we are preparing students to be lifelong productive and kind citizens.”

Students at Ontarioville are excited when they are recognized for exhibiting the three behavior expectations at school, Nevarez shared. Because students are able to verbalize why these expectations are put in place, they understand and see the benefits of creating a positive environment at school.

As teachers meet to keep track of students’ academic and social-emotional growth, they also discuss implementing additional resources and interventions to support students who may be struggling. For example, students may check-in with a school mentor each day in the morning and afternoon or meet in groups where they learn appropriate skills and behaviors that will help them succeed. Schools also welcome families and community members to volunteer and mentor students who are facing more intense struggles. These additional supports are key to ensuring that students continue to thrive.

All U-46 schools are implementing PBIS and the majority have earned recognition through the Midwest PBIS network. Nine schools have achieved the “gold” level implementation status (just below platinum), and another 26 schools have earned recognition at the third level, silver. For a brief video about the District’s PBIS programs, click here.