• What is PBIS?

    • Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a way for schools to encourage good behavior.
    • With PBIS, schools teach kids about behavior, just as they would teach them about other subjects like reading or math.
    • The focus of a PBIS program is prevention of undesired behaviors, not punishment.

    If your student struggles with behavior, you may worry about your child getting in trouble at school. At Norterra Canyon our teachers and administration use an approach called PBIS. PBIS stands for positive behavioral interventions and supports. It is a proactive, multi-tiered approach used to encourage students to make the "right" choice.

    At its heart, PBIS calls on schools to teach kids about positive behavioral expectations. At NC we know that our students can only meet these expectations if they know what they are. All of our Pirates are expected to have PRIDE. Pirate Pride includes:

    • Perseverance
    • Respect
    • Integrity
    • Diversity, and
    • Excellence

    Starting on the first day of school, we use the following guiding principles in helping your student understand what is expected of them:

    • Every Child can learn proper behavior.
    • Through targeted behavioral lessons, more serious behavior problems can be prevented.
    • Every student is different, and some students may need additional behavioral support.
    • Following a student's behavioral progress is important.
    • Data on student behavior is gathered and used to make decisions about problems.

    According to research and scientific studies, PBIS program leads to better student behavior, and a better school culture. When properly implemented, students receive fewer detentions and suspensions. This means that they are in the classroom more, where they can receive the instruction they need to be academically successful.

    It should be remembered that PBIS is not a treatment or therapy. It is simply a framework for teachers, administrators, and parents to view student behavior through. At Norterra Canyon, our PBIS expectations are for ALL our students. This includes students with IEPs and 504 plans.


  • PBIS uses three tiers of support for students and staff in a school.

    • Tier 1 is a school-wide, universal system for everyone in a school. At Tier 1, we teach our students to have Pirate PRIDE: Perseverance, Respect, Integrity, Diversity, and Excellence. At random times throughout the school day, when a school staff member sees a student displaying one of these expectations, the student is rewarded with a token reward. At Norterra Canyon students are rewarded for positive behavioral choices in multiple ways. One manner in which positive student choices are recognized is in the behavior store. Here students are then given the opportunity to purchase an item of their choice. Another common token of recognition is in the form of positive praise. Students are recognized in front of their peers for having displayed a desired behavior. According to studies, 85-90% of students are able to be successful with Tier 1 supports.
    • Tier 2 provides an extra layer of support for students who struggle with behavior. At Tier 2 students are given additional evidence-based interventions, instruction, and support. At NC, this may include social groups, or meeting with the school's vice principal. According to studies, around 10% of students will need Tier 2 interventions at some point throughout the school year.
    • Tier 3 is the most intense level of support. Tier 3 behavioral support is for students who need higher levels of supports and services. A student receiving a Teir 3 level of support will receive an individualized behavioral support plan in response to to specified behaviors. According to studies, only 2-5% of students within a school will display the need for Tier 3 Supports.

    Students with IEPs or 504 plans may be at any of these tiers.


  • Traditionally, when schools have discipline problems they have used corrective punishment to correct/eliminate behavior. At Norterra Canyon, we use PBIS to look at behavior problems differently. Through the teaching of behavioral lessons, many problems are eliminated. From the first day of school, and throughout the school year, students learn how to participate in, and contribute to, classroom discussions. Students at NC come to learn the school's behavioral expectations, which helps with eliminating many of the traditional disruptive behaviors. Unlike a traditional discipline method, at Norterra when students do exhbit an undesired behavior, they are encouraged to take ownership of their actions, and to help develop strategies to eliminate that behavior from being repeated. As an example of the differences between the two, take a look at the following behavioral incident.

    How a traditional behavioral approach might handle a minor behavior problem:

    • During a math lesson, a student throws an eraser at another student. With the traditional approach, the student would be publically scolded for throwing an eraser, and then sent to the principal's office. Once in the office, the student receives a consequence for their action, is told to behave better, and is then sent back to class. Not only does the student miss the lesson (learning time), but there is also no instruction on how to behave better. In the event that the behavior is repeated, the student will simply receive a more severe consequence - missing additional learning time.

    Now look at how we handle the problem at Norterra Canyon:

    • At the beginning of the school year, teachers are reminded to watch their classroom for attention seeking behaviors. In the first week  of school, a lesson is taught on what being respect looks like (to teachers, to other students, etc...). During the lesson, the teacher notices that a student is craving attention. She sees the student playing with the eraser, and glancing at a student they don't like. The teacher takes an opportunity to publically praise another student for being on task, for respectfully partaking in the lesson. The teacher then encourages the student with the eraser to rejoin the lesson. This might be by helping solve the problem, or getting him/her a "needed" moment of attention.
    • In the event that the student does still throw the eraser, the student is reminded that they are expected to be have Pirate Pride, and he/she may be asked to complete a reflection sheet. While the student is no longer at their desk, they are still in the classroom while the lesson is completed. When the lesson is completed, the teacher confers with the student, using the reflection to help the student own his/her behavior, and in determining a strategy for avoiding this type of behavior in the future.

    It needs to be noted that PBIS schools, including Norterra Canyon, do still use discipline when the needs arise. At NC, we firmly believe that NO STUDENT HAS THE RIGHT TO INTERFER WITH THE LEARNING and/or SAFETY OF OTHER STUDENTS. When behaviors arise, they are placed in one of two categories: Minor or Major.

    • Minor behaviors that take place are encouraged to be handled by the staff member (teacher, librarian, monitor, etc..) that was responsible for the student as the incident took place. Administration helps support in the event that the student needs additional support.
    • Major behaviors are reported immediately to administration, who investigate the incident, speak with students involved, and determines the consequence(s).

    In both categories, the focus is on teaching the student(s) the school's expectations, and in preventing similar problems from happening again..