New District Position Turns Focus to School Culture

Positive Behavioral & Intervention Supports – or PBIS – has played a key role at several of our schools in developing a positive, respectful and inclusive culture conducive to learning. Now the Lakewood City Schools has dedicated a staff member to developing a more extensive PBIS network throughout the District.

Schoolwide PBIS programs include proactive strategies for defining expectations of appropriate behavior both in the classroom and in common areas (hallways, cafeterias) then teaching and supporting those behaviors to create positive school environments. Each school develops 3-5 schoolwide expectations such as “Be Safe,” “Be Responsible,” and “Be Respectful.”

Research shows that schools with PBIS in place see improvement in academic performance. “Students want to be in a positive environment,” said District PBIS Facilitator, Meredith Wojtkun  “Naturally, attendance improves when students feel positive about coming to school,” she said.

Wojtkun said that the framework is successful because it is based on behavior data and tailored to each school’s specific data. For example, data is compiled on where disciplinary office visits are originating from – classroom, cafeteria, and restrooms – and then the PBIS team can pinpoint problem spots and develop interventions to help improve behavior in those environments.

“We teach, reinforce and reteach math skills if necessary, so why wouldn’t we to the same with behavior skills,” said Wojtkun.

Currently, Wojtkun, whose position is paid for by a grant by Project Aware, is working with Harding Middle School, Roosevelt Elementary and Lakewood High School. At these schools, activities are designed to boost student engagement in promoting positivity and rewarding students for exhibiting inclusive and encouraging behavior.

PBIS is just one of the ways the District supports our students beyond the academic aspects. Visit our student support page on our web site for more details:

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Volume 13, Issue 4, Posted 6:40 PM, 02.21.2017