GRAND RIDGE, IL – State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) visited Grand Ridge School on Sept. 12 to meet with students and see first-hand how the Illinois Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) program has been implemented in the school. Grand Ridge School was selected for the legislative visit based off of their implementation success of the PBIS system.
According to their website, PBIS is a proactive systems approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional and academic success. The systems-change process aims to enhance the capacity of schools to effectively educate all students by helping schools create and maintain safe and effective learning environments. They are trained to use early-intervention and proactive teaching techniques that encourages positive behavior among students. Schools that implement school-wide PBIS have consistently shown reductions in the number of discipline problems, increases in academic test scores, higher measures of school safety, and improved school climate.
The process is based on a three-tiered system of support. All students access Tier 1 instruction about behavioral expectations and high rates of positive feedback. Some students access Tier 2 where additional instruction and positive support is provided. A small number of students will need highly individualized behavior support plans. Grand Ridge School has implemented the first and second tier. The goal is for85% or more of all students have one or fewer office discipline referrals, for 10% or less of all students to have no more than 2 to 5 office discipline referrals. It takes anywhere from three to five years for the schools to implement all the tiers.
Susan Bruner, Grand Ridge’s External Coach for PBIS and Special Education Program Coordinator who was at the visit with Sen. Rezin, said she was glad the Senator was able to learn about PBIS and see first-hand not only how great the process is, but how well Grand Ridge School has implemented it.
“I fully believe in the PBIS system and Grand Ridge has done such a great job to implement it over the last few years,” Ms. Bruner said. “I’m very glad Sen. Rezin took the time to learn about PBIS as well as see the school’s progress with its implementation. It is something that is so positive for the school and the district, and at a time when many areas of education are hurting, it’s great to have our elected officials witness programs that are effective and work.”
Ms. Bruner also mentioned how she hopes systems-change efforts such as PBIS stay around for a long time to come and grow into other schools that could benefit from this type of a system.
“It is my hope that programs such as these continue to receive funding to better schools,” she said. “These programs are in place because schools such as Grand Ridge want to perform at a higher level – not just academically, but socially and behaviorally- and I hope that the funding continues so schools can continue to benefit from programs such as PBIS.”
To learn more about the Illinois PBIS Network, visit www.pbisillinois.org.
Sen. Rezin is pictured above with a group of students from Grand Ridge School.