Crafting a PBIS Program that Fits Your School Culture

Global Academies customizes their PBIS program to bring school culture to life in every community interaction.
By 
Paul Kennedy
 | 
September 15, 2022

There are so many systems working together in schools. Within all of those are even more decisions that impact each level of your systems.

How do you stay consistent and cohesive between them? The answer to that question is essential in all aspects of your school, but it is absolutely vital when deciding how you're going to address behaviors.

When choosing systems, how do you ensure it fits your school? Will it resonate with your students? Will your staff adopt it?

When Global Academies started to build out their PBIS program they made sure every piece fit their unique culture by filtering those decisions through their foundational pillars.

There are so many systems working together in schools. Within all of those are even more decisions that impact each level of your systems.

How do you stay consistent and cohesive between them? The answer to that question is essential in all aspects of your school, but it is absolutely vital when deciding how you're going to address behaviors.

When choosing systems, how do you ensure it fits your school? Will it resonate with your students? Will your staff adopt it?

When Global Academies started to build out their PBIS program they made sure every piece fit their unique culture by filtering those decisions through their foundational pillars.

There are so many systems working together in schools. Within all of those are even more decisions that impact each level of your systems.

How do you stay consistent and cohesive between them? The answer to that question is essential in all aspects of your school, but it is absolutely vital when deciding how you're going to address behaviors.

When choosing systems, how do you ensure it fits your school? Will it resonate with your students? Will your staff adopt it?

When Global Academies started to build out their PBIS program they made sure every piece fit their unique culture by filtering those decisions through their foundational pillars.

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"At Global Academies we believe we can’t do anything without building relationships. That includes ALL of our stakeholders."

The Foundation of Global’s Culture

When making decisions in any organization it helps to set guidelines that you can use to filter your choices. That becomes more important once you have established a culture. Any new inputs need to be made in support of that culture you worked so hard to create, not in opposition to it. The culture at Global Academies is built very intentionally around these foundational pillars. Therefore, any behavior initiative needs to be looked at through that lens.

Global is a Charter School in Philadelphia, PA that instills a curriculum of Global Studies and Leadership by sending scholars on learning excursions across the globe as they prepare to become leaders in their community. They decided that students would be called “scholars”. This distinction was established because they wanted their students to take responsibility for their own learning and by default take responsibility for their own behavior as well.

The school is located in one of the most financially challenging zip codes in Philadelphia. Scholars who attend Global Academies take learning excursions their peers may never get to experience.

This is why any behavior decisions had to be made with Global’s culture in mind and why they filter all of those aspects through the foundational pillars test. Providing a safe learning environment and maintaining all the things that made Global unique were goals that could be compatible by following this decision-making process.

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Aligning Your System with Your Culture

Global Academies Needed a tiered system of behavior interventions that fit their unique culture.

They narrowed the focus to only the most relevant pillars to make that happen:

  • They would provide a Safe school environment.
  • They would teach their Scholars how to make responsible decisions around their academics and their behaviors.
  • Everything would be based on relationships. Relationships between staff and students, students and their peers, and the community around Global.

Improving Tier 1 and adding Tier 2

To continue building the program they started to add inputs to the system that aligned with those foundational pillars.

Global strengthened Tier 1 by:

  • Training all staff on Trauma Informed Care to meet the needs of a student body coming back from virtual learning during the pandemic.
  • Applying LiveSchool with the purpose of creating consistency between classrooms
  • Reporting and analyzing behavior data with fidelity
  • Including the School Social Worker as a stakeholder

They added Tier 2 supports by adding 2 intervention programs:

  • Check-In/Check-Out fit perfectly within pillar 5 as it requires students who need additional support to create standing appointments with staff members they can relate to and set goals with.
  • Breaks are Better was put into place to support pillar 1 as the program was designed to provide breaks and calming strategies to students who may become overwhelmed or show more intensive behaviors in the classroom.

About Global Academies

  • Location: Philadelphia, PA
  • Sites: Global Academy West and Global Academy Southwest
  • Grade: K-8

Aligning Your System with Your Culture

Global Academies Needed a tiered system of behavior interventions that fit their unique culture.

They narrowed the focus to only the most relevant pillars to make that happen:

  • They would provide a Safe school environment.
  • They would teach their Scholars how to make responsible decisions around their academics and their behaviors.
  • Everything would be based on relationships. Relationships between staff and students, students and their peers, and the community around Global.

Improving Tier 1 and adding Tier 2

To continue building the program they started to add inputs to the system that aligned with those foundational pillars.

Global strengthened Tier 1 by:

  • Training all staff on Trauma Informed Care to meet the needs of a student body coming back from virtual learning during the pandemic.
  • Applying LiveSchool with the purpose of creating consistency between classrooms
  • Reporting and analyzing behavior data with fidelity
  • Including the School Social Worker as a stakeholder

They added Tier 2 supports by adding 2 intervention programs:

  • Check-In/Check-Out fit perfectly within pillar 5 as it requires students who need additional support to create standing appointments with staff members they can relate to and set goals with.
  • Breaks are Better was put into place to support pillar 1 as the program was designed to provide breaks and calming strategies to students who may become overwhelmed or show more intensive behaviors in the classroom.

Empowering Classroom Teachers

When establishing their system they started with a few directives:

  • Make it easier for scholars to behave
  • Make it worthwhile for scholars to behave
  • Make it unpleasant for scholars not to behave

Those ideas manifested into classroom management norms around the idea of responsibility and empowerment for the teacher.

This meant:

  • Teachers have the right to administer consequences for negative behavior and positively reinforce good behavior
  • Teachers should acknowledge negative behaviors
  • Teachers should recognize all students

When constructing their PBIS program, Global felt they needed to strengthen their teacher's ability to manage behavior in the classroom first. This is where the majority of behaviors tend to manifest themselves and this is where scholars spend most of their time. These classroom norms provided a stable foundation for Paul and his team to build their Tier 1 supports.

Branding Global’s PBIS Framework

Next, it was time to build that Tier 1 PBIS system into the culture at Global. PBIS isn’t a program you can buy, roll out of the box, and go to work. It’s best practice to mold it to fit your school’s unique culture. Global did that by branding its program as “Global Greatness”.

Global Greatness was based upon expectations aligned with the foundational pillars.

  • Responsibility represented Pillar 2 around teaching scholars how to make responsible decisions.
  • Respect ties to Pillar 5 and creates relationships built upon mutual respect.
  • Safety was in line with Pillar 1 and the school's dedication to building a safe school environment with a positive culture.

Who Does the Work

It’s important to understand these programs and principles require a group effort to make them effective. At Global, this meant building teams at both the Tier 1 and Tier 2 levels. The first group is the data/PBIS implementation team and the 2nd group is the MTSS Team managing those intervention programs.

By filtering the behavior program through their Foundational Pillars, Global Academies is able to provide a unique and rich educational experience while still maintaining a safe and positive environment.

There are so many systems working together in schools. Within all of those are even more decisions that impact each level of your systems.

How do you stay consistent and cohesive between them? The answer to that question is essential in all aspects of your school, but it is absolutely vital when deciding how you're going to address behaviors.

When choosing systems, how do you ensure it fits your school? Will it resonate with your students? Will your staff adopt it?

When Global Academies started to build out their PBIS program they made sure every piece fit their unique culture by filtering those decisions through their foundational pillars.

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About the Event

There are so many systems working together in schools. Within all of those are even more decisions that impact each level of your systems.

How do you stay consistent and cohesive between them? The answer to that question is essential in all aspects of your school, but it is absolutely vital when deciding how you're going to address behaviors.

When choosing systems, how do you ensure it fits your school? Will it resonate with your students? Will your staff adopt it?

When Global Academies started to build out their PBIS program they made sure every piece fit their unique culture by filtering those decisions through their foundational pillars.

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About the Event

There are so many systems working together in schools. Within all of those are even more decisions that impact each level of your systems.

How do you stay consistent and cohesive between them? The answer to that question is essential in all aspects of your school, but it is absolutely vital when deciding how you're going to address behaviors.

When choosing systems, how do you ensure it fits your school? Will it resonate with your students? Will your staff adopt it?

When Global Academies started to build out their PBIS program they made sure every piece fit their unique culture by filtering those decisions through their foundational pillars.

About the Presenter

Mr. Paul Kennedy currently serves as the Director of Student Advancement for Global Academies Charter Schools in Philadelphia. As the Director of Student Advancement, Mr. Kennedy has the charge of leading our Office of Alumni and Student Programs, which provides support and resources for our alumni, current students, parents, and guardians. In addition, Mr. Kennedy serves as our PBIS Coordinator for our positive behavior initiative "Global Greatness". A member of the Global community since 2016, Mr. Kennedy served as an Academy Leader for the Global Leadership Academy Southwest at Huey location from 2016-2019. Mr. Kennedy is a 2000 graduate of West Chester University. While at West Chester, he majored in Pre-Physical Therapy and Health and Physical Education – Teacher Certification. Mr. Kennedy was able to continue his education at Gwynedd Mercy University and received a master’s degree in Educational Administration with a Principal’s Certification in 2005.

There are so many systems working together in schools. Within all of those are even more decisions that impact each level of your systems.

How do you stay consistent and cohesive between them? The answer to that question is essential in all aspects of your school, but it is absolutely vital when deciding how you're going to address behaviors.

When choosing systems, how do you ensure it fits your school? Will it resonate with your students? Will your staff adopt it?

When Global Academies started to build out their PBIS program they made sure every piece fit their unique culture by filtering those decisions through their foundational pillars.

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Learn more about the author, 
Paul Kennedy
 

There are so many systems working together in schools. Within all of those are even more decisions that impact each level of your systems.

How do you stay consistent and cohesive between them? The answer to that question is essential in all aspects of your school, but it is absolutely vital when deciding how you're going to address behaviors.

When choosing systems, how do you ensure it fits your school? Will it resonate with your students? Will your staff adopt it?

When Global Academies started to build out their PBIS program they made sure every piece fit their unique culture by filtering those decisions through their foundational pillars.

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🎁
Wristband
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY

All Event Ideas for Schools

💰
🎨
Meme Party
💰
🎨
Blood Drive
💰
🎨
School Dance
💰
🎨
Final Fridays
💰
🎨
Meet the Teacher
💰
🎨
Decades Party
💰
🎨
Amazing Race
💰
🎨
Movie Night
💰
🎨
Theme Party
💰
🎨
Game Week
💰
🎨
STEM Field Day

All Free Reward Ideas for Schools

🎉
👑
🎁
School Assembly
🎉
👑
🎁
Parking Spots
🎉
👑
🎁
Dance Party
🎉
👑
🎁
Free Dress
🎉
👑
🎁
Student Messenger
🎉
👑
🎁
Camp Read Away
🎉
👑
🎁
Partner Work
🎉
👑
🎁
Show & Tell
🎉
👑
🎁
School Spirit Day
🎉
👑
🎁
Extra Recess
🎉
👑
🎁
House Induction

All Reward Ideas for High School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Decades Party
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Movie Night
Grades 9-12
Student
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Tech Time
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
School Assembly
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Sweatshirt
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
“Let's Make A Difference Week"
Grades 9-12
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
House Induction
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Uber by a Principal
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Fake The Funk
Grades 9-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Firebird of the Month
Grades K-12
Student
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Books
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
The Love Soiree
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Sports Tickets
Grades 3-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Silent Disco
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Music Fest
Grades 9-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Stairway Messages
Grades 9-12
Class/House
Event
Free

All Reward Ideas for Middle School Students

🎉
👑
🎁
Sweatshirt
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Firebird of the Month
Grades K-12
Student
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Pie a Teacher
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Ice Cream Sundae Party
Grades K-12
Class/House
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
The Love Soiree
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Career Day
Grades 3-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
The A-List
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Play Games
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
School Spirit Day
Grades K-12
School
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Sports Tickets
Grades 3-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Glow Party
Grades 6-12
School
Event
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Dress Up or Down Day
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Meet the Teacher
Grades K-8
School
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Read Across America
Grades K-8
School
Event
Free

All Student Reward & Incentive Ideas

💰
🎨
Create the Seating Chart
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Certificate of Achievement
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Snacks
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Show & Tell
Grades K-8
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Silly School Leader
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Homework Pass
Grades 6-12
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Pen Pouch
Grades K-8
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Line Leader
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Picnic Lunch
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Extra Recess
Grades K-5
Class/House
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Class Pet
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Deluxe
💰
🎨
Backpack
Grades K-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe
💰
🎨
Design the Bulletin Board
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Lunch Concert
Grades 6-8
Class/House
Privilege
Free
💰
🎨
Stickers
Grades K-5
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
💰
🎨
Sports Tickets
Grades 3-12
Student
Tangible
Deluxe

All Virtual Reward Ideas for Schools

🎉
👑
🎁
Certificate of Achievement
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Student Spotlight Board
Grades K-5
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Host a Virtual Party. 🎶
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Classroom DJ
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Talent Show. 🎤
Grades 3-12
Class/House
Event
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Morning Meeting Leader
Grades 3-8
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Teacher Q&A
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Brain Break
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Donate $1
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Social Media Reporter
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Virtual Field Trip
Grades K-12
Class/House
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Podcast
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Positive Note or Call Home
Grades K-12
Student
Privilege
Free
🎉
👑
🎁
Stickers
Grades K-5
Student
Tangible
Low Cost/DIY
🎉
👑
🎁
Digital Escape Rooms
Grades 6-12
Class/House
Privilege
Deluxe
🎉
👑
🎁
Extra Computer Games
Grades 3-12
Student
Privilege
Free
See all Rewards

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