New Student Discipline System Will Improve Academic Achievement, Educators Say

Courtney Williams's picture
Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Imagine a new school discipline system that allows educators to track the location and nature of student behavior problems over a period of time and use that data to more effectively police school grounds.

Imagine a new school discipline system that takes a proactive, positive approach to student behavior, one that relies on a set of school-wide standards created by the school staff.

Now, stop imagining—because that system is already being implemented in schools across the Inver Grove Heights school district.

Called "Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support" (PBIS), the system was introduced during the 2010-2011 school year at the Inver Grove Heights Middle School. After a successful inaugural year there, district officials chose to roll the program out this fall across all School District 199 schools.

Under the program, school staff identified the core values of the school, then used those values to create a "behavior matrix"—which sets easy-to-follow behavior standards for each area of a school, including the classroom, hallways and the cafeteria.

Students at the middle school were then taught the standards identified in the matrix and asked to abide by those rules, which range from turning in your homework on time to keeping your hands to yourself in the hallway. Staff at the middle school also promoted the behavior matrix by posting it in visible locations in hallways and classrooms.

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