-by Timothy (Tim) Grivois, Ed.D.
Note: I use “grownup” for “parents” because children have a variety of amazing adults in their lives, and all should be included in our PBIS implementation.
Positive Behavior Interventions and Support functions best when grownups participate. Without grownups’ active involvement, teams can’t know if the systems, data, and practices meant to support students match their school community’s values, expectations, and cultural/racial identities. However, finding grownups who can participate in PBIS meetings can be difficult. Here are some other opportunities for grownups to participate:
1. Focus Groups
Instead of asking grownups to attend weekly or biweekly PBIS Team meetings, consider asking them to participate in focus groups scheduled periodically throughout the year. These focus groups might be about your PBIS values, how the school manages unexpected behavior, or how to improve your recognition system. In addition, having fewer, more targeted times for families to participate in PBIS elevates family engagement.
Used sparingly, surveys can be an outstanding way of discovering how grownups experience PBIS at your school. For example, you might ask families how often their children receive positive feedback or to what extent the school PBIS values and expectations match their own values and expectations. This data is invaluable to your PBIS team and might be easier to collect through a school-wide survey than a meeting.
3. “Visiting” Grownup Groups
If your school has an established PTO, site council, or another gathering where your students’ grownups meet, sending a member of your PBIS team to those meetings can be an effective and efficient way of engaging families. Let families know what your PBIS team is working on, and ask for specific, concrete support.
Grownup engagement is crucial to PBIS implementation, but finding grownups who can participate in weekly meetings is challenging and unnecessary. Consider these alternative avenues for grownup participation on your PBIS Team.
Click here to talk more about how your school can increase grownups’ involvement in PBIS or all other aspects of your school community.