The Safe Schools Healthy Students Initiative within the Pueblo City School District has received national recognition for its Positive Behavioral and Interventions Support (PBIS) program to prevent problem behaviors in classrooms and to improve school climate. Highlights of the Pueblo City School District program can be found at the Safe Schools Healthy Students website featuring best practices on supportive school discipline:
PBIS is an evidence-based, framework that reduces disciplinary incidents, increases a school’s sense of safety, and supports improved academic outcomes. By decreasing the time spent on discipline, teachers have more time for classroom instruction and can promote a climate of greater productivity, safety, and learning. Using an interactive software program (Tableau), staff from the Pueblo City School District compile disciplinary data to map, aggregate and cross examine discipline behavior data with other school data to identify patterns and trends. The resulting information can be used to pinpoint the times and locations when discipline problems are most likely to occur within individual schools or the district as a whole. One school, as an example, responded to disciplinary problems in the lunchroom by expanding the number of lunchroom periods, thereby reducing the number of students who were in the lunchroom at any given time.
Results show that across the 25 schools that have fully implemented the PBIS program with fidelity, discipline referrals have been reduced by 38 percent. By contrast, schools with less than complete implementation of the program have found their disciplinary referrals to have remained constant or in some cases to have increased. In 2011-2012, Pueblo City Schools experienced over 9,000 student referrals for disciplinary infractions. With each referral estimated to entail 45 minutes of lost instructional time for the student, programs such as PBIS have the potential for increasing instructional time by nearly 7,000 hours or over 800 days. Administrator time can also be used more effectively when disciplinary referrals are reduced.
Research has also demonstrated a strong relationship between school connectedness and educational outcomes,including school attendance,staying in school longer,and higher grades and classroom test scores. The Center for Research Strategies is supporting the Pueblo City School’s Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative in documenting these program benefits and tracking resulting changes in student academic outcomes. Congratulations to the Pueblo City School District for this well-deserved recognition!