Irvine High School is proud to have received the California Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) Platinum level of recognition. At Irvine High, PBIS is a framework or approach comprised of intervention practices and organizational systems for establishing the social culture, learning and teaching environment, and individual behavior supports needed to achieve academic and social success for all students.
Irvine High School Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) Description of the Model
Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) at Irvine High School is an approach that we have incorporated to assist our school personnel in adopting evidence-based behavioral interventions that enhance academic and social behavior outcomes for all our students.
The original intent for this approach was to respond to a school wide issue with chronic absenteeism and tardiness. At the time of the original implementation in 2002, our attendance data indicated that schoolwide 43% of students had one or more single period unexcused absence per month. By 2008, we were able to reduce the absenteeism to as low as 8% of students with one or more single period unexcused absence per month. We also identified that a large portion of the students who were cutting classes were also not passing their classes and/or needed additional supports.
Our goal through the adoption of a PBIS approach was to lower our student truancy rate, which we hypothesized would have a positive effect on student's grades and a positive effect on our school culture. Our first step in agreeing to adopt this approach was to introduce our staff to the truancy data so that they would understand our need to implement a process that would help us respond to these concerns. We also recognized that our staff would need to be trained in the PBIS approach as our tradition had been to be reactive to disciplinary behaviors as opposed to proactive. Some students had accrued hundreds of detentions. What we had been doing to address truancy issues was punitive in nature and did not necessarily affect change in our students’ behavior. After attending a PBIS conference offered through the University of Oregon, our school psychologist at the time suggested that we incorporate the PBIS approach in attempting to regulate and respond to our truancy issue. The goal was to partner with our staff and student leadership in developing a school wide behavioral matrix. This behavioral matrix would provide our school community with a set of values that they would be able to use as a foundation for teaching expected behaviors. The values that were identified incorporated our school acronym of IHS. I represents, Integrity, H represents, Honoring yourself and others and S represents, Social Responsibility. After successfully working with teachers and students to implement the program, the next few years saw dramatic decreases in truancy numbers and a significant increase in the use of the behavior matrix not only at the schoolwide level, but also allowed for the establishment of specific classroom desired student behaviors. The IHS Values became an integral part of day-to-day activities, defining positive expectations in a variety of situations from teacher's syllabi to Via Vaqueros which honored students for making positive choices.
In 2006 we were identified for our efforts as a PBIS school and were awarded a Cal Stat Grant that allowed us to provide technical assistance and staff development. We were recipients of this grant until 2011 at which time it was no longer awarded. Our implementation and training of the PBIS approach allowed us to develop a PBIS committee that included representation from all departments, a parent, and student representatives. Our PBIS committee has been instrumental in using yearly data to define the necessary action plans that guide our work in implementing PBIS to fidelity. One important result of this work has been the creation of our pyramid of intervention. This addresses the implementation of both academic and behavioral interventions for Irvine High School. Currently, we use our pyramid of intervention to guide us through our multi-tier intervention processes. Over the last five years, our attendance data indicates a sustainable reduction in one or more single period absence at 3%-5% per month.
The Irvine High School PBIS model has been a key factor in the prioritization and implementation of PBIS district wide. PBIS has been utilized as a means to successfully adopt interventions and sustain a positive school culture. Our various stakeholders have identified PBIS as an essential approach and it is supported through our ongoing Local Control and Accountability Plan (LCAP) specific within our District’s goal #3; cultivate a positive school culture and system of supports for student personal and academic growth.
Implementation and Monitoring of the Model
The initial implementation began with the introduction to our staff of the PBIS approach. Our staff has learned the importance of partnering with our students in establishing what appropriate behaviors look like in the various activities that take place in their classroom. Our staff has also adopted an understanding of the importance of acknowledging students for their positive behavior. Schoolwide, our behavior matrix identifies what our IHS values of Integrity, Honoring Yourself and Others, and Social Responsibility look like in the classroom, on campus, school events, the community, social settings including electronic and network settings.
We have worked schoolwide to develop a system every four years that allows us to reexamine the operational definitions for our behavior matrix and determine if these definitions are still appropriate. This schoolwide effort begins with the student leaders in our Associated Student Body group. These leaders brainstorm and affirm or add to the definitions that are currently in place. This list of definitions is then shared with the student leaders of our Teacher Advisement groups through Student Forum. These Teacher Advisement group leaders pare down the list and/or adjust it. This list then is distributed to our entire student body through our Teacher Advisement periods to share in the decision about what the definitions of these values should look like for them. Our teachers guide and facilitate discussions with our students. From these discussions students identify the definitions. The results are tallied and we identify three to four new operational definitions for our values. This process allows us to truly partner with our students and allows them to own the agreements made as a school community.
At the beginning of every year through our Link Crew Freshman orientation, our Link Crew leaders introduce our IHS values to our incoming freshman and new students. They define for them that these values and the behaviors connected with these values is what being an Irvine Vaquero is about. Our parent community is provided a copy of our behavioral matrix and encouraged to have further conversation with their sons/daughters about these values and how they can be transferred to their behavior at home. Students are invited to purchase a “Vaquero Strong” shirt where they take a pledge to acknowledge and carry-out our IHS values throughout the year.
Our student acknowledgements include our "Via Vaqueros." The staff provide students with "Via Vaquero" slips as a recognition for their positive behavior. Students are encouraged to turn in the bottom portion of these strips to the office so that they can be part of our bi-monthly "Via Vaquero" acknowledgment drawing. Our PTSA sponsors our drawing by providing us with various gift cards that we award to students through a monthly drawing. In addition, our teachers are encouraged to take time once a month to send an IHS positive acknowledgement postcard home as a recognition for a student's positive behavior. We recognize students in a more formal, schoolwide method through our Spur Awards program. In the fall and in the spring we ask our staff to recognize two to three students who best exemplify our IHS values and submit their names and an anecdote and rationale for their identification of these students. Pictures of the SPUR Awards recipients are displayed on the window of our student store. At the end of the year, we have a formal ceremony in which we recognize the students individually and read aloud their positive accomplishments with family, friends, teachers and staff in attendance. It is truly a highlight of the year as we celebrate in our students those key elements that define the positive culture at Irvine High School.
Some of the best evidence that identifies how PBIS has become an integral part of the culture of Irvine High School has come from the way in which the students themselves have taken it upon themselves to strengthen and expand the program. Four years ago, our Student Forum developed a campaign to have our IHS values identified through artistic renditions. The student body was invited to submit artistic paintings or drawings that portrayed our values. The submissions were then provided for our student body to vote and three paintings were chosen. The artist of these paintings were then commissioned to paint their renditions on large canvases. These artistic renditions are proudly displayed in our library to further identify our IHS values.
Our PBIS committee facilitates a yearly schoolwide systems survey in the fall and in the spring that allows us to identify the various areas that are yet to be addressed. Along with our yearly survey, the three areas that we look at are attendance data, discipline referral data, and D and F grade data. It is through this targeted approach that we are able to identify areas of focus as well as students that needed further targeted intervention and support. A yearly action plan is developed and the committee meets regularly to determine how to best meet the identified needs. These areas of concern are then addressed with our school's leadership group and then with the entire staff. We work with staff to train and assist in the identification and implementation of best practices and targeted interventions strategies that will best meet the needs of our students.
Results of the Model/Pupil Outcomes
The original intent of the implementation of our PBIS approach was to address chronic truancy. Attendance data is reviewed to identify possible schoolwide shifting trends. Overall, our current attendance data indicates a 95%-97% positive attendance. This data provides for us a targeted group of students who our Multi-Tiered Intervention and Support (MTSS) team then cross references with D-F data and discipline referrals to identify a targeted intervention process. This process can include: student, counselor, administrator conference; student, parent, counselor and administrator conference; a Student Intervention Team meeting; a Student Study Team meeting; In-house intervention (facilitated afterschool), check-in and check-out; 504 assessment, and/or IDEA assessment.
The MTSS team also known at Irvine High School as our Student Review Team meets weekly to develop a plan for students who need targeted intervention support. The members of this team consist of all administrators, all counselors, our two psychologists, an Education Specialist teacher, our Project Success Counselor, and our Wellness Coordinator. Students identified for targeted intervention are monitored and after three weeks of the plan's implementation, the team reviews student progress, evaluates the plan, and if necessary, develops a plan with additional, higher-tiered interventions. Approximately, 10% of our student population is initially identified for possible targeted intervention. Of the 10% of these students, many of their behaviors are mitigated through our various identified interventions. Our teaching staff has been instrumental in attending the various Student Intervention Team and Student Study Team meetings so that they are part of partnering with the student and the parent to identify how to best support our students.
Both at the end of the year, "State of Irvine," staff meeting and at the beginning of the school year meeting, data that displays areas of student success as well as areas to be addressed along with a possible action plan are shared with the staff. Staff input is gathered through the PBIS survey. This fall our staff survey identified an 84% schoolwide implementation of clearly stated student expectations being defined for our students. Staff identified a 55% in place and a 41% partially in place of our PBIS implementation in non-classroom settings. In the classroom, staff identified a 69% in place and 31% partially in place of expected student behaviors and routines that are taught directly. These percentages provides a validation and indicate our staff taking ownership of the behavioral agreements that they, partnering with students, have created and implement in their classrooms. Furthermore, the survey data has led to a new tardy policy that establishes clear expectations and the reinforcement of those expectations by having individual connective conferences with students around the dynamics of the problem behavior.
From the inception of our PBIS approach we have recognized that the evolution of this approach was a process that would be worth the effort over time. There is still much work to be done as we value the positive effects that implementing a PBIS approach has had on the school culture of Irvine High School. Our students at Irvine High School own our IHS values and recognize and understand that having Integrity, Honoring Yourself and Others, and having Social Responsibility are at the foundation of what being an Irvine Vaquero is all about.