Knox Schools receive regional attention for PBIS success

PBIS Recognition logo

Knox County Public Schools were in the spotlight this fall for their continued success with PBIS, with modifications even being made for positive behavior through online learning.

Southeast South-Central Educational Cooperative (SESC) made the announcement at their fall meeting.

G.R. Hampton received recognition for maintaining a tier two, silver level, of fidelity of implementation at their school.  Central Elementary, Dewitt, Flat Lick, Girdler, Jesse D. Lay, Knox County Middle, Knox Central High, Knox Learning Academy, and Lynn Camp Schools were all recognized for maintaining tier one status of fidelity at the bronze level.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based three-tiered framework for improving and integrating all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. It is a way to support everyone – especially students with disabilities – to create the kinds of schools where all students are successful.

In previous years, schools had a statewide organization that provided PBIS training and support and recognized schools for their efforts with implementation. In that organization’s absence, SESC has stepped in to continue providing those supports and recognition for Knox County, which is among 27 districts and 180 schools that SESC is home to.

“This achievement reflects excellence in implementation and evaluation efforts and unprecedented commitment to the whole child in the process of education,” David Johnson, SESC Executive Director, said in a letter to schools.

“This is even more impressive considering the unusual challenges all schools experienced during the 2019-2020 school year,” Johnson went on to say.

Knox County’s Cher Smith echoes praise to the schools for maintaining the fidelity of their PBIS program.

“I have worked with the district-wide implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) in the Knox County School District for the past two school years.  It is a well-deserved honor for each school that the Knox County School District has 10 schools being recognized by the Southeast/South-Central Educational Cooperative for their PBIS Tier 1 systems, data, and practices…which impact everyone across all school settings,” said Smith.

“The school leadership, teachers, staff, students, and families have all worked together to earn this recognition.  I am privileged to have been a part of this great achievement!  Way to go!”

SESC shared during their presentation that there are approximately 30,000 schools implementing PBIS across the U.S. according to the national data measurement system.  That’s approximately 30% of all schools.  We also know that about a third of those schools are implementing at a level of fidelity, so somewhere around 10,000 or more.

What is each tier of PBIS?

Tier 2 practices include:

  • Increased instruction and practice with self-regulation and social skills
  • Increased adult supervision
  • Increased opportunities for positive reinforcement
  • Increased pre-corrections
  • Increased focus on possible function of problem behaviors
  • Increased access to academic supports

Tier 1 practices include:

  • School-wide positive expectations and behaviors are taught
  • Established classroom expectations aligned with school-wide expectations
  • A continuum of procedures for encouraging expected behavior
  • A continuum of procedures for discouraging problem behavior
  • Procedures for encouraging school-family partnership

Schools in Knox County are continuing to revise their PBIS systems to move to a tier two or tier three-level.

Tier 3 practices include:

  • Function-based assessments
  • Wraparound supports
  • Cultural and contextual fit

Schools must conduct fidelity measurement, collect perception data from their staff, submit evidence of their implementation efforts, and at the upper tiers, demonstrate positive outcomes from their data.  It’s not easy to meet the criteria,” stated SESC. 

Each of these schools will be receiving a banner to commemorate their achievement.