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These are the words of Ms. Linda Bonifay, Curriculum Coordinator and PBS Coach at Oakcrest Elementary School in the Escambia County School District (FL). The Positive Behavior System (PBS) at Oakcrest is in its fourth year of implementation. PBS systems are grounded in evidence-based strategies shown to increase student academic performance and safety, and decrease problem behaviors; the result is a positive school culture. At Oakcrest teachers, parents, and staff work closely to make a positive difference in their students’ lives. From the Oakcrest website:

Positive Behavior Support (PBS) gives people a new way to think about behavior.  PBS is based on understanding why problem behaviors occur- the behavior’s function… PBS provides a positive and effective alternative to the traditional methods of discipline.  PBS methods are research-based and proven to significantly reduce the occurrence of problem behaviors in the school, resulting in a more positive school climate and increased academic performance.

Oakcrest’s PBS program earned gold distinction from the Florida Positive Behavior Support Project. According to Ms. Bonifay there are three major reasons why PBS works at Oakcrest:

We have an INCREDIBLE faculty and staff!

The school’s team approach to PBS begins with the principal. [Principal Denny] Wilson has given the Leadership Team the authority to adjust the plan and make the necessary changes for the program to be successful.

Our PBS plan reflects our school motto: Every Student, Every Day, Whatever it Takes!

Oakcrest PBS 2

Much effort goes into the team approach. Oakcrest began by forming a PBS Leadership Team. The Team received PBS training and then developed the school PBS plan and trained faculty and staff. Faculty and staff from all grade levels and departments form the PBS Committee at Oakcrest. Parent and student perceptions and behavior data are also included in discussion. Why?

[Adding faculty and staff from all grade levels and departments] afforded us the opportunity to have a representative at all grade level meetings to facilitate implementation and relay concerns to the [PBS] committee.

All stakeholders (parents, teachers, staff, and students) are surveyed and the [PBS Committee] makes adjustments as needed.

[The Committee] disaggregates behavior data frequently (monthly, sometimes bi-monthly) to review problem behaviors; behavior by grade level; infraction location and time of day; interventions utilized; etc.

[Committee] makes positive adjustments to PBS Plan based on the behavior data and surveys responses.

Anchored by strong leadership a Team approach, Oakcrest’s PBS program also includes school-wide positive strategies, community involvement, and recognition of contributions by faculty and staff.


Special thanks to Ms. Linda Bonifay for providing the content for today’s blog. Join Studer Education in celebrating her leadership as Curriculum Coordinator and leader of the gold distinction PBS efforts at Oakcrest Elementary. Ms. Bonifay is one of the incredible leaders at Oakcrest Elementary and we appreciate her willingness to share with the What’s Right readers what makes Oakcrest’s PBS program award winning.




Visit the Oakcrest Elementary School website.

Last week’s blog “Our Partner” post featured Oakcrest’s principal, Mr. Denny Wilson, where he talked about “living” the Oakcrest motto Every Student, Every Day, Whatever it Takes! Check out the post here.

Our mission at Studer Education is to provide students with a great place to learn, teachers with a great place to teach, and parents with confidence that their children are getting a great education. Visit us online at http://studereducation.com. Studer Education is a division of Studer Group, ranked for the fifth straight year on the Best Small and Medium Workplaces by Great Place to Work® and a recipient of the 2010 Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award.