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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 Booker T. Washington High School (Escambia County, FL), PBS begins with school-wide expectations that every student matters:


To become better, people need to know where they are going and what is expected of them. This means for students to learn they need to know what they should be focusing on and what they should do in order to reach a desired goal. Similarly, this means for students to do the right thing or behave they need to know the expectations for appropriate behavior. What are some ways award-winning Booker T. Washington High School communicates behavior expectations?

Posted around the school are the BTWHS School-Wide Expectations (above) reminding each student that he/she matters.

At new freshman orientation before school begins, new students are introduced to the school’s PBS program. In addition, at the beginning of each academic year all English teachers spend one week with their classes reviewing the Behavior Expectation Matrix which helps students think about what it means to “be safe; take responsibility; have pride and academic success; and show respect” in areas of the school (e.g., atrium, hallways, cafeteria). Below is the 2 x 5 matrix for behavior expectations for the classroom, and bus and car lots; the full 8 x 5 Behavior Expectation Matrix is available by contacting Ms. Cooper.

BTW Matrix (Amended)

Parents are encouraged to help support positive behavior by modeling and encouraging appropriate behavior, rewarding and recognizing their child, and maintaining active communication with teachers at BTWHS. See the school’s PBS parent brochure here.

BTW Parents

Setting behavioral expectations helps students know what is expected of them as they engage with their classmates, teachers, and administrators; much like learning targets set expectations for what is expected in academic achievement, expectations for behavior allow students to act with a goal in mind. Communicating such expectations to students, much like teachers’ communication of learning targets in their classrooms, provides opportunities for teachers and school leaders to offer feedback (positive or negative) and recognition through formative and summative assessments. This is the focus of part 2 of our series posted next Friday.

Special thanks to Ms. Rosie Cooper for providing the content for today’s blog. Join Studer Education in celebrating her leadership of the bronze distinction PBS efforts as RtI Behavior Coach and ISS Coordinator at Washington High School. We appreciate Ms. Cooper’s willingness to share with the What’s Right readers what makes Washington’s PBS program award winning. This is the first of a four-part series running each Friday in April about Washington High School’s PBS program.




Visit the B.T. Washington High School website at http://www.BTWash.org. For more information about Washington High School’s PBS program please contact Ms. Rosie Cooper, M.A.T.L., at RCooper@Escambia.K12.FL.US.

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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.