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Booker T. Washington High School’s Positive Behavior Support system earned bronze distinction last year from Florida Positive Behavior Support Project. 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. Last week’s WRiE partner post focused on the school’s expectations that every student matters. This week’s focus is on three of the school’s assessments used in their PBS model:

Classroom-Based (Behavior) Evaluation

Office Disciplinary Referrals

In-School and Out-of-School Suspension

Formative assessments with feedback allow individuals being measured to know what they are doing well, where they need to improve, and how to do so. For teachers charged with implementing PBS formative assessments this may mean what they’re doing well or where they need improvement (and how) in the following areas:

(a) Classroom Environment/Setting Setup to Prevent or Address Behavior Problems;

(b) Classroom Behavior System Developed and Implemented; and

(c) Student Engagement

Teachers and leaders can use the Classroom Assistance Tool to evaluate how well they are doing or where they need improvement in each of these areas. An amended version of the tool is below. A full copy of the tool is available online from Florida’s Positive Behavior Support Project here.

FL Classroom Tool

Teachers may also choose a more informal (formative) assessment by simply asking a colleague or the RtI behavior coach, “Hey, I’m having a problem with this student and not really sure what I can do; can you help me with him/her?” This gives the teacher the opportunity to have a colleague or non-administrative leader (e.g., RtI Coach at Washington High School) observe his/her classroom using the Classroom Assistance Tool and also focus on the individual student in question. Such informal collaborations become a win-win-win for the individual teacher, the school, and the student.

Use of both formative and summative assessments at BTWHS allowed for leaders to make decisions based on the data. For example, the school drilled-down on its tardy data by class-to-class location during transitions to determine that one additional minute between classes might benefit the more than 1,600 strong student body. As important, assessment results help engage teachers in the process (and gain buy-in from teachers who may question the system – if/when applicable), and also engage students and parents in support of positive behavior. Here are some results from the BTWHS Positive Behavior Support model after year 1:

Office disciplinary referrals were reduced by 748 referrals from 4,070 in 2010-2011 to 3,322 in 2011-2012.

ODR Year1

The number of students receiving Out-of-School and In-School Suspension decreased from 2010-2011 to 2011-2012.


Successful completion of a Florida PBS Walk-Through where BTWHS was critiqued, classrooms were visited, and students and teachers were interviewed on how well they knew school-wide behavior expectations. The result? BTWHS was one of 14 other high schools in the state to achieve model school status. Congratulations, PBS Team!

PBS Team

PBS systems establish behavioral expectations for students and support teachers’ alignment of their classroom behavior systems. Thus, students are aware of classroom- and school-wide expectations for behavior and are rewarded and recognized as a result of their (positive) behavior measured using formative and summative assessments. Washington High School’s PBS process for rewarding and recognizing students is the focus of Part 3 of this series.

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 second of a four-part series running each Friday in April about Washington High School’s PBS program.

Studer Education



Positive Behavior Support (PBS): School-Wide Expectations (Part 1 of 4). Read post here.

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.

“Our Partner” posts feature teachers, leaders, schools, and districts to share “what’s right” in education. Join us each Friday to celebrate these great educators, leaders, and institutions.

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.