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In Results that Last Studer urges readers to “Remember: What gets measured gets improved” and to “do frequent measurement [because] it reinforces positive behavior” (pp. 94-95). Positive Behavior Support (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 (Pensacola, FL) the PBS team monitors progress across 5 different measurement areas of behavioral data:

Office Discipline Referrals

Out-of-School Suspensions

In-School Suspensions


Bullying Prevention

A total of twelve items are measured across these five areas. The school monitors the measures each 9 weeks and compares data to both the previous year and previous nine weeks. The data are shared with faculty and staff, and students are rewarded and recognized using the data (e.g., class with the least number of referrals enjoys a pizza and a movie). After reviewing year 2 data associated with Washington’s PBS system, the behavior associated with the measures has improved. One example associated with office discipline referrals:

The total number of referrals decreased – more than 600 fewer referrals at the end of the 3rd Nine Weeks than previous year.

The number of individual students with a deferral decreased – individual students with at least one deferral decreased by over 50% or more than 400 students!

The average number of referrals per student decreased – Fewer individuals with deferrals (above) meant a drop, too, in the average number of referrals per student from more than 2 referrals per student to near 1/3 per student.

Similar results are found in the decrease of Out-of-School Suspensions (27% fewer) and In-School Suspensions (11.5% fewer) than the same time last year. Studer suggests (p. 95):

The more often we measure the important things, the more we’ll know about where we are making progress and where we are not. And the more we know, the more we can effect behavior.

In part 1 of this series highlighting Washington High School’s PBS System we shared the school’s expectation that every student matter and that to become better, people need to know what is expected from them. The BTWHS behavioral expectations for students are aligned with the behavioral measures highlighted in today’s post. The expectations and measures provide opportunities for teachers and leaders to offer feedback and recognition to students. The result is improved behavior.

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 last post in a four-part series 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.

Studer, Quint. 2008. Results that Last. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. Available online 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.