Grossmont Union Uses PBIS to Prevent Behavioral Issues
Jenée Littrell, Safe Students/Healthy Schools project director
Grossmont Union High School District
Through a formal needs assessment, staff support, and strategic planning, California’s Grossmont Union High School District (GUHSD) effectively adopted PBIS to address gaps in its school discipline policies and universal supports.
Before implementing PBIS, GUHSD staff conducted a needs assessment. The data revealed the shortcomings of the school disciplinary system—in particular, that some at-risk students were falling through the cracks. GUHSD administrators worked to address the issues, with the goal of achieving better outcomes for students. Their first steps were to redefine discipline and to integrate PBIS as part of the school culture.
The implementation of PBIS gained support as staff saw the positive academic results for students. In addition, from fall 2011 to fall 2012, the number of disciplinary referrals at one GUHSD high school decreased from 280 to 110. The district’s multipronged approach to implementing PBIS both improved student outcomes and created a more positive school climate.
GUHSD can now reach at-risk students with Tier 1 and 2 components before negative behavior escalates. One school transformed its in-school suspension room into a “Reflection Room” to act as an early intervention to address behavioral issues. Rather than serve as a form of punishment, this is now a place where students reflect on inappropriate behavior, work with staff to determine the root cause, and decide how to address the problem. Encouraging students to reflect on and process negative behaviors allows them the opportunity to better understand the problem.