Why do schools implement PBIS?

PBIS is a proactive approach to discipline and instruction. It emphasizes the establishment of organizational systems that give school staff the tools to use effective interventions successfully. Instead of waiting for misbehavior to occur, PBIS focuses on rewarding positive behaviors and outcomes. PBIS establishes a school-wide climate and culture in which positive behavior is both the norm and the expectation, helping to maximize success for all students.

What does PBIS look like in schools?

In order to be effective, PBIS is applied not only in individual classrooms, but throughout the entire school as well. To implement PBIS within a school, a school’s PBIS team will first establish a set of “preferred behaviors,” such as:

  • Be Safe

  • Be Respectful

  • Be Responsible


  • Be Prepared

  • Be Accountable

  • Be Courteous

  • Keep Safe

Then, a school’s PBIS team will create a matrix of what these behaviors look like, sound like, and feel like within the classroom and within the hallways. The matrix includes the different settings (classrooms, hallways, playgrounds, etc.) as well as the behavioral expectations in each of these settings; the columns and rows of the matrix intersect to define positive behaviors. Some examples of these specific positive behaviors would be:

  • Keep your hands and feet where they belong

  • Use playground equipment only for its intended purpose

  • Keep your workspace clean and organized

The PBIS behavioral matrix is customized to fit each physical area and each behavioral expectation, so that students and staff have a clear understanding of expected behaviors.

Learn more about how the Immaculate Heart of Mary School in Towson implements PBIS.

How does PBIS help educators? 

PBIS helps educators by:

  • Establishing a positive code of conduct for the classroom. With a code of conduct implemented in the classroom and throughout the school, there is a consistent expectation of good behavior for both students and educators. Maintaining a regular, positive environment is key for students, especially for those who may have a tumultuous personal life.

  • Creating a beneficial, effective learning experience for all students. A positive learning environment helps students to feel more comfortable engaging and interacting, ultimately creating a better learning experience for all. PBIS works to maximize both the social and academic outcomes for all students and educators; PBIS is an effective framework for all students.

Which Sheppard Pratt schools implement PBIS?

  • Many of our day schools implement PBIS, and several have earned recognition for their hard work. In fact, The Forbush School at Glyndon has earned a “gold” rating for meeting their positive behavior goals for the last seven years. Our schools that implement PBIS include:

    • Sheppard Pratt School in Glyndon - Reisterstown Campus
    • Sheppard Pratt School in Glyndon - Glyndon Campus

    • Sheppard Pratt School in Rockville

    • Sheppard Pratt School in Cumberland

    • Sheppard Pratt School in Gaithersburg

Contact Abby Potter to learn more about PBIS at Sheppard Pratt schools.