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Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS)

Diven students receiving Good Kid Patrols for displaying positive behavior.

Pictured Above: Diven students receiving Good Kid Patrols for displaying positive behavior.

All 12 schools in the Elmira City School District are using PBIS, an acclaimed system that is utilized in districts throughout the country. With PBIS, each school takes a building-wide approach to teaching, reinforcing and recognizing students' positive behavior.

What is PBIS?

PBIS is a team-based, systematic approach to teaching behavioral expectations throughout the school. It is based on a proactive model that teaches specific behaviors, reinforces and recognizes students who model these behaviors, and has systems in place to support students who have more challenging behaviors.


SOAR logo

Since the team approach is crucial to making this system work, family support is very important to its success. Contact your school to find out how you can get involved and learn more about using PBIS.

Our schools all use the acronym of S.O.A.R. to reinforce positive behaviors. S.O.A.R. stands for


Be Safe;

Practice Ownership;

Celebrate Acceptance;

Show Respect.


The Dolphin Way

Each classroom at Diven utilizes a “recharging station” to help students re-start and self-regulate their behavior.

Each classroom at Diven utilizes a “recharging station” to help students re-start and self-regulate their behavior.

Diven continues to celebrate behaviors that promote learning on a daily basis. Our day begins by making the pledge to do our very best through reciting The Dolphin Way together.

We learn and practice strategies to help us work hard and be nice in our classrooms and during monthly Town Meetings. The Dolphin Way, Good Kid Patrols, Dol-friend of the Day, Second Step Program, Super Splash, Best Fin Forward and PAWS awards all celebrate our efforts tomake our best even better.

This year, we have incorporated monthly Smile Days, where we make others smiles through our kind words and actions.

During the month of December, we read the book Sneezy the Snowman and warmed our school with presents of kind acts for our school and community. We are excited to meet the author, Maureen Wright, this month.



We use a school-wide discipline system that addresses the entire school. This includes not only the classroom, but also areas outside the classroom such as hallways, restrooms, the cafeteria and the playground.

Every person who works in the school is aware of the behavioral expectations and works to ensure that students are consistently getting the same message.



There are several components in place to implement PBIS:

  1. Behavioral expectations are defined. A small number of clearly defined behavioral expectations are simply stated in positive terms. Each building identifies their expectations (such as S.O.A.R.)
  2. Behavioral expectations are taught. Behavioral expectations are identified for various settings in each school. The behaviors are taught to all students in the school through direct teaching with the help of staff.
  3. Appropriate behaviors are acknowledged. Once appropriate behaviors have been defined and taught, they are acknowledged in various ways on a regular basis. Each school has its own specific reinforcements and rewards such as PRIDE points and Bengal Badges.
  4. Data collection. Discipline data is collected on school-wide behavior and a team reviews the data regularly to determine when and where any problems may be occurring. The committee then brainstorms ways to proactively address the problems and to re-teach and reinforce positive behaviors.
  5. Individual support is provided for students not responding to the school-wide system. Each school has a system for developing plans for individual students who may have a difficult time and need more support in a school setting.
    Teams meet regularly and involve parents as active partners in helping students to succeed.
  6. Active support by all stakeholders. The entire school community is needed to be actively involved in order to make the system successful. PBIS is a district-wide system for establishing a positive culture in each building.


Benefits of PBIS (research-based)

  1. Maximizes academic engagement and achievement for all students.
  2. Increases attendance.
  3. Student self-reports of a more positive and calm environment.
  4. Teacher reports of a more positive and calm environment.
  5. Reduction in the number of behavioral disruptions.
  6. Reduction of disciplinary referrals
  7. Improvement of supports for students whose behaviors require more specialized assistance


Web resources


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