Safe & Healthy Kids » School Climate Transformation Initiative/Positive School Climate

School Climate Transformation Initiative/Positive School Climate


Transforming School Climate for the Hemet Unified School District


The Hemet Unified School District was one of 71 recipients nationwide to be awarded a School Climate Transformation Initiative Grant from the U.S. Department of Education, which provides $1.6 million in funding for 5 years from 2013-2014 through 2018-2019.


The expected outcomes include:

  • Improving student attendance
  • Reducing Exclusionary Discipline Practices  
  • Reducing office discipline referrals, suspensions and expulsions
  • Implementing of a multi-tiered system of supports

The Hemet Unified School District in undertaking a district wide implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports which is a multi-tiered system of support designed to improve school climate for ALL students.


 What is School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS)?

School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

(SW-PBIS) is a multi-tiered prevention framework guiding the implementation and sustainability of evidence-based interventions to meet the academic, behavior and socio-emotional needs of all students.  Schools implementing PBIS Tier I supports for all students prevent the development and/or exacerbation of behavior challenges, increase the occurrence of pro-social skills and enhance the overall school culture.   The use of school-wide, targeted group and individual student outcome and fidelity data is used for decision-making and action planning.

Main Ideas:

  • Teams need people with multiple skills and perspectives to implement PBIS well.
  • Specific features are necessary to ensure meetings are effective for action planning and tracking progress.
  • Having school-wide, positive expectations is among the best ways to establish a positive social culture.
  • Behavioral expectations need to be taught to all students in order to be effective.
  • Operational definitions of problem behavior and consistent processes for responding to problem behavior improve the “predictability” of social expectations in the school and focus on reducing the rewarding of problem behaviors.
  • Preventative and positive approaches to discipline are the most effective.
  • The key to PBIS implementation is staff consistency. All staff need to be informed and aware of the goals, process and measures.
  • PBIS expectations and consequences need to be integrated into the classroom systems. This improves consistency in behavior support practices across adults and environments.
  • Students will sustain positive behavior only if there are regular strategies for continuous re-teaching and acknowledgement of appropriate behavior. Formal systems are easier for teachers/staff to implement.
  • Schools need active engagement of all faculty to be successful with PBIS implementation and sustain the work over time.
  • Schools need active engagement of students, families and the community to be successful.
  • Teams need the right information in the right format at the right time to make effective decisions.
  • Measuring fidelity is essential for maintaining high-criterion use of PBIS.

PBIS creates an effective and equitable environment by redesigning learning communities which are:






The three integrated elements supporting success for ALL students are:


DATA to support decision making.  

Data are used to develop plans and actions that respond to what is really occurring in the school rather than reaching at straws and making assumptions.  Data that are kept current provide a real-time look at your school climate.        


PRACTICES to support student behavior.  Expectations for student behavior are developed and clearly

communicated to all students.  Along with this, practices are in place for preventing students’ disruptive behaviors

from erupting in class or non-classroom settings, and for reinforcing positive behaviors.


SYSTEMS to support staff behavior. 

Staff are trained to prevent many student behavior problems as well as to deal with disruptive behaviors in a proactive and positive manner.  Systems infrastructure includes creating routines that support and sustain new adult behaviors.


PBIS is part of an integrative and comprehensive Multi-tiered System of Support (MTSS) model supporting academic, behavior and social emotional competence for all students.  MTSS is not a strategy, intervention or curriculum; it is dependent upon a:


Whole school or organization,

data driven prevention based framework

for improving learning outcomes for ALL students

through a layered continuum of evidence-based practices and systems.



An MTSS model involves cross-system problem solving teams using data to determine which evidence-based practices are implemented to meet the desired outcomes across the continuum. MTSS teams are guided by key stakeholders in education and mental health who have the authority to relocate resources, change role and function of staff and change policy.  MTSS supports effective school discipline by teaching students social skills that are expected in classrooms and non-classroom settings, reinforcing students’ appropriate behaviors, and responding appropriately and consistently to problem behaviors when they do occur.


TIER I – PRIMARY PREVENTION all students receive academic, behavior and emotional interventions that are intended to ensure student success. Data-based decision-making systems are employed by school, mental health, family and/or community teams to provide ongoing prevention, progress monitoring and early identification/intervention. Cross-System teams use Universal Screeners for any academic, behavior and/or emotional difficulties a student may experience. Teacher training supports teachers in prevention strategies promoting academic, behavior and socio-emotional growth.

  • Teach & Encourage  Positive SW Expectations
  • Proactive SW Discipline
  • Classroom Prevention Practices
  • Parent & Community Partnership
  • Special Education


TIER II – SECONDARY PREVENTION intended to support the early identification and support of students who have learning, behavior, social and/or life histories putting them at risk of engaging in more serious problem behavior is available by October and uses efficient progress monitoring tools to ensure successful outcomes.  Teacher training and support is provided to pro-actively address the needs of this at-risk population. 

  • Check in/out (CICO)
  • Breaks are Better (Work Avoidance)
  • Academics Behavior CICO & Academic Seminar
  • Check, Connect, Expect (Mentoring and CICO)
  • Social Emotional Skill Instruction


TIER III-TERTIARY PREVENTION individualized and intensive PBIS plans designed for a smaller number of students who need more support than interventions implemented at primary and secondary prevention levels. Interdisciplinary teams designed around the identified student provide student and family support monitoring.

  • Function-based support
  • Wraparound &  Integrated Mental Health  Systems
  • Special Education