Other Topics

Addressing Climate and Safety through PBIS


School Climate

Reflects how members of the school community experience the school, including interpersonal relationships, teacher and other staff practices, and organizational arrangements. (Department of Education, Office of Safe and Healthy Students 2016)

Team building puzzle

School Safety

Although no single definition of ‘school safety’ currently exists, various organizations have defined safe schools as being free from fear, intimidation, violence, and isolation. (School Superintendents Association, 2019)

School Safety and Climate go hand in hand, and both are critical to the academic and social development of students. (Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center, 2018)


Climate and Safety Initiatives Can Include:

  • Relationship building
  • Classroom management
  • Social skills curricula/programs
  • School discipline procedures
  • Violence prevention programs
  • Anti-bullying
  • Suicide and threat assessments
  • Utilization of school resource officers
  • Emergency and disaster response plans
  • Post-crisis responses



Climate and Safety Can Help Foster:

  • Increased student attendance
  • Increated student achievement
  • Staff retention
  • Student and family engagement






PBIS Supports School Climate and Safety by:

  • Providing a framework to organize and deliver climate and safety initiatives in a positive and proactive manner,
  • Helping your school/district to maximize resources,
  • Reducing duplication in activities, and
  • Ensuring consistency in addressing the needs of the whole child.


Examples of PBIS Activities that Support Better Climate:

  • Encouraging ongoing student, family and teacher feedback on school-wide activities
  • Establishing a common language (the school-wide expectations) throughout the school
  • Emphasizing the importance of interpersonal relationships
  • Directing attention to positive behaviors
  • Celebrating staff and student success
  • Increasing instruction in order to prevent disciplinary infractions
  • Teaching students prosocial behaviors to support their success
  • Using data to identify effective and efficient strategies to reduce disciplinary infractions


Examples of PBIS Activities that Support Safety:

  • Engaging in regular differentiated instruction of behaviors that promote a safe environment
  • Increasing the predictability of learning environments through a common language and school-wide procedures
  • Encouraging prosocial behaviors
  • Increasing the consistency of disciplinary  practices
  • Using data to prioritize targets for intervention
  • Engaging in progress monitoring of safety concerns
  • Using the PBIS framework to integrate mental health and behavioral support
  • Including school resource and/or safety officers as partners in providing positive and preventative supports