Welcome to the
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) page.
This webpage will share resources for implementation of PBIS,
spotlight practices and events in our schools, and provide contact
information for PBIS external and district coaches. 

  District RtI Support

Julie Oehmichen

RtI Coordinator



Links to School PBIS Pages


PBIS on the Bus

The vision of the Wausau School District Transportation Committee is a commitment to excellence in safely transporting students, encouraging respectful and caring behavior while supporting District Shared Key Interests. We strive to encourage collaboration between First Student and the Wausau School District in order to proactively communicate with mutual respect.

First Student Website  PBIS on the Bus Video-Middle School
Bus Transportation Flow Chart  PBIS on the Bus Video-Elementary School
Bus Expectations Matrix  PBIS on the Bus-Brochure
First Day of School Lesson Plan  

What is PBIS?

PBIS is a proactive systems approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional, and academic success.  As a Response to Intervention (RtI) model, PBIS applies a three-tiered system of support, and a problem-solving process to enhance the capacity of schools to effectively educate all students.

Research supports that a PBIS system, implemented with fidelity, effectively reduces classroom disruptions and student suspensions through a school-wide, systematic, tiered-intervention approach, which leads to increased student achievement. School-wide PBIS provides an operational framework for achieving these outcomes.

The goals of PBIS are to:

  • Increase data-based decision-making on behavior and reinforce across all school settings.

  • Increase consistent use and effect of research-based behavioral strategies among all school staff at school-wide, classroom, and individual student levels.

  • Reduce use of reactive discipline measures in schools (e.g., office discipline referrals, detentions, suspensions, expulsions) for all students.

  • Increase academic achievement levels of all students.

  • Implement effective intervention plans for students with the most comprehensive behavioral and emotional needs that support and evaluate their success across home, school, and community.

  • Increase capacity of general education settings to successfully educate students with disabilities and prevent academic and/or social failures of all students.

  • Increase capacity of schools and districts to address over- and under-representation of students by ethnicity relative to discipline, disability status, and academic achievement with access to data on these outcomes.

  • Improve attendance by establishing a culture of attendance, acknowledging outstanding attendance and supporting students at-risk for chronic absenteeism.

School-wide PBIS emphasizes four integrated elements: (a) data for decision making, (b) measurable outcomes supported and evaluated by data, (c) practices with evidence that these outcomes are achievable and (d) systems that efficiently and effectively support implementation of these practices.

School-wide PBIS emphasizes four integrated elements: (a) data for decision-making, (b) measurable outcomes supported and evaluated by data, (c) practices with evidence that these outcomes are achievable and (d) systems that efficiently and effective support implementation of these practice

Schools that establish systems with the capacity to implement school-wide PBIS with integrity and durability have teaching and learning environments that are:

  • Less reactive, aversive, dangerous and exclusionary, and
  • More engaging, responsive, preventive and productive.

In addition, these environments are more effective and efficient in their capacity to:

  • Address classroom management and disciplinary issues (e.g., attendance, tardiness, antisocial behavior),
  • Improve supports for students whose behaviors require more specialized assistance (e.g., emotional and behavioral disorders, mental health), and
  • Most importantly, maximize academic engagement and achievement for all students
The Wausau School District has had a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) system in place for several years.

Each school has chosen a set behavioral expectations (i.e. Be Safe, Be Respectful and Be Responsible) as their school-wide expectations. The expectations are clearly defined for each of the common areas or times throughout the school. The expectations are systematically taught and demonstrated through behavioral lesson plans, also known as “Cool Tools,” on a schedule developed by the Tier 1/Universal Team. The schedule is largely dependent on school data, both objective and anecdotal, that suggests which potential or problem behaviors need to be addressed as priorities.

Students are frequently recognized and appreciated, often when they least expect it, for following the expectations. They are “caught doing the right thing” as part of a school-wide acknowledgement system. Schools often will use some type of “ticket” system as part of a token-economy system where students can earn a reward. Rewards may be individualized or classroom-based and can vary from school to school. Schools with middle and high school grades are encouraged to have a student advisory group to help identify which rewards may be valued most by the students.

When problem behavior does occur, PBIS supports agreement within the school about what constitutes a minor(managed in the classroom) versus a major (managed in the office) behavior. There is a clear set of definitions and processes for situations that involve negative behavior so that the school environment becomes a calmer, more predictable and more consistent place to be for students and adults alike.