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Pattison Path

Pattison Path = Expected Behaviors = PBIS (Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports)

At Pattison Elementary, we use a framework to teach and encourage expected behavior called PBIS (Positive Behavior Interventions & Support). PBIS is an implementation framework for maximizing the selection and use of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices along a multi-tiered continuum that supports the academic, social, emotional and behavioral competence of all students (, 2018).   
We know it in our building as "The Pattison Path.”
Important components of PBIS include: 1.) A set of school-wide expectations; 2) Direct, explicit teaching of behaviors that represent these expectations across school settings; 3) A system for acknowledging these behaviors; and 4) A system for supporting students who are struggling to learn these behaviors.  
Component 1: School-wide expectations

The Pattison Path outlines three general expectations:
  • Be Respectful
  • Be Responsible
  • Be A Problem Solver
Component 2: Teaching specific behaviors

Expected student behaviors within and across all school environments and are listed in our school-wide behavior matrix. These behaviors are taught at the start of the school year to all students, and are subsequently shaped and reinforced throughout the year.  If you would like to see examples of the lessons students are taught, please contact your child's teacher or our school psychologist, Jen O'Brien at

Component 3: Acknowledgement system

In order to acknowledge students when they demonstrate the behaviors they've learned, Pattison uses a virtual token economy system in a free app called Class Dojo.  As students work hard to build new behavioral skills and demonstrate them consistently, teachers and staff are able to recognize their efforts by providing "Dojo points" within the Class Dojo app.  Students can in turn use these points to access things or experiences they find valuable within the school setting, much like our real-world economy outside of school.  Parents can view their students' points and other classroom happenings within the Class Dojo app, which they can download to their phones or view online.  Of course, these points do not quite measure up to the value most children place upon the praise and approval of their caretakers and teachers, so Pattison staff strive to make connections that go beyond Dojo as well.  We encourage students to communicate with their families about their successes and points, as well as challenges they experience when learning to navigate the world of school.  More information about Pattison's use of Class Dojo can be found in our PBIS Parent Letter.

Additionally, teachers can select students who are consistently demonstrating Pattison Path behaviors for Pattison Positive Office Referrals.  Students who are referred by their teachers are called to the office for a special visit with Mrs. Selm.  These referrals are unrelated to Dojo points and serve to offer students another means of connecting with school staff as they build the behavioral skills we teach at Pattison!

Component 4: A system of support for students who are struggling

Even with the most consistent implementation of PBIS supports, some students will continue to make behavioral mistakes. This may be due to: 1) Poor understanding of when to use the expected behavior (“can’t do”); or 2) The student knows how to demonstrate the expected behavior but fails to demonstrate it enough or at the right time (“won’t do”) (Gresham, Sugai & Horner, 2001). Punishing problem behavior without using a positive, preventative, and instructive approach is generally ineffective and can lead to increases in aggression, vandalism, truancy, and dropout (Mayer & Sulzer-Azaroff, 1990; Skiba, Peterson, & Williams, 1997). It is much more effective to point out the problem to the student by providing specific feedback, re-teaching, giving guided and unguided practice with multiple opportunities to respond, and reinforcing progress (  Therefore, when the students do not follow the Pattison Path, teachers/staff begin by reteaching, redirecting, and providing strategies to learn the expected behaviors and providing additional opportunities to practice with more feedback.

If these reteaching efforts do not result in an increase in expected behaviors (and/or a reduction in unexpected behaviors), then teachers/staff may complete an Unexpected Behavior Office Referral.  An Unexpected Behavior Office Referral typically involves the Building Principal providing intervention, in addition to the interventions that are being offered by the classroom teacher. At Pattison, Principal Selm provides intervention in a tiered approach which typically follows this progression:

  • Having a conversation with the student, reteaching expectations, notifying parents/guardians, and providing a warning.  Multiple warnings may occur.
  • Providing a logical/corrective consequence that discourages unexpected behavior; in other words, “You fix what you broke.”  Oftentimes, Principal Selm's approach/response is inspired/supported by Responsive Classroom.
  • After school/before school detention
  • In-school suspension or visit to the Reset Room
* Since behaviors and student needs differ, the consequences/tiered approach may also differ.  Also, Teacher on Assignment may be involved regarding the response of unexpected behaviors.

For more information about PBIS and to access Ohio's resources related to this initiative, see this link.


For additional information about Pattison's disciplinary processes, please contact Principal Selm at

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