September 2017 RtI E-Newsletter

PBIS Conference Keynote: George Sugai

In August, Dr. George Sugai, professor at the University of Connecticut and a nationally renowned researcher in behavior science, presented the keynote address at the PBIS Leadership Conference in Wisconsin Dells. The audience of over 1100 Wisconsin teachers and administrators listened with rapt attention as Dr. Sugai discussed how culture and context matter in education. “We all have a learning history that affects our interaction with students,” Dr. Sugai said.

Wisconsin has almost 1200 schools that are implementing PBIS, Dr. Sugai said. He emphasized that positive, doable, and effective practices exist which maximize academic and behavior success. Schools and districts need implementation systems–like Wisconsin’s–for students to experience and benefit from these effective practices.

Learn more by viewing Dr. Sugai’s slide presentation here or check out one of these books recommended by Dr. Sugai:

The Nurture Effect: How the Science of Human Behavior Can Improve Our Lives and Our World

Integrated Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

The Power of Habit


Top 3 Conference Sessions

At the Annual PBIS Conference in August, schools gathered to learn, reflect, and energize themselves before the start of the 2017-18 school year. With more than 60 available breakout sessions, school teams dug deeper into the areas they felt it mattered most.

The conference’s TOP 3 attended sessions were:PBIS Leadership Conference Wisconsin RtI Center List of Top Three Sessions

1. Classroom Walk-throughs: Supporting Classroom Use of Evidence-Based Teaching Practices (Session C6)
Learn how tier 1 teams can support a practitioner’s fluency in best practices and lead to building school capacity. 

2. Check It Out; It’s Better Than a Behavior Chart: CICO! (Session A3)
Explore the critical features that contribute to the success of any Check In Check Out (CICO) system.

3. Integration of Mental Health Within PBIS: Action Planning and Coaching (Session C7)
Gain insight on the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) structure and process to integrate mental health and PBIS systems.

View all our insightful breakout session materials on the 2017 PBIS Conference web page and share the link with your colleagues.

Save the Date: Next year’s PBIS Leadership Conference will be held Aug. 14 – 15, 2018. Mark your calendar so you don’t miss this valuable networking and learning experience!


Let Students Know They Matter.

The desire to be included is in our DNA. We can strengthen our connection with learners and facilitate a sense of belonging by utilizing a positive Feedback and Acknowledgment System. Michelle Polzin shares three key take-a-ways and invites you to delve into the slide presentation:

Let Students know they matter wisconsin rtl center1 – Establish why it is important to strengthen connections with our learners; more than three million students do not graduate each year (Static Brain 2017). Reportedly, one of the top reasons high school students drop out is “no one cared if I attended (Business Insider 2015).” 

2 – We need to form positive relationships that stakeholders can buy in to. Utilizing a robust Feedback and Acknowledgment System of non-contingent, contingent, positive specific feedback, and tangible or token economy for all learners will facilitate positive connections leading to a sense of belonging.

3 – Focus on changing adult behaviors so learners do better. Using PBIS while providing a systematic and systemic way of acknowledging learners can be an intentional, powerful connection. Michelle shares, “A teacher cannot connect with learners enough. By implementing a token economy as a component of your Feedback and Acknowledgement System, you can gauge how often you make a connection to positive behavior by counting the tokens distributed.”

Tracking the acknowledgement and not the reward, serves as a vehicle for the connection. When the learner looks at the token, they can relive what the teacher said and know why they earned it - a positive outcome some learners may not get often enough.

Biggest AHA Moment from Michelle's 2017 PBIS Leadership Conference Feedback Survey:
 “I was in the camp that believed tokens/rewards were not appropriate for HS, but this session convinced me that feedback and acknowledgement are important for everyone. That should be the key of any 'rewards' program.”

For more information, contact your PBIS Technical Assistance Coordinator.  


Business Insider. “The Most Common Reasons Students Drop Out of High School.”

Polzin, MIchelle. "Let Students Know They Matter! How High Schools Can Use Feedback and Acknowledgement Systems to Create a 'You Matter' Climate." PBIS Leadership Conference, Aug. 15-16, 2017.

Static Brain. High School Dropout Statistics.