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PEBS:  An Overview

    (PEBS) Positive Effective Behavioral Support is a broad range of systematic and individualized strategies for achieving important social and learning outcomes while preventing problem behavior with all students. 

    The Provincial School Code of Conduct policy is made up of principles and standards of behavior for all members of the school community.  Its purpose is to set the context for a safe and productive learning environment by outlining expected behaviors in safe and caring schools.  The School Code of Conduct Guidelines supports the development and implementation of a comprehensive, school-wide, positive effective behavior supports (PEBS) approach. 

   PEBS is based on the Science of the behavioral theory.  (Antecedents+ behavior = Consequences) PEBS is based on the positive behavioral interventions and supports research conducted by George Sugai and Rob Horner (see  This research highlights the fact that punishment, generally does not have a long-term benefit for students and creates a false sense of security for schools.  We know that children learn more appropriate ways of behaving by being taught what is expected of them and receiving positive feedback when those behaviors occur. Practices that focus on positive and proactive approaches are more consistent with learning socially proactive school-wide prevention and early intervention.  PEBS places an increased emphasis on proactive school-wide prevention and early intervention.  Therefore, we are employing techniques that acknowledge and reinforce acceptable behaviour.

  PEBS is based on a systems approach.  It look at the contexts in which behaviors occur, and the relationships established between the members of the school community.  Research by Marzano has found that the biggest indicator of student success is high quality relationships. 

   As a school, our challenge is to decide on how to enhance our school’s capacity to respond effectively, efficiently and relevantly to a range of academic and social problem behaviors observed in our school.  PEBS is one effective way of accomplishing this goal. 


 PEBS is based on a tiered approach:

·        A culture of competence.  Research shows it often PREVENTS new behavioral challenges. 

·        It provides rapid, efficient SUPPORT for high intensity problem behaviors. The high intensity support for high intensity problem behaviors is known to REDUCE the intensity, frequency, and duration of problem behavior.  Therefore, it helps to increase on task behavior.    


What does PEBS looks like in our school?     

·        It is a program that is supported by all staff and is team –based in its action planning and implementation.  Research has shown that often making the smallest change can have a big impact on the students/school.

·        All students are directly taught (explicit teaching of behavioral expectations) and acknowledged for displays of desired school-wide expectations.  This approach will decrease attention for negative behaviors, so students learn it is not the way to get/avoid what they want.  Continuous monitoring and modification is required by the team.   

·        One of the goals of PEBS is that 80% of students can tell what is expected of them in the school environment, and can be clearly articulated by the students. 

·        Positive adult to student interactions exceed the negative. 

·        Full continuum of behavior support is available.  PEBS establishes a system that allows for early detection and tracking of students who are at risk.   (eg.  case reviews)

·        Peer Mediation and Bullying Prevention Groups

·        Teams for Crisis Intervention

·        Alternative settings/environments if needed

·        Guidance/ explicit teaching of behavioral expectations and have students practice the expected behaviors.  Professional individual and group counseling. 


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