Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) and BullyingPBIS

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS), also known as Character Education

Character Education is "the deliberate effort by schools, families, and communities to help young people understand, care about, and act upon core ethical values." Character as it relates to character education is most often used to refer to how "good" a person is - in other words, a person who exhibits personal qualities which fit with those considered desirable by a society might be considered to have good character and developing such personal qualities is often then seen as a purpose of education.

One of the nine (9) positive student attributes identified in the Appleton Area School District is that the AASD will provide learning experiences that will develop students who are cooperative and able to effectively function in a diverse environment.  In order to reinforce the development of this attribute, the AASD continues to make concerted efforts to ensure that all students are provided with academic and affective educational strands that support preparing our students for their futures.  

The six (6) traits of character education:  
  • Responsibility
  • Trustworthiness
  • Respect
  • Fairness
  • Caring
  • Citizenship
Utilizing the above traits, students in the AASD are provided with multiple avenues and opportunities to receive instruction in character education at each site including those sites that are additionally implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as their framework for character education.  It also is the framework used to provide a safe, positive, consistent and predictable learning environment for all students, staff and families.

Currently all of our neighborhood schools implement PBIS. Only 157 schools in the state of Wisconsin are recognized as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Schools of Distinction for the 2014-15 school year and the Appleton Area School District is home to 21 of them. The AASD is beyond proud of what our elementary, middle, high school and Charter school’s staff and administration have accomplished since the PBIS framework was introduced in 2008.

The Wisconsin RtI (Response to Intervention) Center recognizes schools as a School of Distinction for their work accomplished through the implementation of PBIS at the universal level (tier 1) and for reading and mathematics for all levels of support; universal, selected, intensive.

What is Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)?

PBIS is a systemic approach to proactive, school-wide discipline based on a RtI model. PBIS applies evidence-based programs, practices and strategies for all students to increase academic performance, improve safety, decrease problem behavior, and establish a positive school culture.

The PBIS model has been successfully implemented in thousands of schools in over 40 states, resulting in dramatic reductions in disciplinary interventions and increases in academic achievement. Data-based decision making is a hallmark of PBIS, allowing successes to be easily shared with all relevant stakeholders.

Critical Elements of PBIS are:

  • Careful acknowledgement, consideration, and achievement of outcomes that are valued by significant stakeholders
  • Adoption and sustained utilization of research-validated practices and curricula that maximize achievement of student and teacher outcomes
  • Application of data-based decision-making at many levels with multiple individuals across contexts (regular education vs. special education and home vs. school) and with multiple outcomes
  • Development of systems that are needed to ensure consideration of valued outcomes, research validated practices, and data-based decision–making

What Does School-Wide PBIS Emphasize?

  • DATA for decision-making
  • OUTCOMES that are measured, supported, and evaluated by data
  • PRACTICES with evidence that these outcomes are achievable
  • SYSTEMS that efficiently and effectively support implementation of these practices

What Outcomes are Associated with Implementation of PBIS?

  • Less reactive, aversive, dangerous, and exclusionary
  • More engaging, responsive, preventive, and productive
  • Address classroom management and disciplinary issues
  • Improve supports for students whose behaviors require more specialized assistance
  • Most importantly, maximize academic engagement and achievement for all students

What is the Continuum of School-Wide PBIS?

Three-tiered prevention logic requires that all students receive support at the universal level.  If the behavior of some students is not responsive, more intensive behavioral supports are needed, in the form of a group contingency called secondary tier, or a highly individualized plan recognized as the intensive or tertiary tier.


For more information regarding PBIS

Sheree Garvey 
Appleton Area School District 
School Climate Transformation Grant Project Director 
Coordinator of School Improvement for PBIS and Parent Partnerships 
Office (920) 997-1399 Ext. 2101

Tiffany Frerks 
Appleton Area School District 
Positive Behavioral Support Specialist 
Office (920) 997-1399 Ext. 2102


The Appleton Area School District (AASD) is committed to providing students with a safe, secure, and healthy school environment that allows all students to maximize their learning potential.

The Board of Education considers bullying to be detrimental to the health and safety of students and disruptive to the educational process and is prohibited. Education, intervention, awareness, and prevention exists for staff and students to ensure a learning environment that is free of bullying or intimidation.

To report an incident of bullying behavior, please complete the Bullying Allegation Report Form and submit to the appropriate building administrator/designee.

Fillable Bullying Allegation Report Form (.pdf)

Bullying Allegation Report Form (.doc)

Bully Prevention Letter to Parents 2016

Bullying Policy - 443.71​

What is bullying?

Bullying is deliberate or intentional behavior using words or actions, intended to cause fear, intimidation or harm. Bullying includes aggressive and hostile behavior that is intentional and involves an imbalance of power between the bully and the bullied and is behavior that is repeated over time rather than an isolated incident.

This behavior may include but is not limited to physical and verbal assaults, nonverbal or emotional threats or intimidation, harassment, social exclusion and isolation, extortion, use of computer or telecommunications to send messages that are embarrassing, slanderous, threatening or intimidating (cyber-bullying).

Bullying may also include teasing, put-downs, name calling, rumors, false accusations, and hazing. Bullying based on sex, race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, creed, pregnancy, marital or parental status, sexual orientation or physical, mental, emotional or learning disability or handicap in its education programs or activities is also prohibited by law and Board policy.

What are students learning about bullying and prevention? 

The AASD curriculum provides students guidelines for school wide expectations and social responsibility outside the classroom. Students are taught the Stop/Walk/ Talk response to disrespectful behavior and practice the skills through role play. 

Stop/Walk/and Talk is a three step response students use to eliminate disrespectful behavior themselves and seek help from an adult if necessary. Students are also taught how to appropriately respond when they are a bystander or the aggressor and practice these skills in groups. The groups address the issues involved with gossiping, inappropriate remarks, and cyber-bullying in each of the roles. The middle school curriculum also provides guidelines for school wide expectations and social responsibility outside the classroom but places more emphasis on addressing cyber-bullying.

Are staff trained?

Staff have participated in Bullying Prevention training. This training focuses on pre-correction of inappropriate behavior, rewarding the use of the three step response, and responding to reports of disrespectful behavior.

It is well known that schools are successful when they help children grow academically, socially, and emotionally. For this to happen, it is imperative that we have a safe environment that is supportive and conducive to growth. By setting forth clear social and behavioral expectations, it is our goal to create an atmosphere for learning.

Reporting a bullying/harassment incident?

Disclosure and Public Reporting: Appleton Area School District schools will distribute this policy annually to all students enrolled in the District, their parents, and/or guardians and employees. The District will provide a copy of the policy to anyone who requests it. Reports of bullying may be made verbally or in writing and may be made confidentially. All such reports, whether verbal or in writing, will be taken seriously and a clear account of the incident is to be documented.

The Bullying Behavior Report Form will be used for written reporting. Reports of bullying will be investigated promptly. The individuals involved will be informed of the process and outcome. 443.71 (cont.) The District will also keep data on the number and types of reports made under this policy. The results of each investigation will verify the details made in the complaint. In addition, an annual record of all sanctions will be kept. No individuals will be named in the annual report and the data will be used to develop prevention programs and strategies relative to the policy.

Tip Line - Direct to School Building Administrators

The district also offers an anonymous tip-line that can be accessed via our district and school websites to report any incidences. The district is committed to ensuring the safety of each and every student and adult associated with our school. Many instances arise where a student may be aware of a dangerous and/or illegal situation or bullying and/or harassment they are uncomfortable with, but do not know what to do about reporting the situation.

This is a confidential tip line that is monitored during school day hours (7 a.m. - 4 p.m.). There is no way to trace these submissions. If you have something that needs to be brought to the attention of administration but you wish to remain anonymous, please use the links below.



Tip Soft - Direct Police Line


If your tip needs immediate attention and involves a potential threat to the health and safety of yourself or others use the TipSoft link or dial 911 immediately. This is a confidential tip line that is monitored at all times by the Appleton Police Department. There is no way to trace these submissions.

Appleton Police Department

What can parents do?

To be most effective, bullying prevention efforts are the shared responsibility of parents, staff, and community. Parental pride and involvement in the school sets a positive example for children. As adults, we can:

  • Teach self-respect
  • Discuss the seriousness and negative effects of bullying behaviors
  • Work together with your child’s school to develop a consistent approach to bullying behaviors
  • Set a good example. Children learn more by actions than from words


Bullying Prevention Resources

Act Now! Bullying Prevention

National Bullying Prevention Center Resources


DPI Brochure for Parents

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