Success Story

Hartford Union High School

Hartford Union High School District

Grade Level: High
Profile Date: January 2012

Our PBIS Story

Hartford Union High School (HUHS) initially trained a universal team in the spring of 2010 with the intent of fully implementing tier 1 in the 2010-2011 school year. However, the team discovered that making this transition for a high school takes much longer than it does at the elementary level. After many dedicated hours during summer 2010, the team realized that a partial kick-off was much more appropriate for the 2010-11 school year.

To best focus the partial kick-off, the universal team reviewed ODR data from the 2009-10 school year. The team immediately identified a problem with tardiness; the number of tardy referrals was quite a bit higher than any other offense during the previous school year. Policy stated that students begin to receive disciplinary consequences for tardies following the sixth occurrence. The sheer volume of tardies was monopolizing the time of the administrative staff as well as support staff in processing ODR paperwork.

The universal team brainstormed a number of possible reasons for the problem: students socializing in the hallway, inadequate passing time, congested hall areas, etc. However, in order to determine which of these reasons was responsible, the team realized that HUHS needed to have a universal definition of a tardy. For some staff, to be on time simply meant you had to be running down the hallway as the bell was ringing. For others, students needed to be in their assigned seats before the bell stopped ringing. These inconsistencies needed to be corrected to create a common expectation for all students.

Following the PBIS framework, the universal team first defined on time behavior; students would be on time for class as long as they had "Two Feet in the Door" by the time the bell was done ringing. The team rolled this consistent expectation out to staff during the August in-service. Teachers taught the expectation to students using a ten-minute lesson the first week of school. "Two Feet in the Door" became common language for students and staff; posters were displayed in every classroom. Individual and group acknowledgements were delivered to students and entire classes who arrived to class on time.

At first, the PBIS universal team was extremely nervous. As the team reviewed data from September 2010, the number of recorded tardies had increased from September 2009. However, the team recognized that more teachers were consistently enforcing a set expectation. After one school year of implementation, the total number of tardies dropped from 15,960 during the 2009-10 school year to 9,816 in the year after our "Two Feet in the Door" kick-off.

These results were shared with various stakeholders through community publications to celebrate the success of "Two Feet in the Door". The PBIS universal team continues to build on these results and work toward a successful full kick-off and implementation of PBIS.

School Website



805 Cedar St
Hartford, WI 53027