Success Story

Thurston Woods Academy

Milwaukee Public School

Grade Level: Multi-Level
Profile Date: September 2012

Our PBIS Story

The team at Thurston Woods works well because all members are committed to PBIS and have consistently worked at implementation and dissemination of PBIS goals and philosophy.   The administration keeps the PBIS atmosphere alive by making daily announcement regarding PBIS goals, and supporting and approving all PBIS related activities.  Our parents are invited to all school-wide PBIS events and PBIS highlights are included in the school’s monthly newsletter. PBIS pictures, events, and videos are updated on our Thurston Woods Facebook page.  Due to the high parental involvement and overall success with PBIS, our local Fox television station and radio station V100 did a story on PBIS at Thurston Woods.  In addition to this we created a YouTube video of our behavioral matrix that was shared with parents and teachers. 

We observed that there were a large number of referrals being written by paraprofessionals stationed in the cafeteria and during recess activities.  It was determined by the team that the paraprofessionals had not received as much Professional Development on PBIS as the teaching staff since they are not a part of our monthly staff meetings. The activities they were supervising were also during less structured, high-energy parts of the day.  Some of the activity locations were changed in order to provide more space and smaller groups during these times.  The team provided training in PBIS for the paraprofessionals.  We encouraged all staff members to enter those areas and provide praise and positive behavior slips to students during those times. Para professionals that got more involved in PBIS were recognized to encourage others to participate as well.  (e.g. If they gave out “Cardinal Cash” to students they were eligible to win the daily staff raffle as the staff who took the time to give out a “Cardinal Cash”) After implementing these changes there was a decrease in referrals from those areas and staff members.

PBIS has made a huge impact on all students here at Thurston Woods Campus.  When you compare the ODR data from 2010-2011 and 2011-2012 with the data in 2009-2010 (The year right before PBIS was implemented) the number of referrals in our building have decreased.  In 2009-2010 (before PBIS was implemented) we had 1514 referrals which was an average of 8.7 referrals per day.  However, in 2010-2011 we had 1273 referrals which was an average of 7.3 referrals per day.  We currently have 1000 referrals with an average of 5.7 referrals per day. 

Our School

School Website

(414) 393-2800


5966 N 35th St
Milwaukee, WI 53209