School Culture and Climate

School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) at Portland Village School


PVS is safe and caring learning community. Our words and actions are respectful of each other’s bodies, feelings, and belongings. Our collective approach to student conduct and behavioral guidelines is designed around the systematic framework of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). 

The essential vocabulary of PBIS, and the basis for behavioral expectations at PVS, is to be Safe, Respectful, and Responsible. 

Part of PBIS is to acknowledge that different families and cultures have different behavioral norms. Teachers and staff explicitly teach the behavioral expectations for all locations at the Portland Village School; students are expected to know and demonstrate these behaviors, and the staff will frequently and positively acknowledge students for showing Safe, Respectful, and Responsible behavior, using verbal praise and our school wide reward token - wooden "Caring Coins."

PBIS as a Tiered System

Positive behavior support is an element of a Portland Village Schools Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) approach that ensures all children are getting the instruction and intervention they need to be successful in school and beyond. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining Tier I (universal) supports, Tier II (strategic) supports, and Tier III (intensive) supports students need to learn and thrive. Examples of universal supports include caring coins and positive reinforcement. Tier II strategic supports include strategies like check-in/check-out plans, Tier III supports include individual behavior plans designed for the individual child. 

Restorative Justice

In early 2018, PVS began implementing Restorative Justice practices hand in hand with PBIS. Restorative Justice (RJ) is a powerful approach to discipline that focuses on repairing harm through inclusive processes that engage all stakeholders. RJ shifts the focus of discipline from punishment to learning and from the individual to the community.

Restorative justice is a theory of justice that focuses on mediation the program is based on respect, responsibility, relationship-building, and relationship-repairing. Restorative justice at PVS involves mediation where students are given the chance to come forward and make things right by meeting with the affected parties and a mediator, usually a teacher, counselor or administrator.


Through their discussions, all parties gain a better understanding about what happened, why it happened, and how the damage can be fixed.  It’s really all about relationships—building and repairing them.


Restorative Justice helps students understand how their actions impacts others and impacts their own success.   It also empowers them to come up with a way in which they can repair the harm, make things right, and strengthen community connections and relationships.