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PBIS at Spanaway Elementary


School-wide Positive Behavioral Intentions & Supports (PBIS) is a proactive, team-based framework for creating and sustaining safe and effective schools. Emphasis is placed on prevention of problem behavior, development of pro-social skills, and the use of data-based problem solving for addressing existing behavior concerns. School-wide PBIS increases the capacity of schools to educate all students utilizing research-based school-wide classroom and individualized interventions.


At Spanaway, we believe in:

  • Explicitly teaching, re-teaching, and reinforcing behaviors using common language
  • Consistently acknowledging positive behaviors
  • Building positive, respectful relationships between students, teachers, and families
  • Knowing our students and proactively addressing possible triggers
  • Providing our students with tools, support, and strategies to reach behavioral goals and build confidence in their abilities
  • Using data to make decisions, establish goals, and celebrate successes
  • Restorative practices

School Expectations Matrix-Click Here


Whenever possible, teachers will address minor infractions and communicate with you accordingly. Any of the following actions are taken with the intent of addressing future behavior and re-teaching expectations.

Calm Space: A space in the classroom for students to take a break and refocus. This does not mean the student is in trouble; it is simply an opportunity to take a break and reflect so they can return to learning.

Individual Classroom next steps: If a student does not respond to the calm space and continues to disrupt their learning and the learning of others, the teacher will determine the next steps at the classroom level. Teachers will communicate with families when this occurs. 

Office Referral: If your child continues to exhibit minor behaviors or is involved in a major infraction, he/she will be referred to the office.   After investigating the situation, the following consequences may be assigned, depending on the student's grade level, severity, and the number of previous infractions:

  • Recess and/or Lunch Detention
  • School Service (i.e. helping to clean lunchroom)
  • Loss of Privilege (i.e. assembly, special classroom activity)
  • Office Detention
  • In-School Suspension
  • Out of School Suspension

A substantial component of PBIS, and our philosophy at Spanaway Elementary, is to focus on reinforcing expected behaviors. We focus on positives in the following ways:


All staff members distribute Jaguar Paws at Spanaway in all building areas. Students earn paws for demonstrating Respectful, Responsible, and Safe behavior. The paws are turned into baskets in the office. Each day, one paw from each grade level is drawn and announced at our school-wide morning meeting. These students get to choose a prize from the office. Each month, Jaguar Paws are counted, and the top two classes are recognized and awarded a special “trophy” to keep in their classrooms for the month.

Learner Qualities

Each month, one "learner quality" is focused on and taught in all building areas. These explain to students what being a learner at our school looks like. Students can earn Jaguar Paws for showing these learner qualities throughout the school. 


To reinforce positive behavior in the lunchroom, classes can do fun things during lunch for showing they can follow the lunchroom expectations. Lunchroom expectations include remaining at a level two voice (conversation), raising hands to get up, and keeping hands to themselves while waiting in line.


In addition to school-wide systems, teachers reinforce positive classroom behavior in various ways. Some teachers draw additional Jaguar Paws for prizes or distribute them to students to use as money. Other teachers use tickets, class points, etc. to encourage students to meet expectations.