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Family Resources

Forest Home PBIS parents

Tier 1

Families play a crucial role in the Response to Intervention (RtI) process. Tier 1 is all the supports for academics and behavior that all  students receive on a regular basis. At Tier 1, strong family communication will support the understanding of the RtI framework and ensure that your child receives the support he or she needs to be successful in school. Be sure to contact your child's teacher to learn more about the RtI and PBIS framework at your school.

PBIS Tier 1: What Parents Need to Know

  • Behaviors are taught to students.
  • Schools create expectations for all areas of the building.
  • Students are acknowledged for behaviors.
  • Adults build relationships with all students.
  • Schools have strategies and consequences to handle negative behaviors.

RtI Academics Tier 1: What Parents Need to Know

  • All students receive quality core instruction based on standards.
  • Teachers provide differentiation to all students during core instruction.
  • MPS is committed to preparing all students for college and careers through high academic expectations.
  • All students are screened three times a year to assess who is in need of further supports and interventions.

The University of Wisconsin–Extension, in partnership with the Department of Public Instruction, recently launched a free social and emotional learning (SEL) resource for families called Raising Caring Kids. The purpose of the website is to provide parents and caregivers with the tools to teach and support SEL skills at home for children in grades 1-5.

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  Specific Questions to Ask
  • What makes the core instruction that my child is receiving “high quality”?
  • How is my child expected to participate during instruction?
  • How can I stay informed regarding how my child is doing in his/her core instruction?
  • How will I receive results of my child's universal screening?
  • What resources are available to help me understand the results and work with my child toward reaching his/her goal?
  • How is my child taught behaviors?
  • How is my child acknowledged for positive behaviors?
  • What consequences does the school have for various behaviors?
  • How am I notified when my child fails to meet the expectations?
  How to Get Involved
  • Frequently communicate with the teacher.
  • Attend school functions, such as back-to-school night and parent-teacher conferences.
  • Ask your child about his/her school day.
  • Monitor and assist with homework assignments.
  • Support and reinforce the classroom teacher.
  • Meet with the teacher if your child starts to experience difficulties.
  • Praise your child for good work, and discuss issues that are problems.
  • Participate on school governance/action teams/committees.
  • Participate on district teams and district committees.
  • Participate in district trainings on curriculum and behavior.
  • Use PBIS at home.

PBIS at Home

There are ways to implement some PBIS best practices at home to help children connect their home and school life and increase their positive behaviors in both settings.

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At your home you can use the same expectations of the schools: Be Safe, Be Responsible, and Be Respectful. When talking to your child about the expectations at home, use this language and fit all your rules under these expectations.

For example:

  • “Thank you for being RESPONSIBLE by cleaning up after dinner.”
  • “Thank you for being SAFE by washing your hands in the bathroom.”
  Area-Specific Expectation Posters

You can create area-specific expectation posters for all the rooms of your house that set out what the specific expectations are for that setting. For each room, you can create a poster that lays out what it means to be safe, responsible, and respectful in that room. For example, in the kitchen a sign could inform your children that to be safe they should ask for help and use all materials properly. For being responsible, they should wash hands and clean up after they eat. For being respectful, they should say please and thank you and wait until everyone is served before eating. These posters can be created on the computer, on paper, or as a family art project.

kitchen pbis poster

  Transition Expectations Matrix (Table)

For every transition that your child engages in at home, there should also be specific expectations laid out and contained within an expectations matrix.Transitions could include times such as while eating, waking up in the morning, getting ready for bed, and doing homework. You should lay out in writing what it means to be safe, responsible, and respectful at each of these times (similar to how you do in different locations).

  Teaching Behavior Lessons

We cannot assume that individuals (adults or youth) will be able to automatically reach the behavior expectations set for them. We must take time to teach these behavior expectations and how to reach them. At home, you should take time on a weekly basis (or more often, if needed) and work with your children on how to meet your behavior expectations. Practicing these skills and behaviors in the setting is effective. For example, practice how they should do homework without distractions. You can also use role playing and talk through “what if” scenarios with your child.


A crucial element of PBIS is acknowledging those who reach your behavior expectations. You should verbally acknowledge all positive behaviors to encourage your child to continue to show those behaviors. You can also introduce tangible acknowledgments to help encourage your child to reach the specific behavior goals he or she is struggling with. Set a certain behavior expectation goal (cleaning up after dinner every day or remembering to brush teeth daily), and provide a tangible acknowledgment when this behavior goal is reached. Some examples of tangible acknowledgments could include the following:

  • Reading a story to your child or having your child read to you
  • Letting your child stay up 10 minutes past bedtime
  • Cooking his or her favorite dinner
  • Providing computer time at home or at the public library
  • Playing a board game or completing a puzzle together
  • Coloring or drawing with your child
  • Letting your child have a break from doing chores for a day
  • Watching his or her favorite movie
  • Helping cook dinner
  • Going for a walk outside together
  • Sending a positive note to your child’s teacher about the good job your child is doing at home

Tier 2/Tier 3 Interventions 

An intervention is something extra or different that schools do for students who need help with their academic or behavior needs. Every school will determine which students are in need of an additional intervention for their academic or behavior needs through a process called screening. Students who are screened and are in need of an additional support will begin receiving an intervention as soon as possible. The school will also notify you as the parent or guardian so you are aware of the intervention. You will also have the opportunity to receive additional information or to decide whether you would prefer that your son/daughter does not receive the intervention.

PBIS Tier 2/3: What Parents Need to Know

  • All students are supported with Tier 1.
  • Students are screened to determine who needs additional support.
  • Families receive passive consent for Tier 2 interventions.
  • Families receive active consent for Tier 3 interventions.
  • Students receiving an intervention receive an additional positive support from an adult throughout the day.
  • Students are progress monitored throughout the day.
  • Families are updated often on the progress of their child.

RtI Academics Tier 2/3: What Parents Need to Know

  • All students are screened three times a year to identify students in need of an intervention.
  • All elementary schools provide interventions on a daily basis.
  • All traditional middle schools and high schools offer intervention courses.
  • Schools offer interventions in literacy and/or math.
  • Students identified receive interventions at least 2-3 times a week for 20-30 minutes.
  • Students are progress monitored every other week to assess their growth.
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  Specific Questions to Ask
  • How will I be informed that my child needs a Tier 2/Tier 3 intervention?
  • How was it determined that my child needs further support?
  • Does the school offer literacy and/or math interventions?
  • Who will do the intervention? When will it occur? How long? How many weeks?
  • How can I participate in the plan development or in the intervention itself?
  • How will I be informed of my child’s progress?
  • Is there anything I can do at home to support the intervention?
  • What happens if the intervention is not successful?
  How to Get Involved
  • Frequently communicate with teachers.
  • Participate in parent academic or behavior support groups.
  • Meet with the teacher if your child experiences difficulties.
  • Reinforce behavior and academic expectations at home.
  • Set up a schedule to discuss progress with the classroom teacher on the Tier 2 or Tier 3 intervention.
  • Attend data-based review meetings.

Parent Resources 

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  School Community Partnership for Mental Health (SCPMH)

School Community Partnership for Mental Health (SCPMH) is a collaborative mental health program with Milwaukee Public Schools and four community provider agencies: Sebastian Family Psychology Practice, LLC; Aurora Family Service; Shorehaven Behavioral Health, Inc.; and Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin–Community Services. The partnership exists to provide access to mental health services, right at school, for students who would not be able to use them in the community. There are currently nineteen schools in the SCPMH partnership (thirteen MPS schools, three partnership schools, and three private schools) where students and families, regardless of their ability to pay, can access mental health services from part-time clinical therapists positioned in those schools.

June 2018 Newsletter – Celebrate Success (English) (Spanish)

April 2018 Newsletter – Teaching Homework Responsibility (English) (Spanish)

February 2018 Newsletter – Stay CALM with Report Cards (English) (Spanish)

December 2017 Newsletter – Sleep (English) (Spanish) (Karen)

June 2017 Newsletter – Summer Success (English) (Spanish) (Karen)

May 2017 Newsletter – Reflecting on the School Year and Celebrating Success (English) (Spanish) (Karen)

April 2017 Newsletter – Student Self-Esteem Linked to Grades and Attendance (English) (Spanish) (Karen)

March 2017 Newsletter – Getting the Most Out of Parent-Teacher Conferences (English) (Spanish)

February 2017 Newsletter – Morning Routines, Dealing with Failure, and Raising a Good Citizen (English) (Spanish)

January 2017 Newsletter – Childhood Anxiety (English) (Spanish)

December 2016 Newsletter – Children and Holiday Stress (English) (Spanish)

November 2016 Newsletter – School Avoidance (English) (Spanish)

May 2016 Newsletter – Summer Success (English) (Spanish)

April 2016 Newsletter – Praise or Encouragement (English) (Spanish)

March 2016 Newsletter – What to Do about Stress (English) (Spanish)

February 2016 Newsletter – Winter Attendance (English) (Spanish)

January 2016 Newsletter – When Thoughts Get Stuck in Your Head (English) (Spanish)

  MPS Parent Information Brochures – in Collaboration with WI FACETS
  Wisconsin RtI Center

Wisconsin RtI Center Family Resources Page

Online Training Module for parents: The module answers questions parents may have about RtI.

  ABCs of RtI

RtI Family Engagement Newsletter 

Newsletters and resources for families; newsletters created in collaboration with WI FACETS

Milwaukee FACETS MPS Resources

  Parents Act Now! Bullying Prevention Program

Created by Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, Act Now! What Parents Need to Know About Bullying offers a series of videos on the topic of bullying, including ways to handle different types of bullying situations that may affect your child or teen, whether at school, at home, or in the community. Within each topic, you will have the opportunity to download and print a summary of the information in the video.

  Lexiled Book List

Use the Lexiled book list resource to find sample titles of books within your child’s Lexile range to support student learning at home.

Visit to match your child’s Lexile range from the district’s Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) assessment to create a customized book list for your student.

  RtI Action Network – Parent Resources

Families are crucial partners in effective implementation of RtI. As states and school districts work to implement an RTI process that provides early help to struggling students, parents need to understand the essential components of RtI and the roles they can play in supporting their child’s success. The RtI Action Network has created resources for parents to use.

  Love and Logic

Children learn the best lessons when they’re given a task and allowed to make their own choices (and fail) when the cost of failure is still small as a child. Children’s failures must be coupled with love and empathy from their parents and teachers. This practical and straightforward philosophy is backed by thirty years of experience from Love and Logic practitioners. Parents can apply these strategies immediately to a wide range of situations instead of struggling with difficult counseling procedures and discipline issues.

Love and Logic for Parents Official Site

Love and Logic Free Resources

Impact Parenting Love and Logic Resources

Lewis Center Love and Logic Tips

  PBIS at Home Resources
  Parenting and Your Child's Behavior
  Additional Resources
  Summer Support (English)

Parent Pointers from WI FACETS: Supporting Your Child’s Learning Outside of School

Have you heard of the "summer slide"? It’s not something you find on a playground. The summer slide is the term used to explain what can happen to children’s skills during the summer when they are not in school — they can slide backward.

Children spend only about 14% of their time in school in a year. That means if they spend a third of their time at home and in the community watching TV, they are actually spending more time in front of the screen than they are in school!

What does this mean for children? A child can lose up to 3 months of reading skills over the summer. When the children return to school in the fall, teachers can spend 4-6 weeks teaching skills that students already learned the year before. But there is good news — spending just 2-3 hours a week reading in the summer can help prevent this slide. That’s only about 20 minutes per day!

In fact, reading 20 minutes a day outside of school is important all the time, not just in summer. Studies have shown that the more reading that is done outside  of school, the better students do in  school! The best way to help students read more at home is to make sure they have access to books that are interesting to them. There are lots of resources online to help you do this — some of them can be found on WI FACETS’s website and on your MPS Student Toolbox.

If you are interested in more ways to support your child’s learning over the summer, check out the summer programs offered by MPS.  There’s also a great list of community resources for kids to discover in the summer if you scroll down and look on the right side of the page. Check out summer enrichment opportunities in the arts, music, sports, and more offered through Milwaukee Recreation. If you’d like some great local resources to keep your child reading and engaged in literacy activities over the summer, look no further than the Milwaukee Public Library.

  Summer Support (Spanish)

Consejos para los padres de WI FACETS: Apoyando el Aprendizaje de su Hijo(a) Fuera de la Escuela

¿Ha escuchado sobre la Diapositiva de Verano?  No es algo que encuentre en un patio de recreo.  La diapositiva de verano es el término utilizado para explicar lo que puede pasarle a las habilidades de los niños durante el verano cuando no están en la escuela – pueden deslizarse hacia atrás.

Los niños solo usan el 14% de su tiempo en la escuela en un año.  Eso significa que si pasan un tercio de su tiempo en casa y en la comunidad viendo la televisión,  ¡en realidad están pasando más tiempo enfrente de la pantalla de lo que están en la escuela!

¿Qué significa esto para los niños? Un niño puede perder hasta 3 meses de destrezas de lectura durante el verano.  Cuando los niños regresan a la escuela en el otoño,  los maestros pueden pasar de 4 a 6 semanas enseñando habilidades que los  estudiantes ya aprendieron el año anterior. Pero hay buenas noticias – usando sólo de 2 a 3 horas a la semana leyendo en el verano puede ayudar a prevenir esta diapositiva ¡son sólo 20 minutos al día! 

De hecho, leer 20 minutos al día fuera de la escuela todo el tiempo es importante, no sólo en el verano. Los estudios han demostrado que la lectura que se hace fuera de la escuela, ¡hace a los mejores estudiantes en la escuela! La mejor manera de ayudar a los estudiantes a leer más en casa, es asegurarse de que tienen acceso a libros que son interesantes para ellos. Hay muchos recursos en línea para ayudarle a hacer esto  – algunos de ellos se pueden encontrar en  la página web de WI FACETS y  en su Caja de Herramientas para Estudiantes de MPS

Si está interesado(a) en apoyar el aprendizaje de su hijo(a) durante el verano,  consulte los  programas de verano  ofrecidos por MPS.  También hay una gran lista de recursos en la comunidad para que los niños descubran, si se desplaza hacia abajo y mira el lado derecho de la página.  Déle un vistazo a las oportunidades de enriquecimiento  durante el  verano,  en las  artes, música, deportes,  y mucho más ofrecidos a través de Recreación en Miwaukee.  Si le gustaría algunos recursos locales para mantener a su(s) hijo(a)s  leyendo, y comprometido(a)s  en actividades de lectoescritura durante el verano, no busque más allá, solo en las, Bibliotecas Públicas de Milwaukee.


Natalie M. Collins, Ph.D
Manager of Assessment and Data
Phone: 414-475-8011


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