Nearing lunchtime, five Christen Middle School students prep the Cub Store for its daily anticipated opening. It’s all hand on deck. As the minutes approach its set time, an incoming traffic of sixth grade students eager to trade their hard-earned tickets for some goodies begins to form. This, all thanks to the Laredo Independent School District Health and Occupational Safety Support Services Department successfully implementing a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Program at all elementary, middle, and high schools.

PBIS is an evidence-based, tiered framework for supporting students’ behavioral, academic, social, emotional, and mental health. When implemented with fidelity, PBIS improves social emotional competence, academic success, and school climate. The program was first introduced to the district in 2018 under the guidance of Region One Education Service Center.

“LISD established a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Program (PBIS) district wide to encourage academic and positive behaviors amongst students, staff and parents. We have seen a decrease of incidents upon the implementation of PBIS within our campuses,” LISD At-Risk Coordinator (Student Discipline)/Student Hearings Officer Graciela Perez said. 

The goal of the program is to teach students how to behave in a proper way not only in the classroom setting but also within the community. The program established that all students can participate regardless of their disciplinary history. This program can also prevent students from being placed in a non-classroom setting which is In-School Suspension (ISS), Out-of-School Suspension (OSS), F.S. Lara Academy or Juvenile Justice Alternative Education Program (JJAEP).

ztndrthnChristen Middle School is an example of how the implementation of PBIS in all ways, shapes, and forms has been a success. With the PBIS reward system at Cub Nation, students earn tickets based on their behavior which includes accountability, organization, responsibility, etc. “If the students exemplify Christen’s PowerWord ‘ROAR’, they get a reward. The more tickets they accumulate, the more items they get to buy. We also have ‘Lunch Outside with Friends’ where good behavior is determined by our counselors. Additionally, we have started the Golden Ticket initiative. Here, students get to choose any item regardless of the cost or get to choose a friend and get to eat outside,” CMS Assistant Principal Theodora Hernandez said. 

PBIS is for all ages and grade levels. It emphasizes its collaboration with campus administrators, staff, teachers, students and families, to define positive school/program-wide expectations and prioritize appropriate social, emotional, and behavioral skills. Each campus PBIS team created a matrix consisting of three to five behavioral expectations referred to as the PowerWord, that are positively stated and easy to remember. Upon any student completing a positive behavior based on the campus PowerWord, students are praised or rewarded with snacks, educational board games, pencils, etc.

CMS sixth grade student Luis Delgadillo volunteers his time Monday through Friday to run the Cub Store during lunch hours. “I get the tickets, check if they are correct, and they get to have their little snack. I like doing this because it is really fun and I really like helping others. I like working with my fellow classmates. Teamwork means that even in tough situations you can still think it is possible,” he said.

Students are responsible for cleaning up the area before opening time, checking items for expiration dates, stocking and preparing items on display. “They are the ones actually checking to see what items are in high demand. They keep track of what the students are asking for which is a big help. The teachers first started off facilitating and now they assist as needed,” Hernandez said. 


PBIS helps students with their social and work skills. Man powering the Cub Store, students have the opportunity to interact with other classmates. Their role is crucial as they are developing patience, customer service, and knowledge on supply and demand. Additionally, at the end of their work week the hardworking students get rewarded. Their total hours worked are compensated, they earn their own ticket or get to choose a product of their choice.

“Through initiatives like the Cub Store, CMS demonstrates that PBIS isn't just about managing behavior—it's about nurturing potential, fostering empathy, and empowering every student to thrive. At LISD, PBIS isn't just a program; it's a foundation that shapes a positive, inclusive, and vibrant school community,” Perez said.