In this issue:

  • Interview: Talking PBIS with Amber Pagua
  • KOI Awards
  • Website Redesign
  • KOI PBIS Trainer of Trainers


Talking PBIS with Amber Pagua, KOI Training Academy Scholar

June 2014

Amber Pauga, Physical Education Teacher and Behavior Coach at Sacaton Middle School, just completed the KOI PBIS Training Academy, She recently answered questions about implementing Positive Behavioral Supports and Interventions (PBIS).

KOI: Tell us a little about your school.

Amber: Sacaton is a small school with 179 students. We have 5th-8th grade and are 98% Native American, and 2% Hispanic. We are located on the Gila River reservation. Currently we have 31 staff members.

KOI: What were the challenges that led you to look to PBIS as a solution?

Amber: Being that I was put into a new position to deal with behavior, I was a bit overwhelmed at first. The year that I became the Behavior Coach, our school had 187 referrals (with only 179 students). I knew there needed to be a change and was open to try anything new; which led our school to become partners with KOI.

KOI: How did your district establish a partnership with KOI?

Amber: I attended the First Annual BET-C Conference (Behavior, Education, and Technology Conference), and knew that PBIS was the perfect thing for Sacaton. I brought the information I received from the conference and presented it to administration. We were in a position where we had funding because we were in school improvement, so PBIS fit right into that.

KOI: What is your role on the PBIS team?

Amber: I am a member of the district PBIS team. I am the PBIS trainer for all new staff who come to our school/district, I am the data profiler, and often facilitate our staff meetings/trainings relating to PBIS.

KOI: How has KOI helped the Sacaton Elementary District implement PBIS?

Amber: We have always received the training that we need. The information was taught to us in a way that we can put it to use right away. Our PBIS trainers have always been available between training sessions if we needed it.

KOI: What challenges has your team overcome in order to successfully implement PBIS?

Amber: Changing a school climate can be difficult for teachers and students. Getting all of your staff on board has its challenges. It is a change of mindset to address an issue in a positive tone rather than scolding the other person. Once that is mastered, it truly does make a difference around the school.

KOI: What changes have you seen since first implementing your PBIS framework?

Amber: We have seen HUGE changes here at Sacaton Middle School. Our numbers of referrals have decreased significantly. Because our kids are spending more time in classes learning instead of out of school suspended, the academic scores have also increased. Our AIMS scores jumped 71%.

KOI: What advice do you have for a school or district just starting out with PBIS?

Amber: The most important thing I would say is to have a good PBIS team. Without the team doing the legwork, nothing will get done. Another vital piece of PBIS is DATA, DATA, DATA!!! Look at your data, use your data, and share your data with the staff. It’s important that the staff see the system working school-wide.

KOI: Thanks for sharing your knowledge and congratulations on Sacaton Middle School’s success Amber. Your school is a true success story and KOI is privileged to work with such a wonderful partner as Sacaton Elementary District.

KOI’s Most Recent Awards

Arizona Department of Education

Preferred provider for:

  • Autism Professional Development and Training
  • Professional Development for Academic Content and Supports for all Learners Categories 6, 7, 12 &13

Mesa Public Schools

Preferred provider for:

  • Staff Development and Leadership Training

See all KOI Awards and Contracts on our Products & Services page.

Website Redesign

We are pleased to present our new and improved website!

Come visit to explore free Resources, including our fantastic PBIS/MTSS and bullying prevention tools, as well as links to research on PBIS/MTSS, culturally responsive discipline, and much more.

Be sure to check out our Signature Trainings and find information about how to order KOI iBooks, available exclusively for the iPad.

We improved the website to make it easier to find tools and ideas that will help you improve your school and district’s climate, safety, and academic outcomes. Contact Us to learn more and get started.


July 21-25, 2014

Are you ready to be a certified PBIS Trainer-Leader-Coach and train teams and schools in your district? Each paid attendee of KOI’s TLC Academy TOT will receive an iPad mini, digital textbooks, and a full academic year of coaching webinars. Sign-up today. Space is limited.

Prerequisites: Minimum one year attending PBIS training and being part of a team, and background in SW-PBIS (and/or  behavioral analysis/ interventions, special education, social work, school psychology, or therapeutic counseling)

A minimum of two trainers per district is preferred.

Need more information? Contact




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