PBIS Information for Families

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What is PBIS?
PBIS is an acronym for Positive Behavior and Intervention Supports. It is a school-wide integration of:

  • A systems and process approach for teaching behavior
  • A continuum of behavioral supports
  • Prevention focused efforts to reduce behavioral problems
  • Specific instruction of academic and personal/social behavior
  • Research-based practices
  • Ongoing use of data to make decisions regarding needs and successes at the building level

What are the three tiers of intervention?
PBIS offers three tiers of behavioral supports to students. In the first tier, behavioral expectations are established and taught to all students. In the second tier, students needing additional support are offered group level interventions. Students needing significant support for behavioral challenges are provided evidence-based interventions tailored specifically to their needs in the third tier.

Why is it important to teach positive social behaviors?

In the past, school-wide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to the specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Teaching, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behavior is an important step of a student’s educational experience. The purpose of a school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.

Benefits of PBIS
• Increased classroom instruction time, which leads to increased academic performance
• Decreased behavioral disruptions
• Improved school climate
• Increased consistency of expectations being taught and reinforced for all students in all school settings

What are the core principles of PBIS?
1. Intervene early.
It is best practice to intervene before problem behaviors occur. Universal teaching of expected behaviors allows for early and effective intervention.

2. Use of a multi-tier model.
PBIS uses an efficient system to match behavioral resources with student need. To achieve high rates of student success for all students, instruction in the schools must be differentiated. To efficiently differentiate behavioral instruction for all students, PBIS uses tiered models of service delivery.

3. Use research-based interventions.
Research-based interventions provide our best opportunity to implement strategies that will be effective for a large majority of students.

4. Use data to make decisions.
A data-based decision regarding student response to the interventions is central to PBIS practices. Decisions in PBIS practices are based on student Office Discipline Referral (ODR) and performance data. School-Wide Information System (SWIS) is used to make informed planning decisions for individual students and to determine building needs.

5. Monitor student progress to make data-based decisions about interventions. As in academics, the best method to determine if a student is improving is to monitor the student’s progress. The use of assessments that can be collected frequently and that are sensitive to small changes in student behavior are used. Determining the effectiveness (or lack of) an intervention early is important to maximize the impact of that intervention for the student.


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