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What does PBIS stand for?

  • “PBIS” is short for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports.
  • This language comes directly from the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).
  • PBIS is used interchangeably with SWPBS, which is short for “School-wide Positive Behavior Supports.” 
  • PBIS is based on principles of applied behavior analysis and the prevention approach and values of positive behavior support.


PBIS Basics

Louisiana PBIS

Juvenile Justice Reform Act (1225)

  • Passed in 2003
  • Subpart C-1 The Education/Juvenile Justice Partnership Act legislated that:
    • BESE would formulate, develop and recommend a Model Master Plan for improving behavior and discipline within schools that includes the utilization of positive behavioral supports and other effective disciplinary tools.
    • Each city, parish, and other local public school board should be responsible for the develop of school master plans for supporting student behavior and discipline based upon the model master plan developed and approved by BESE.


Act 136 (Pages 95-96)

  • Legislation passed in 2010 that requires school districts to provide ongoing classroom management related to
    • positive behavior interventions & support
    • reinforcement
    • conflict resolution
    • mediation
    • cultural competence
    • restorative practices
    • guidance and discipline
    • adolescent development


Actions that support positive behaviors

  • Respond to individual needs (preferences, strengths, and needs)
  • Alter environments- if something in the environment influences or triggers the challenging behaviors- organize the environment for success
  • Explicitly teach new skills.  Many students need to learn alternative or replacement behaviors- telling them what not to do is not good enough- they must know what to do.
  • Genuinely appreciate and acknowledge all the positive behaviors you observe.

PBIS chart

Core Principles of PBIS

  1. We can effectively teach appropriate behavior to all children. All PBIS practices are founded on the assumption and belief that all children can exhibit appropriate behavior. As a result, it is our responsibility to identify the contextual setting events and environmental conditions that enable exhibition of appropriate behavior. We then must determine the means and systems to provide those resources.
  2. Intervene early. It is best practices to intervene before targeted behaviors occur. If we intervene before problematic behaviors escalate, the interventions are much more manageable. Highly effective universal interventions in the early stages of implementation which are informed by time sensitive continuous progress monitoring, enjoy strong empirical support for their effectiveness with at-risk students.
  3. Use of a multi-tier model of service delivery. PBIS uses an efficient, needs-driven resource deployment 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 in both nature and intensity. To efficiently differentiate behavioral instruction for all students. PBIS uses tiered models of service delivery.
  4. Use research-based, scientifically validated interventions to the extent available. No Child Left Behind requires the use of scientifically based curricula and interventions. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that students are exposed to curriculum and teaching that has demonstrated effectiveness for the type of student and the setting. Research-based, scientifically validated interventions provide our best opportunity at implementing strategies that will be effective for a large majority of students.
  5. Monitor student progress to inform interventions. The only 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 is recommended. Determining the effectiveness (or lack of) an intervention early is important to maximize the impact of that intervention for the student.
  6. 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 professional judgment informed directly by student office discipline referral data and performance data. This principle requires that ongoing data collection systems are in place and that resulting data are used to make informed behavioral intervention planning decisions.
  7. Use assessment for three different purposes. In PBIS, three types of assessments are used: 1) screening of data comparison per day per month for total office discipline referrals, 2) diagnostic determination of data by time of day, problem behavior, and location and 3) progress monitoring to determine if the behavioral interventions are producing the desired effects.