Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports

District PBIS Coordinator

Martha Wally
(508) 799-3394

Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) is a framework or approach consisting of intervention practices and organizational systems that are used to establish social culture, learning and teaching environments as well as identifying individual behavior supports needed to achieve academic and social success for all students. PBIS is not a specific "model" but a collection of effective practices, interventions, and systems that have a long history of empirical support and development. In addition, PBIS has relevant applications to educating all students in schools, not just students with disabilities.

PBIS emphasizes a preventive perspective that is conceptualized within a multi-tiered
logic. Specifically, a three-tiered approach has been adopted (Lewis & Sugai, 1999; Sugai et al., 2000; Walker et al., 1996).

tertiary prevention triangle

Primary Preventing the development of new cases of problem behaviors for all students and staff, across all settings (i.e., school-wide, classroom, and nonclassroom settings).
Secondary Reducing the number of existing cases of problem behaviors by establishing efficient and rapid responses to problem behavior.
Tertiary Reducing the intensity and/or complexity of existing cases of problem behavior that are resistant to primary and secondary prevention efforts.

overlaping circles

Effective implementation of an evidence-based practice requires four interactive elements that enable continuous monitoring, informed decision making, and continuous self-enhancement:

  • Outcomes: academic and behavior targets that are endorsed and emphasized by students, families, and educators.
  • Practices: interventions and strategies that are evidence based.
  • Data: information that is used to identify status, need for change, and effects of interventions.
  • Systems: supports that are needed to enable the accurate and durable implementation of the practices of SWPBS.