Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports (PBIS) - Definition & Meaning

Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports (PBIS) is a proactive and evidence-based framework for promoting positive behavior and preventing challenging behavior in educational settings, particularly in K-12 schools. PBIS emphasizes the creation of a positive school climate, the teaching of behavioral expectations, and the use of data to inform decision-making.

Key points about Positive Behavioral Intervention & Supports (PBIS) in education include:

  • Preventative Approach: PBIS is a preventative approach to behavior management, focusing on teaching and reinforcing positive behaviors to reduce the occurrence of problem behaviors.
  • Tiered Model: PBIS typically operates on a tiered model, with three levels of support. Tier 1 involves universal strategies for all students, Tier 2 provides targeted interventions for at-risk students, and Tier 3 offers individualized support for students with significant behavior challenges.
  • Behavioral Expectations: Schools using PBIS develop clear and positive behavioral expectations that are explicitly taught to students. These expectations are typically defined in various school settings (e.g., classroom, hallway, cafeteria) and are consistent throughout the school.
  • Data Collection: Data on behavior incidents and interventions are collected and analyzed to identify trends, assess the effectiveness of interventions, and make data-driven decisions.
  • Positive Reinforcement: PBIS emphasizes positive reinforcement and recognition of appropriate behavior through systems such as rewards, praise, and acknowledgment.
  • Cultural Responsiveness: PBIS practices are often adapted to be culturally responsive and inclusive, recognizing and respecting the diverse backgrounds and needs of students.
  • School-Wide Implementation: PBIS is most effective when implemented school-wide, creating a consistent and supportive environment for all students.
  • Team-Based Approach: Schools typically have PBIS teams or committees that oversee the implementation of the framework, make decisions about interventions, and provide professional development to staff.
  • Reduction in Office Disciplinary Referrals: One of the goals of PBIS is to reduce office disciplinary referrals and suspensions by addressing behavior issues proactively.
  • Support for Students: PBIS provides additional support and interventions for students who require them, ensuring that their behavioral needs are met.
PBIS is seen as a proactive approach to behavior management that promotes a positive school culture and improves academic and social outcomes for students by creating an environment where they can thrive.

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