Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS)

Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS)

According to the National Center for Education Statistics, the rate of schools using exclusionary discipline like suspension and expulsion has doubled since 1974. Evidence is mounting to indicate the use of exclusionary discipline results in adverse effects not only for the student being suspended or expelled, but also non-suspended students in the school (Perry, Morris 2014). Perry and Morris (2014) found that high numbers of out-of-school suspensions negatively impact the non-suspended students’ academic outcomes as non-suspended students may feel disconnected in schools that use harsh discipline and have poor classroom climates.

In 2013, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a policy statement on out-of-school suspension and expulsion, calling for an end to the use of this consequence in instances of minor, low intensity behavior problems due to adverse effects on the child’s development. For instance, students suspended or expelled are at an increased risk for future involvement in juvenile and adult criminal justice systems and are also at risk of dropping out.

School systems across the nation and internationally are learning how to change the culture and climate of their buildings to be more welcoming, nurturing and safe places, both physically and psychologically. Positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) is a framework for organizing a continuum of graduated supports. PBIS promotes teaching and reinforcing pro-social skills and reducing problem behaviors with the goal to create a safe and supportive school environment to maximize academic outcomes. The goal is to create a safe, predictable, consistent, and positive learning environment including the accurate detection of students who need additional academic, behavior and social-emotional support beyond Tier I prevention efforts and then provide these students with additional Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports that are also evidence-based.