Frequently Asked Questions:
How are families involved in positive behavior support?
Historically, family involvement has been seen as a key feature when developing tertiary (individual) positive behavior support plans for students with comprehensive needs. As the practice of Positive Behavior Support has evolved from an individually-based approach to a more school-wide emphasis, family involvement within all aspects of Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Prevention has expanded. Family members participate in planning teams, learn how to teach their children the importance of school-wide expectations at home and in the community, and volunteer to participate in related school activities including school celebrations, public relations, and the search for donations and free resources in the community.
What are key characteristics of schools with high family involvement in school-wide PBIS?
States, schools, and districts that have high levels of family involvement in the school-wide PBIS process have made action plans for including families and communities in all aspects of the collaborative process. One of the most consistent predictors of parent involvement in school is the degree to which the school practices encourage and guides parent involvement. For instance, one school included a list of volunteer activities that parents sign up for each year. An activity at this school involved writing form letters to request free samples and resources from sports teams, celebrities, and other business so that these items could be used to reinforce students for positive social behavior throughout the school year. Parents with the highest volunteer hours are presented with recognition awards at school celebrations where school-wide PBIS efforts are the major focus of the festivities. School practices that inform and involve parents are stronger determinants of parent involvement in education than parent education, family size, marital status or student grade level. Family events are scheduled to introduce the school-wide expectations, show progress on school-wide outcomes, and provide families with access to information about community resources. The resource box items helps schools and families work together to incorporate positive behavioral supports into the IEP. (see Tips for Educators: Incorporating Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) into the IEP and Tips for Parents: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) into the IEP)
How are families involved in individual PBIS planning?
Many families of students with disabilities have participated in individual positive behavior support planning. Parents’ participation as committee members and educational decision-makers in creating individualized education programs (IEPs) was established in 1975 by the Education for All Handicapped Children Act, now known as Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). The IEPs of children with behavioral disabilities must include behavior goals, objectives, and intervention plans. Families of students without disabilities are now participating in individual PBIS planning as well. In some schools, family members are asked to serve on the school planning team to provide input and assist in evaluating systems for supporting individual students. In the following resource box below, the article entitled "Getting Behavior in Shape at Home" assists parents in employing PBIS into daily routines. "Getting Behavior in Shape at Home" is also available in Spanish.