All Publications

Don’t know what kind of publication you’re looking for? Start here. Publications listed below include every eBook, monograph, brief, and guide written by the PBIS Technical Assistance Center.

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How School Teams Use Data to Make Effective Decisions: Team-Initiated Problem Solving (TIPS)

Data-based Decision Making
School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG)
School-Wide
Action plan
Assessment
Fidelity
Implementation
With multiple sources of information available, knowing how to use data efficiently and effectively with limited resources is critical to the successful implementation of schoolwide, classroom, and individual interventions. In this practice guide, we describe a scientifically-based approach for data-based decision-making called Team-Initiated Problem Solving (TIPS) that includes guidance for school-based teams on (a) the foundations needed to run more effective meetings, (b) a process for using data to identify school needs and goals for change as well as for planning practical and effective solutions, and (c) a process for using, monitoring, and adapting solutions.
Last Updated:
April 8, 2022

School Refusal: Assessment and Intervention

High School PBIS
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Behavior
This brief provides an overview of how to identify and determine why a student may be avoiding or refusing to attend school, and ways that schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) teams can help to assess and address school refusal. We will introduce a research-based framework to engage in problem-solving to better support students who exhibit school refusal that can supplement more detailed reviews of assessment and intervention (e.g., Kearney, 2007).
Last Updated:
April 6, 2022

Promoting Positive Discipline Approaches and Reducing Restraint and Seclusion: The American School for the Deaf’s Model of Success

Disability
Restraint/Seclusion
School-Wide
Alignment
Alternative Settings
Discipline
Evaluation
This brief describes a school’s transformation from using ineffective and punitive disciplinary practices to implementing effective and proactive responses to behavior by installing the PBIS framework in a unique setting. Specifically, this demonstration highlights the work of the PBIS school leadership team at the American School for the Deaf (ASD) and describes ASD’s use of PBIS strategies in alignment with the Six Core Strategies© to reduce their use of restraint and seclusion.
Last Updated:
April 6, 2022

Considerations for Conducting Virtual Functional Behavior Assessments & Behavior Intervention Plans (FBAs & BIPs)

Family
Behavior
FBA/BIP/BSP
Intensive
Tier 3
This brief provides considerations for conducting and implementing functional behavior assessments (FBAs) and behavior intervention plans (BIPs) using virtual technology.
Last Updated:
March 9, 2022

Is Tier 1 PBIS Feasible and Effective in Rural, High Poverty Secondary Schools? Initial Examination of a Model Demonstration

Coaching
Data-based Decision Making
Behavior
Community
Evaluation
Implementation
To better understand the supports needed to positively impact student outcomes, the Center on PBIS has been examining several model demonstrations of PBIS implementation in schools residing within high need Local Education Agencies (LEAs). In particular, this brief provides an initial examination on the impact of PBIS implementation in two rural, high poverty, and majority Black/African American schools at the secondary level (5-12th grade) from a high need LEA. The information learned from this model demonstration may assist others working in and supporting schools in similar settings.
Last Updated:
February 18, 2022

Tier 3 Student-level Systems Guide

Disability
Restraint/Seclusion
FBA/BIP/BSP
Individual
Intensive
Special education
Tier 3 Student Level Systems support all students who are not responding to Tier 1 and Tier 2 supports and would benefit from intensive strategies matched to individual student needs. Student challenges may include behaviors that range from disruptive behaviors to aggression (externalizing) and/or suicidal ideation, depression, or anxiety (internalizing). These behaviors might be impacted by trauma or crisis situations (temporary or permanent) or driven by mental health needs. Tier 3 behavioral supports may be helpful for any student, no matter the (dis)ability, who needs support to meet intensive social, emotional, and behavioral needs. This guide can assist all educators with understanding the systems that must be established to support students with intensive needs.
Last Updated:
January 31, 2022

Tier 3 School-level Systems Guide

School-Wide
Behavior
FBA/BIP/BSP
Intensive
Tier 3
The purpose of this practice guide is to assist Tier 3 Systems Teams, or combined Advanced Tiers (Tier 2 and 3) Systems Teams, in developing the foundational Tier 3 school-level systems features.
Last Updated:
January 31, 2022

Tier 3 Brief Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Guide

School-Wide
Assessment
Behavior
Evaluation
FBA/BIP/BSP
The purpose of this guide is to describe how school-based personnel can build and implement a continuum of function-based supports at Tier 3 that are designed to more effectively meet the needs of a broader range of students who struggle with persistent challenging behavior. This guide is intended to be a resource for individuals and teams with a working knowledge of Tier 3 who regularly design and implement supports for students with intensive needs.
Last Updated:
January 31, 2022

Tier 3 Comprehensive Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) Guide

School-Wide
Assessment
Behavior
Evaluation
FBA/BIP/BSP
The purpose of this practice guide is to help teams conduct a comprehensive functional behavior assessment, develop a function-linked behavior intervention/support plan, and make data-based decisions. Functional behavior assessments help teams to identify the relation of targeted serious and intense (i.e., challenging) behavior to the environmental events that occur before and after the behavior is performed.
Last Updated:
January 31, 2022

How are Schools Using the Parent and Personnel School Climate Surveys?

Data-based Decision Making
Family
School-Wide
Climate
Social relationships
Tier 1
When school personnel and parents complete school climate surveys, results can inform team action planning to improve perceptions of school climate. This brief is intended to guide how districts and schools collect and disaggregate school climate data at the personnel and parent level to support data-based decision making.
Last Updated:
January 31, 2022

Function-Based Support: An Overview

Data-based Decision Making
Family
School-Wide
Behavior
FBA/BIP/BSP
Individual
Intensive
This brief describes how educators use a function-based approach to (a) prevent contextually inappropriate behaviors and (b) teach and encourage social, emotional, and behavioral skills throughout the PBIS continuum of support. In addition, this brief highlights critical features of effective functional behavioral assessment (FBA) and behavior support plans (BSP).
Last Updated:
January 7, 2022

The Whys and Hows of Screening: Frequently Asked Questions for Families

Data-based Decision Making
Family
School-Wide
PBIS Foundations
Screening
Tier 1
Using academic and behavior screening tools, educators actively look for students who might need extra help to be successful in school. This practice brief helps families understand the logic and steps taken as part of school-wide universal screening, and answers some frequently asked questions about systematic behavior screening.
Last Updated:
January 7, 2022

Interpreting Universal Behavior Screening Data: Questions to Consider

Coaching
Data-based Decision Making
School-Wide
Assessment
Behavior
Implementation
Screening
Universal behavior screening data can be used with other school data to provide educators with valuable information about the overall level of students’ performance at Tier 1 as well as an indicator of students who may need additional supports. In this brief, we offer guiding questions to interpret screening data in a three-step process: examine student performance for the school as a whole, consider teacher-delivered, low-intensity supports, and make decisions for students who might require Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports.
Last Updated:
January 7, 2022

Installing a Universal Behavior Screening Tool: Questions to Consider

Data-based Decision Making
School-Wide
Assessment
Behavior
Evaluation
Screening
Systematic screening is one proactive way educators can identify students who might need additional support, even when Tier 1 practices are being implemented with fidelity. In this brief, we offer guiding questions for installing a universal behavior screening tool in your school or district centered around five topics: setting up structures, providing professional learning, before your screening window opens, during your screening window, and after your screening window closes.
Last Updated:
January 7, 2022

Supporting and Responding to Students’ Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Needs: Evidence-Based Practices for Educators

Classroom PBIS
Behavior
Discipline
Fidelity
PBIS Foundations
This practice guide is an updated version of Supporting and Responding to Student Behavior (Office of Special Education Programs, 2015). "Supporting and Responding" summarizes evidence-based, positive, and proactive practices that support and respond to students’ social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) needs in classrooms and similar teaching and learning environments (e.g., small-group activity).
Last Updated:
January 4, 2022

Strengthening Family Participation in Addressing Behavior in an IEP

Data-based Decision Making
Disability
Family
Assessment
Behavior
Discipline
FBA/BIP/BSP
The Individualized Education Plan (IEP) document is a legal plan for special education created by a team that includes educators and family members. The IEP contains goals that promote student success, and, if needed, might include goals on ways to improve behavior. As families might find it helpful to plan ahead for IEP meetings, this brief is designed to help families prepare for an IEP meeting with tips to help strengthen the IEP team planning for any needed behavioral goals and supports.
Last Updated:
December 10, 2021

Helping Families Prepare for an IEP Meeting

Disability
Family
Academics
Behavior
Individual
Special education
The IEP document is a legal plan for special education which is created by a team of educators and the child's family. This team meets yearly to create an IEP that provides information about the specifically designed instruction, related services, and other supports for the child. This tip sheet shares some ideas in how families can prepare for the IEP meeting to promote full participation in their child's education program.
Last Updated:
December 9, 2021

Questions for Families to Consider when Concerned about their Child’s Behavior

Disability
Family
Assessment
Behavior
Individual
Intensive
Are you concerned about your child’s behavior in school? This document is intended to assist families of children with disabilities that already have an Individualized Education Program (IEP) in asking questions to learn more about their child’s behavior in school. Some examples of questions families can ask their school are included and organized by the level of behavior concern, followed by a list of additional resources to consider.
Last Updated:
December 8, 2021

Are Fewer Students with Disabilities Suspended When Schools Implement PBIS?

Disability
Alternatives to Suspension
Discipline
Evaluation
Outcome
This evaluation brief explores the relationship between (a) schools’ implementation of Tier 1 (universal) support within a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework and (b) the proportion of students with disabilities suspended.
Last Updated:
November 16, 2021

Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) in the Classroom

Classroom PBIS
Behavior
PBIS Foundations
Tier 1
Tier 2
This guide provides guidance to educators implementing positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) in the classroom across the continuum of student need. Educators regularly provide a range of supports for students in the classroom—from universal supports for all students to intensive and individualized supports for a few students. This guide will help educators familiar with PBIS organize classroom supports for preventing, teaching, and responding to students’ social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) needs across the continuum.
Last Updated:
November 2, 2021

Supporting Child and Student Social, Emotional, Behavioral, and Mental Health Needs

District & State PBIS
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
School-Wide
Alignment
Behavior
Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)
Systems Alignment
This US Department of Education Resource "highlights seven key challenges to providing school- or program-based mental health support across early childhood, K–12 schools, and higher education settings, and presents seven corresponding recommendations. The appendix provides additional useful information, including (a) numerous examples corresponding to the recommendations highlighting implementation efforts throughout the country; (b) a list of federal resource centers; (c) a list of resources to assist educators (teachers, providers, and administrators) in implementing the recommendations; and (d) guidance on existing programs that can support social, emotional and mental health services for students."
Last Updated:
October 20, 2021

Remote Instruction Strategy Matrix for Collaboration with Families

Family
Academics
Behavior
Implementation
Social relationships
Successful partnerships between schools and parents/families benefit the academic success and social-emotional development of students. The Remote Instruction Strategy Matrix for Collaboration with Families is designed for educators (e.g., teachers, administrators, school counselors) to use as they collaborate with parents or families to be used within a continuum of supports based on available technology. This allows schools to coordinate efforts that match the regularity and depth of communication and supports based on identified student needs.
Last Updated:
October 14, 2021

Restraint and Seclusion Alternatives in All U.S. States and Territories: A Review of Legislation and Policies

Disability
District & State PBIS
Restraint/Seclusion
Discipline
Evaluation
Policy
This evaluation brief (a) describes methods of a systematic review of state policy and legislation on R/S, (b) summarizes how R/S is addressed in state policy and legislation, (c) discusses the extent to which policy and legislation emphasizes alternatives to R/S, and (d) based on this review, provides considerations for preventing or reducing R/S, such as organizing a continuum of evidence-based prevention practices within a positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) framework to address the use of R/S.
Last Updated:
August 30, 2021

Using a PBIS Framework: Working Smarter, Not Harder in Rural Schools

Coaching
Data-based Decision Making
School-Wide
Action plan
Climate
Evaluation
Tier 1
Given some of the barriers faced by schools, especially those in rural areas, the Working Smarter Matrix matches interventions with current PBIS resources to assist a school team in using an efficient and effective problem-solving process. As part of the problem-solving process and after PBIS teams have identified and analyzed the problem, they can use this matrix to select an appropriate intervention approach and locate corresponding, hyperlinked resources to support that approach.
Last Updated:
August 2, 2021

Discussing Race, Racism, and Important Current Events with Students: A Guide with Lesson Plans and Resources

Classroom PBIS
Equity
School-Wide
Climate
Ethnicity
PBIS Foundations
Tier 1
This guide is intended to increase the frequency and quality of conversations about race, racism, and current events regarding race in K-12 classrooms to support students and provide voice and self-reflection. It includes recommendations and tips for creating statements of support, preparing for and facilitating constructive classroom discussions, addressing harmful statements, and designing lesson plans and units for ongoing learning.
Last Updated:
July 26, 2021

Enhancing Family-School Collaboration with Diverse Families

Equity
Family
School-Wide
Administrator
Climate
Community
Ethnicity
This brief is designed to help inform school leaders about how intentional collaboration with diverse families can be created through environments in which educators work alongside families on behalf of the students they serve. Recommendations for action are included.
Last Updated:
June 23, 2021

Early Childhood Program-wide PBS Benchmarks of Quality (EC-BOQ) Cultural Responsiveness Companion

Early Childhood PBIS
Equity
Climate
The EC-BOQ Cultural Responsiveness Companion is a resource for coaches and teams implementing the Pyramid Model to improve the fit of their Pyramid systems with the needs of children and their families. Teams may use this tool either during the initial Pyramid Model implementation to build cultural responsiveness into systems from the beginning or after initial implementation to enhance equity within existing systems.
Last Updated:
May 27, 2021

Leveraging Short Term Funding to Build Long Term Capacity

District & State PBIS
School-Wide
Equity
Action plan
Implementation
Systems Alignment
PBIS Foundations
Recommendations for spending American Rescue Plan Act education funds.
Last Updated:
May 26, 2021

Promising Practices for Improving the Middle to High School Transition for Students with Emotional and Behavioral Disorders

Disability
High School PBIS
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Social relationships
Special education
Systems Alignment
Tier 3
In this practice brief, we describe several current examples of approaches that are aimed at improving outcomes for students entering high school. Additionally, we present strategies to disrupt the negative trajectory for students with EBD, who seldom receive coordinated, individualized supports during the critical transition from middle to high school.
Last Updated:
May 10, 2021

Obtaining Stakeholder Feedback to Improve the Middle to High School Transition

Family
High School PBIS
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Action plan
Implementation
Outcome
Systems Alignment
In this practice brief, we explore feedback from a group of eighth and ninth grade students, families, and educators on what has been challenging, what has been missing, and what is needed during the transition from middle to high school for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. We also discuss the process for gathering stakeholder feedback and some feasible next steps for schools and districts who are interested in utilizing such valuable input for improving their systems of support.
Last Updated:
May 10, 2021

Advanced Tiers in High School: Lessons Learned from Initial Implementation

Data-based Decision Making
High School PBIS
School-Wide
Implementation
Tier 2
Tier 3
An increasing number of high schools have adopted Tier 1 PBIS; however, implementation of advanced tiers of PBIS in high schools is less common and specific guidance is scarce. To address this need and better understand the level of support needed to successfully implement advanced tiers of PBIS at the high school level, the National Center on PBIS is conducting a model demonstration with a cohort of four high schools. The intent of this brief is to share lessons learned related to strengths and challenges that have influenced the initial implementation of advanced tiers of support for schools and lessons learned for district leaders and trainers to consider when supporting high schools.
Last Updated:
May 3, 2021

PBIS Academy Model Demo Brief: Impact of Statewide Support Model on High-Needs Schools

District & State PBIS
School-Wide
Academics
Behavior
Discipline
Evaluation
An evaluation of a state-wide support model targeting high-needs schools across the state of Massachusetts. This evaluation brief reviews the state-wide model in addition to reviewing both discipline and academic outcomes.
Last Updated:
May 3, 2021

Selecting a Universal Behavior Screening Tool: Questions to Consider

Data-based Decision Making
School-Wide
Screening
In this practice brief, we offer five questions for you to consider as you decide which systematic screening tool to adopt, install, and sustain. These questions are intended to support you to identify your available resources and your screening needs.
Last Updated:
May 3, 2021

Guidance for Systematic Screening: Lessons Learned from Practitioners

Data-based Decision Making
Screening
Tier 1
In this brief, we describe experiences of three school districts in various U.S. geographic regions as they installed screening tools as part of their screening processes. Education leaders have generously shared their advice for practitioners throughout the nation. We share five lessons learned from district leaders, including some selected quotes (see boxes). Leaders’ insights may be helpful for educators already involved in systematic screening as well as those who are newer to the process.
Last Updated:
May 3, 2021

Returning to School: Considerations for Students With the Most Intensive Behavioral Needs, A Guide to Supporting Students With Disabilities, Their Families, and Educators

Classroom PBIS
Disability
School-Wide
Behavior
Intensive
Social relationships
Social skills
This document is a set of strategies and key practices to restart classrooms and schools in a manner that students, their families, and educators can use effectively, efficiently, and relevantly in the current climate.
Last Updated:
April 20, 2021

Responding to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak through PBIS

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
School-Wide
Classroom PBIS
Social relationships
Trauma
Climate
One of the key principles of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is to focus on building prosocial skills, not simply attempting to eliminate challenging or problem behavior. We encourage all schools to continue that focus, as well as other key principles of PBIS, as you address the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are a few simple recommendations educators can embed across a continuum of supports.
Last Updated:
April 15, 2021

Responding to the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) Outbreak through PBIS (Versión en español)

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
School-Wide
Classroom PBIS
Social relationships
Trauma
Climate
One of the key principles of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is to focus on building prosocial skills, not simply attempting to eliminate challenging or problem behavior. We encourage all schools to continue that focus, as well as other key principles of PBIS, as you address the COVID-19 pandemic. The following are a few simple recommendations educators can embed across a continuum of supports.
Last Updated:
April 15, 2021

PBIS Cultural Responsiveness Field Guide: Resources for Trainers and Coaches

Equity
Action plan
Ethnicity
Tier 1
This field guide outlines an integrated framework to embed equity efforts into school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS) by aligning culturally responsive practices to the core components of SWPBIS. The goal of using this guide is to make school systems more responsive to the cultures and communities that they serve. This guide is part of a 5-point intervention approach for enhancing equity in student outcomes within a SWPBIS approach.
Last Updated:
March 29, 2021

Why Prioritize Behavior Support?

District & State PBIS
School-Wide
Administrator
Behavior
PBIS Foundations
Policy
This brief describes why it's critical to continue to prioritize behavior support in addition to academic, social, and emotional supports. Without effective behavior support, research has documented that students and educators experience negative outcomes. With effective behavior support implemented within a PBIS framework, rigorous research has demonstrated that students and educators experience positive outcomes.
Last Updated:
March 25, 2021

PBIS Forum 17 Practice Brief: Facility-wide PBIS Implementation as Viewed by Roundtable Participants and From the Field

Juvenile Justice
Implementation
Secure Care
Systems Alignment
Participants in the 2017 PBIS Forum's juvenile justice strand were invited to a Roundtable discussion on issues related to PBIS implementation in juvenile justice settings. Attendees chose one of four topical small groups to share ideas about commonly-asked questions from practitioners who are considering or implementing PBIS in juvenile justice settings. Highlights of the small group discussions are presented in this Practice Brief.
Last Updated:
March 25, 2021

Returning to School During and After Crisis: A Guide to Supporting States, Districts, Schools, Educators, and Students through a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Framework

Classroom PBIS
District & State PBIS
School-Wide
Academics
Alignment
Behavior
Systems Alignment
This guide describes the use of a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework to support students, families, and educators during the transitions back to school during and following the global pandemic in a manner that prioritizes their health and safety, social and emotional needs, and behavioral and academic growth.
Last Updated:
March 5, 2021

A State Guide for Returning to School During and After Crisis: A Guide to Supporting States, Districts, Schools, Educators, and Students through a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Framework

District & State PBIS
Academics
Alignment
Behavior
Systems Alignment
This abbreviated state guide describes the use of a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework to support students, families, and educators during the transitions back to school during and following the global pandemic in a manner that prioritizes their health and safety, social and emotional needs, and behavioral and academic growth.
Last Updated:
March 5, 2021

A School Guide for Returning to School During and After Crisis: A Guide to Supporting Schools, Educators, and Students through a Multi-Tiered Systems of Support Framework

School-Wide
Classroom PBIS
Academics
Alignment
Behavior
Systems Alignment
This abbreviated school guide describes the use of a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework to support students, families, and educators during the transitions back to school during and following the global pandemic in a manner that prioritizes their health and safety, social and emotional needs, and behavioral and academic growth.
Last Updated:
March 5, 2021

A District Guide for Returning to School During and After Crisis: A Guide to Supporting Districts, Schools, Educators, and Students through a Multi- Tiered Systems of Support Framework

District & State PBIS
Academics
Alignment
Behavior
Systems Alignment
This abbreviated district guide describes the use of a multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) framework to support students, families, and educators during the transitions back to school during and following the global pandemic in a manner that prioritizes their health and safety, social and emotional needs, and behavioral and academic growth.
Last Updated:
March 5, 2021

PBIS High School Implementation: Leveraging Features of the PBIS Framework to Support College and Career Readiness

Data-based Decision Making
High School PBIS
School-Wide
Academics
Alignment
Systems Alignment
The purpose of this brief is to provide guidance and concrete examples to school personnel of how schools can leverage an existing PBIS framework to support CCR efficiently and effectively.
Last Updated:
March 3, 2021

Building a Culture of Staff Wellness Through Multi-Tiered System of Supports

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Administrator
Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)
Tier 1
Tier 2
The purpose of this brief is to provide recommendations to district and school leadership teams on how the components of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) can be used to prioritize staff health and wellbeing.
Last Updated:
March 2, 2021

Supporting PBIS Implementation Through Phases of Crisis Recovery

District & State PBIS
School-Wide
Action plan
Implementation
Trauma
As school and district communities consider options for effectively supporting students, educators, and families during and after a crisis, it can be difficult to identify critical impactful actions. The PBIS framework can serve as a road map to meeting this challenge. This practice brief provides strategies to guide implementation efforts through the various phase of crisis recovery for schools and districts that are (a) getting started or (b) strengthening and maintaining current implementation. 
Last Updated:
February 19, 2021

School Mental Health Quality Framework and Tools Alignment Guide

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Alignment
Evaluation
Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)
The National Center for School Mental Health provides practitioners a summary of PBIS, the Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF), and Comprehensive School Mental Health Systems (CSMHS) tools and resources that districts and schools might use to improve their efforts to support the social-emotional-behavioral health and wellness of every student. The guidance includes consideration for use of high-quality resources, what the frameworks have in common, and how to add value in their use to enhance existing efforts.
Last Updated:
February 19, 2021

Installing an Interconnected Systems Framework at the School Level: Recommendations and Examples to Guide School Leadership Teams, Practitioners and Coaches

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)
Systems Alignment
This Practice Guide describes and illustrates how schools, with support from coaches and district/community leaders, can benefit from the integration of mental health supports within the PBIS Framework. District/school leaders and coaches can use this information to support their efforts building an Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) of mental health and PBIS. This Guide highlights practical strategies from one school’s successful experiences, including indications of the impact on students’ success while building strong partnerships with families and community partners. Suggested Technical Assistance strategies for coaches are provided.
Last Updated:
February 18, 2021

Installing an Interconnected Systems Framework at the District/Community Level: Recommendations and Strategies for Coaches and District Leaders

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)
Systems Alignment
The Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) is a process to create a more stream-lined approach to school mental health and wellness by connecting all social-emotional-behavioral (SEB) efforts through one system, while eliminating barriers inherent in systems that previously have operated separately. This Practice Guide describes and illustrate how district/community leaders can embed mental health supports within the PBIS framework to create a unified and comprehensive system of social-emotional-behavioral (SEB) supports in schools. One district’s experience building such an Interconnected System Framework (ISF) is portrayed including how they engaged community partners, families and school personnel. Technical assistance strategies and tools for coaches guiding the ISF process in districts/communities and schools are included.
Last Updated:
February 18, 2021

Addressing the Growing Problem of Domestic Sex Trafficking in Minors through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
School-Wide
Action plan
Screening
Tier 1
Tier 2
The aim of this practice brief is to highlight the broader issue of domestic minor sex trafficking (DMST) and suggest a framework for integrating school-based prevention and intervention strategies through Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). We provide a brief review of DMST and connections to PBIS; we then discuss how actions within the PBIS framework may help prevent DMST and provide assistance to student victims and their families. 
Last Updated:
January 29, 2021

Effective Instruction as a Protective Factor

Classroom PBIS
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
School-Wide
Academics
Behavior
Tier 1
Effective instruction can be a protective factor for student wellness, mitigating competing risk factors. In this brief, we highlight key considerations and resources for educators to (a) create an effective context for learning, (b) emphasize appropriate content, and (c) use data-driven instructional practices to increase the likelihood that all students experience academic, social, emotional, and behavioral benefit.
Last Updated:
January 25, 2021

Integrated Tiered Fidelity Inventory Companion Guide

Equity
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
School-Wide
Alignment
Evaluation
Fidelity
Tier 1
This guide is intended to support school teams, coaches, and trainers working to focus on cultural responsiveness and support for mental health and wellness within the PBIS framework while also navigating the ongoing challenges of the 2020-2021 school year. This companion guide is not an additional fidelity of implementation measure. It is an action planning tool to use alongside the validated TFI to focus PBIS implementation to better meet the complex needs of students and staff.
Last Updated:
January 25, 2021

Improving Attendance in a Remote Learning Environment

Data-based Decision Making
High School PBIS
School-Wide
Administrator
Assessment
Behavior
Outcome
This brief adapts the suggestions and strategies provided in Improving Attendance and Reducing Chronic Absenteeism to guide practice during remote instruction. Latest revision includes a case study that illustrates the guidance.
Last Updated:
December 23, 2020

Habits of Effective Classroom Practice

Classroom PBIS
Behavior
Implementation
PBIS Foundations
Tier 1
This practice brief describes how we (a) develop habits of effective classroom practice and (b) expand effective habits in our schools, districts, and states.
Last Updated:
December 18, 2020

Systematic Screening for Behavior in Current K-12 Instructional Settings

Data-based Decision Making
Screening
Tier 1
With the new range of instructional contexts being offered, many educators are seeking guidance regarding how to conduct systematic screenings for behavior across these different environments. In this brief, we offer three considerations for those preparing to screen for the first time and for those continuing with screening within a tiered system for in-person, remote, or hybrid instructional environments.
Last Updated:
November 23, 2020

Facility-Wide Tiered Fidelity Inventory v0.2 Technical Brief

Juvenile Justice
Alternative Settings
Assessment
Evaluation
Fidelity
This resource describes the process used for development, content validation, and usability evaluation of the FW-TFI v0.2.
Last Updated:
November 23, 2020

Adapting PBIS Practices for Rural Settings: Remote Instruction Strategy Matrix

Classroom PBIS
School-Wide
Rural
Behavior
Implementation
Social relationships
Rural education settings often have accessibility strengths and weaknesses that can make virtual instruction challenging. A range of resources are needed that can be tailored in intensity to meet various student needs (social, emotional, behavioral well-being, academic engagement) adapted to different types of technology. The Remote Instruction Strategy Matrix with corresponding resources provides educators with a continuum of learning support strategies that can be followed by adaptations for implementation based on available technology. 
Last Updated:
November 20, 2020

Integrating a Trauma-Informed Approach within a PBIS Framework

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)
Systems Alignment
Trauma
As educators have become increasingly aware of the impact of trauma on the school success of children and youth, they have been investing in professional development about how to address childhood trauma in schools. However, evaluation to support evidence of impact are lacking.This Guide describes how to integrate trauma-informed approaches into the PBIS framework to ensure efforts are linked to student outcomes. Strategies and tools to ensure effectiveness are included.
Last Updated:
November 17, 2020

Building Momentum for PBIS Implementation in High Need Districts

Coaching
Data-based Decision Making
District & State PBIS
Fidelity
PBIS Foundations
Urban Implementation
Rural
Building district capacity for implementing PBIS in high need school districts is challenging. This practice brief summarizes the lessons learned one year into an intensive 5-year partnership with Southbridge Public Schools, a district identified as high-need. The intent of the brief is to provide district leaders, trainers, and state leaders with lessons learned and suggestions they may consider when supporting high need LEAs.
Last Updated:
October 23, 2020

Remote Learning for Families: Keeping it Accessible, Keeping it Positive

Family
Academics
Special education
This practice brief describes information and tips for families regarding accessibility during remote learning.
Last Updated:
October 13, 2020

An Overview of Endrew F.: Implications for Student Behavior

Disability
Family
Policy
Special education
Tier 3
This 2017 U.S. Supreme Court case clarified what is meant by a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA, 2004) while highlighting the role of supporting a student’s behavior to enable the student to make progress. Endrew F. is an important and relevant case for the PBIS community in terms of encouraging stakeholder involvement and engaging in effective data-based decision making. This brief highlights some implications of Endrew F. for IEP teams, including the importance of the input of parents in designing appropriate educational support plans for students with disabilities.
Last Updated:
September 23, 2020

Creating a PBIS Behavior Teaching Matrix for Remote Instruction

Classroom PBIS
Implementation
PBIS Foundations
Tier 1
This practice brief shares tips for maintaining continuity of learning through defining classroom expectations for remote (i.e., distance) instruction and online learning environments. With a few adaptations, teachers can use a PBIS framework to make remote learning safe, predictable, and positive.
Last Updated:
September 22, 2020

Creating a PBIS Behavior Teaching Matrix for Remote Instruction (Versión en español)

Classroom PBIS
Implementation
PBIS Foundations
Tier 1
This practice brief shares tips for maintaining continuity of learning through defining classroom expectations for remote (i.e., distance) instruction and online learning environments. With a few adaptations, teachers can use a PBIS framework to make remote learning safe, predictable, and positive.
Last Updated:
September 22, 2020

Advancing Education Effectiveness: Interconnecting School Mental Health and School-Wide PBIS, Volume 2: An Implementation Guide

Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
School-Wide
Alignment
Community
Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)
Screening
This implementation guide provides step by step process with examples, activities, and resources for district and school teams to install and implement an Interconnected Systems Framework.
Last Updated:
September 21, 2020

Conducting the Tiered Fidelity Inventory and Walkthrough Remotely

Data-based Decision Making
School-Wide
Action plan
Evaluation
Fidelity
Implementation
Evidence-based frameworks, such as positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS), provide a critical foundation to meet the needs of students, families, and educators in this new context, but only when implemented with fidelity. This practice brief (a) provides a rationale for conducting the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI)l; (b) shares guidance on how to complete the TFI, including the walkthrough, remotely; and (b) responds to frequently asked questions related to conducting the TFI remotely.
Last Updated:
September 11, 2020

Is School-wide Positive Behavior Support an Evidence-based Practice?

School-Wide
Research
The purpose of this document is to lay out the current evidence assessing SWPBIS and the considerations that may be relevant for state, district and national decision-makers. School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports is a systems approach to establishing the social culture and behavioral supports needed for all children in a school to achieve both social and academic success. PBIS is not a packaged curriculum, but an approach that defines core elements that can be achieved through a variety of strategies.
Last Updated:
September 8, 2020

Supporting Students with Disabilities in the Classroom within a PBIS Framework

Classroom PBIS
Disability
Behavior
Special education
Tier 1
Students with disabilities are more likely to experience exclusionary and reactive discipline practices than students without disabilities. Fortunately, when educators implement positive, proactive, and evidence-based practices within a Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework, students with disabilities benefit. In this practice brief, we describe the “top ten” intervention strategies effective educators implement to support all students, including students with disabilities, in their classroom.
Last Updated:
September 1, 2020

High School Acknowledgement Systems

High School PBIS
School-Wide
PBIS Foundations
Social relationships
Youth Voice
This practice brief focuses on effective ways to build an acknowledgement system that works in high school. We start by suggesting why considering a formal acknowledgment system is appropriate in high school, and then review examples of strategies that have been demonstrated (descriptively or empirically) to be effective.
Last Updated:
August 14, 2020

Adjusting PBIS for Students New to School: Starting the Year with Increased Support

Classroom PBIS
Data-based Decision Making
Behavior
Implementation
Social skills
Tier 1
Young students new to school experience a shift in their typical environment. This practice brief provides strategies for how school teams can increase behavior support at the beginning of the school year to support these students.
Last Updated:
June 8, 2020

Supporting Students with Disabilities at School and Home: A Guide for Teachers to Support Families and Students

Disability
Family
Classroom PBIS
Academics
Alignment
Behavior
PBIS Foundations
This guide highlights 5 key practices for teachers and families to support all students, including students with disabilities, at school and home. For each practice, the guide provides (a) tips for teachers to support students with disabilities during instruction; (b) tips for families that educators can share to support or enhance learning at home, especially during periods of remote instruction; and (c) free-access resources that include strategies shown to be effective by research (e.g., informational guides, downloadable materials, research-based programs).
Last Updated:
May 20, 2020

Guidance on Adapting Check-in Check-out (CICO) for Distance Learning

Classroom PBIS
Family
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Behavior
Screening
Tier 2
This brief provides considerations and suggestions for adapting Check-in Check-out (CICO), an evidence-based Tier 2 school intervention, for situations where students are learning from home.
Last Updated:
May 8, 2020

PBIS in Juvenile Justice Programs: Planning for Long-Term Implementation Juvenile Justice

Juvenile Justice
Alternative Settings
Secure Care
Residential
This Practice Brief was developed as result of the roundtable dialogue that occurred at the 2019 PBIS Leadership Forum in Chicago, IL and is intended to be a practical tool and resource for anyone who is leading or supporting PBIS in juvenile justice programs or other types of alternative, residential programs. Common reasons that can prevent sustainability of PBIS over time and recommendations for enhancing sustainability will be described.
Last Updated:
May 6, 2020

PBIS in Rural America: Addressing Barriers and Building on Strengths

School-Wide
Implementation
This Practice Brief was developed as result of the roundtable dialogue that occurred at the 2019 PBIS Leadership Forum in Chicago, IL.
Last Updated:
May 6, 2020

Embedding Culturally Responsive Practices in Tier I

Equity
Tier 1
Community
Climate
This Practice Brief was developed as result of the roundtable dialogue that occurred at the 2019 PBIS Leadership Forum in Chicago, IL.
Last Updated:
May 6, 2020

PBIS in Early Childhood Classrooms on School Campuses

Early Childhood PBIS
Implementation
Tier 1
This Practice Brief was developed as result of the roundtable dialogue that occurred at the 2019 PBIS Leadership Forum in Chicago, IL for the purpose of exploring how all classes on school campuses can meet the developmental needs of students, specifically our youngest students.
Last Updated:
May 6, 2020

IDEA & Students with Disabilities

Disability
School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG)
Special education
Policy
Tier 3
Climate
This Practice Brief was developed as result of the roundtable dialogue that occurred at the 2019 PBIS Leadership Forum in Chicago, IL and is not intended to provide comprehensive legal guidance. Districts/schools should consult with their district’s legal resources for deciding on legal actions and procedures.
Last Updated:
May 6, 2020

Tier II Data, Systems & Practices

School-Wide
Targeted
Tier 2
This Practice Brief was developed as result of the roundtable dialogue that occurred at the 2019 PBIS Leadership Forum in Chicago, IL and provides an overview of the process of designing and implementing Tier 2 systems and practices within a Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS) framework. Approaching Tier 2 design from the district-level is encouraged; however, considerations and suggestions for schools implementing Tier 2 independent of a district-level initiative are included.
Last Updated:
May 6, 2020

Universal Screening – Systematic Screening to Shape Instruction

Data-based Decision Making
Screening
This Practice Brief was developed as result of the roundtable dialogue that occurred at the 2019 PBIS Leadership Forum in Chicago, IL.
Last Updated:
May 6, 2020

Advancing Family-School Collaboration in PBIS Through the FSCA

Family
Community
Implementation
This Practice Brief was developed as result of the roundtable dialogue that occurred at the 2019 PBIS Leadership Forum in Chicago, IL with the purpose to describe the Family-School-Community Alliance (FSCA) and the FSCA’s recent work focused on family-school collaboration in Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). An introduction to the FSCA is provided, followed by the rationale and current challenges of family- school collaboration. Finally, the features of the FSCA’s model for family-school collaboration are reviewed along with suggestions for integrating and aligning family-school collaboration efforts within existing practice.
Last Updated:
May 6, 2020

How are Schools Using the School Climate Surveys

District & State PBIS
School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG)
School-Wide
Climate
Evaluation
Tier 1
The purpose of this brief is to provide information about how to evaluate school climate at the primary and secondary levels. Norms and ranges are provided and based on a national data; this data can help schools to contextualize local data. Information for interpreting the data and unit if for data-based decision making is also included.
Last Updated:
May 1, 2020

Supporting Families with PBIS at Home (Versión en español)

Family
Classroom PBIS
Implementation
PBIS Foundations
Families and caregivers should consider using positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) in their homes on a daily basis. It is especially helpful when events disrupt normal routines – events like worldwide health pandemics. This practice brief provides recommendations for families and caregivers on how to use PBIS to continue to support their students’ social and emotional growth and minimize behavioral disruptions in the home.
Last Updated:
March 31, 2020

Supporting Families with PBIS at Home

Family
Classroom PBIS
Implementation
PBIS Foundations
Families and caregivers should consider using positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) in their homes on a daily basis. It is especially helpful when events disrupt normal routines – events like worldwide health pandemics. This practice brief provides recommendations for families and caregivers on how to use PBIS to continue to support their students’ social and emotional growth and minimize behavioral disruptions in the home.
Last Updated:
March 31, 2020

Positive Greetings at the Door

Classroom PBIS
Equity
Social relationships
Tier 1
Positive greetings at the door is an effective strategy for increasing academic engagement, decreasing unwanted behavior, and improving student-teacher relationships. This strategy brief breaks it down into easy steps for daily implementation.
Last Updated:
March 27, 2020

Getting Back to School after Disruptions: Resources for Making Your School Year Safer, More Predictable, and More Positive

School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG)
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Trauma
Students experiencing trauma, such as from public health crises, weather disasters, or other upsetting events, may have been exposed to unpredictable schedules, inconsistent supervision, or food insecurity and desperately need school to be their safest, most predictable, and most positive setting, especially if they have been displaced or are without utilities or basic comforts. Multi-tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), such as PBIS, are ideal frameworks for implementing strategies to support students coming back to school and to prevent and address further challenges. We recommend the following six strategies for school teams to ensure a safe, predictable, and positive school year. These strategies are beneficial for all students if the school has been closed, as well as for individual students returning from extended time away from school.
Last Updated:
March 13, 2020

Getting Back to School after Disruptions: Resources for Making Your School Year Safer, More Predictable, and More Positive (Versión en español)

School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG)
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Trauma
Students experiencing trauma, such as from public health crises, weather disasters, or other upsetting events, may have been exposed to unpredictable schedules, inconsistent supervision, or food insecurity and desperately need school to be their safest, most predictable, and most positive setting, especially if they have been displaced or are without utilities or basic comforts. Multi-tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS), such as PBIS, are ideal frameworks for implementing strategies to support students coming back to school and to prevent and address further challenges. We recommend the following six strategies for school teams to ensure a safe, predictable, and positive school year. These strategies are beneficial for all students if the school has been closed, as well as for individual students returning from extended time away from school.
Last Updated:
March 13, 2020

Preventing & Responding to Violent Behavior in Schools

District & State PBIS
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
Community
Implementation
Systems Alignment
This practice brief is intended to be a practical tool and brief overview resource for educators interested in leveraging the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) framework to support school and district-level prevention and recovery efforts related to school violence and other trauma-inducing critical incidents.
Last Updated:
March 1, 2020

DITCH THE CLIP! Why Clip Charts Are Not a PBIS Practice and What to Do Instead

Classroom PBIS
Mental Health/Social-Emotional-Behavioral Well-Being
School-Wide
Behavior
Implementation
Trauma
Clip charts have been a common classroom strategy for many years. Once considered an effective tool for displaying behavioral progress and adherence to classroom rules, they may not be as helpful as once thought. In this practice brief, we describe how such strategies are inconsistent with a PBIS approach and, more importantly, can be harmful. We also provide alternative strategies that are evidence based and more likely to improve student behavior while promoting a safe, positive classroom.
Last Updated:
February 5, 2020

Using the PBIS Framework to Address the Opioid Crisis in Schools

Opioid Crisis and Substance Misuse
Family
School-Wide
Behavior
Community
Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)
In October 2017, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services declared a public health emergency to address rising overdose deaths related to the opioid epidemic. With the effects of the opioid crisis affecting students at multiple levels, it is important to identify clear targets for school-based interventions. We describe here the ways students and families may be affected, and how school teams can leverage the PBIS framework to support them.
Last Updated:
January 28, 2020

Improving Attendance and Reducing Chronic Absenteeism

Data-based Decision Making
High School PBIS
School-Wide
Academics
Alignment
Systems Alignment
This brief provides guidance for schools or districts looking to integrate strategies for improving attendance within the PBIS framework.
Last Updated:
January 16, 2020

Four Key Actions for State Education Agency Teams to Support Implementation of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support

District & State PBIS
Administrator
Fidelity
Implementation
As states and districts adopt policies that address the “whole child,” many look to multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) that attend to academic and social-emotional-behavioral needs of students. Key features of MTSS include a continuum of supports with increasing intensity matched to student need, the use of research informed practices, and data for decision making. School-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) is an example of an effective MTSS for behavior.
Last Updated:
December 20, 2019

Basic FBA to BSP Trainer's Manual

Coaching
Disability
Data-based Decision Making
Behavior
Assessment
Screening
This manual presents procedures to train school-based personnel to conduct basic functional behavioral assessments (FBA) and design function-based behavior support plans (BSP).
Last Updated:
October 28, 2019

PBIS Technical Guide on Classroom Data: Using Data to Support Implementation of Positive Classroom Behavior Support Practices and Systems

Classroom PBIS
Coaching
High School PBIS
PBIS Foundations
Tier 1
Evaluation
This technical guide is intended to support data selection and use at the Tier 1 level for classrooms and is not intended to describe the more intensive data collection strategies required to support students or educators receiving Tier 2 or 3 supports.
Last Updated:
October 7, 2019

Using Outcome Data to Implement Multi-tiered Behavior Support (PBIS) in High Schools

High School PBIS
Data-based Decision Making
Outcome
Evaluation
In this Practice Brief we propose that there are at least four core types of data needed by high school PBIS Leadership Teams and that these data can be used to problem-solve at the (a) whole school, (b) at-risk group, or (c) individual student levels.
Last Updated:
September 25, 2019

High School PBIS Implementation: Student Voice

High School PBIS
Youth Voice
Implementation
This brief discusses the importance of student voice, describes the unique features of high school settings that can make it challenging to include students, and offers strategies to address these barriers.
Last Updated:
September 12, 2019

Use of I-SWIS by Elementary Schools to Monitor Tier 3 Behavior Supports

Data-based Decision Making
Tier 3
Research
In this Evaluation Brief we focus on the extent to which Tier 3 (individual) support teams collect, summarize, and use data to guide implementation of behavior support plans. Our specific focus is a descriptive summary of how elementary school teams use the Individual School Wide Information System (I-SWIS) online application to guide their Tier 3 decision-making as well as general use of PBIS-focused data systems that support overall fidelity to critical components of the PBIS framework.
Last Updated:
September 9, 2019

Preventing Restraint and Seclusion in Schools

Restraint/Seclusion
Policy
Behavior
Climate
This practice brief defines restraint and seclusion, addresses prevalance, describes prevention approaches, and reviews policy implications.
Last Updated:
May 1, 2019

10 Lessons Learned from SEA and LEA SCTG Sites

School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG)
School-Wide
Implementation
Outcome
This guide shares lessons learned from the past five years working with State Education Agency (SEA) and Local Education Agency (LEA) School Climate Transformation Grantees. SEAs and LEAs are more likely to use SCTG resources
Last Updated:
April 16, 2019

High School PBIS Implementation: Staff Buy-In

High School PBIS
School-Wide
Buy-in from stakeholders is important for the successful adoption, full implementation and sustainability of any school-based initiative. It’s also one of the critical elements for implementation of Tier 1 PBIS included in the TFI, BoQ, and the Blueprint. This brief describes the unique features of high school settings that can make building buy-in more difficult and identifies strategies that have been successful for securing staff buy-in in high schools.
Last Updated:
April 1, 2019

Do Wisconsin Schools Implementing an Integrated Academic and Behavior Support Framework Improve Equity in Academic and School Discipline Outcomes?

Equity
PBIS Foundations
Ethnicity
Community
This evaluation brief describes how Wisconsin is implementing an equitable multi-level system of supports (MLSS) framework, also known as a multi-tiered system of supports (MTSS), and how schools implementing this framework with both a behavior and reading focus have shown positive outcomes for all students. The data analyzed in this brief were derived from a small, Wisconsin RtI Center staff directed project. The focus was on the impact of an equitable multi-level system of supports (MLSS).
Last Updated:
March 1, 2019