Evaluation Briefs

These evaluation briefs describe findings from data related to some aspect of PBIS implementation. They are short, easy-to-read summaries. Each brief includes descriptions of the method, the data, the results, and provides a discussion for future research.

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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.
Published
9/9/2019

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).
Published
3/1/2019

Fidelity of SW-PBIS in High Schools: Patterns of Implementation Strengths and Needs

High School PBIS
Fidelity
Research
PBIS Foundations
The purpose of this brief is to summarize patterns in SW-PBIS implementation fidelity in 996 high schools across 31 U.S. states. We specially aimed to evaluate how high schools are implementing the components of SW-PBIS, and identify implementation strengths and needs.
Published
11/1/2018

How are Schools Using the SWPBIS Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI)?

District/State PBIS
Assessment
Research
PBIS Foundations
To understand how schools are using the TFI, this evaluation brief aims to answer the following research questions: 1. How often do schools complete the TFI per year? 2. How many tiers are assessed during each TFI administration? 3. What are the average scores at each tier of the TFI? 4. What subscales and items on the TFI have the highest and lowest scores?
Published
6/1/2018

Do Schools Implementing SWPBIS Have Decreased Racial and Ethnic Disproportionality in School Discipline?

Equity
Research
Ethnicity
The purpose of this study was to examine discipline disproportionality among schools implementing SWPBIS compared to the entire population of schools in the U.S. Examining patterns in a large-scale evaluation of schools implementing and not implementing SWPBIS could help determine the extent to which implementation of SWPBIS is related to lower, higher, or unchanged discipline disparities.
Published
3/1/2018

What are Patterns and Predictors of CICO Participation in U.S. Schools?

District/State PBIS
Classroom PBIS
Tier 2
Research
Targeted
This evaluation brief looks to develop an understanding of current patterns of CICO enrollment and its potential impact on intervention fidelity and effectiveness.
Published
3/1/2018

What are the Economic Costs of Implementing SWPBIS in Comparison to the Benefits from Reducing Suspensions?

High School PBIS
Evaluation
Outcome
In this brief, we provide initial evidence that SWPBIS is less expensive to implement than the longer-term costs re- lated to suspensions and dropout. This finding is important as the benefits of reducing suspensions and dropout go far beyond simple fiscal savings. An analysis of the available data suggests that SWPBIS may be an economical alterna- tive to not only ineffective approaches, like suspension, but also traditional dropout prevention programs.
Published
11/8/2017

Guidance for States on ESSA State Plans: Aligning the School Climate Indicator and SW-PBIS

District/State PBIS
Alignment
Policy
New to the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965, as amended by the Every Student Succeeds Act of 2015, is specific language supporting state and local educational agencies in implementing schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SW-PBIS). This evaluation brief offers guidance to states on how to align PBIS efforts with the student success indicator in Student Support and Academic Enrichment grants.
Published
6/1/2017

Status of High School PBIS Implementation in the U.S.

School-Wide
High School PBIS
The purpose of this evaluation brief is to provide a description of the current state of PBIS implementation in US high schools, as reflected by data collected by the National PBIS Technical Assistance Center.
Published
1/1/2017

Does Implementation of SWPBIS Enhance Sustainability of Specific Programs, such as Playworks?

District/State PBIS
Fidelity
PBIS Foundations
Alignment
The purpose of this evaluation brief is to assess whether schools implementing SWPBIS with adequate fidelity of implementation were more likely to sustain specific school practices, such as Playworks, than schools not implementing SWPBIS with fidelity.
Published
2/1/2016

When to use Functional Behavioral Assessment? A State-by-State Analysis of the Law

Disability
FBA/BIP/BSP
To provide students with disabilities and their families the best educational experience, the use of the functional behavioral assessment should be a viable option when challenging behaviors are interfering with learning opportunities. As the technology of FBA continues to improve through systematic research, educators should not default to the legal requirements, which may, as we have outlined here, leave considerable gaps. States should strive to close those gaps by, at a minimum, including reference to FBA in provisions on evaluation, re-evaluation, IEP development and restraint and seclusion.
Published
10/1/2015

Do Out-of-School Suspensions Prevent Future Exclusionary Discipline?

School-Wide
Discipline
Evaluation
This evaluation brief examines the use of suspensions in 1,840 public middle schools in the United States and assesses the extent to which they are effective at reducing future problem behavior for students who receive them.
Published
5/1/2015

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.
Published
4/1/2015

Do High Schools Implementing SWPBIS Have Lower Rates of Illegal Drug and Alcohol Use?

Opioid Crisis and Substance Misuse
Behavior
Research
This evaluation brief investigated the effects of SWPBIS implementation on reported illegal drug and alcohol use in high schools. The specific question examined for this evaluation brief was: to what extent do high schools implementing SWPBIS have lower reported use of illegal drugs and alcohol?
Published
3/1/2015

Drill Down Tool Evaluation Brief

Data-based Decision Making
Behavior
Discipline
This paper provides an overview of the School-wide Information System (SWIS) Drill Down tool, shares information about its usage, the number and variety of filters being used, and offers suggestions for more effective and efficient use.
Published
1/1/2015

When to Use Functional Behavioral Assessment? Best Practice vs. Legal Guidance

Juvenile Justice
FBA/BIP/BSP
Tier 3
Special education
When a behavior interferes with academic or social progress, practitioners should consider an FBA as a viable option. An FBA should not be reserved for solely students who receive special education services or have a particular disability. District-level capacity to perform technically adequate FBAs related to valuable behavior support plans, should continue to increase as the technology of the FBA becomes more accessible.
Published
10/1/2014

Do Schools with Adequate Tier 1 SWPBIS Implementation Have Stronger Implementation at Tiers 2 and 3?

District/State PBIS
Assessment
Fidelity
PBIS Foundations
The purpose of this evaluation brief is to answer the following questions: 1. To what extent do schools with adequate Tier I SWPBIS implementation have stronger implementation at Tiers II and III? 2. Which components of Tier I systems are most strongly related to implementation of Tier II and III systems?
Published
9/1/2014

Have Schools Increased Their Use of the SWIS School Ethnicity Report?

Equity
Data-based Decision Making
Ethnicity
To ensure an equitable education for all students, there is a need for school teams to review their data informing whether the implementation of PBIS has improved the outcomes for each racial-ethnic minority group. The Schoolwide Information System (SWIS) and the SWIS School Ethnicity Report may help in the use of such data. Any school that uses SWIS has real-time access to the School Ethnicity Report.
Published
2/1/2014

Patterns of Minor Office Discipline Referrals in Schools using SWIS

School-Wide
Data-based Decision Making
Evaluation
Schools using the School-Wide Information System (SWIS) database are often collecting information on Minor Office Discipline Referrals (ODRs), as well as Major ODRs. In this evaluation brief we examined the role of Minor ODRs in elementary, middle and high schools. We investigated what types of Minor ODRs are most prevalent at each grade level and where these Minor ODRs occur. This information was compared to what types of Major ODRs are most prevalent and where Major ODRs occur. Finally, we examined the relative rates of Minor and Major ODRs over the course of an academic year.
Published
11/12/2013

Out-of-School Suspension for Minor Misbehavior

Classroom PBIS
Data-based Decision Making
Discipline
Training
This evaluation brief examines the practice of using out-of-school suspension as a consequence for behavior coded as “minor” on office discipline referral forms. This report looks at the statistics surrounding these occurrences, discusses possible rationales, and outlines a strategy PBIS Coaches and SWIS Facilitators can use to determine whether schools are involved in this practice. If they are, we suggest these schools improve data entry procedures or reconsider the use of school suspension for behavior that is described as minor.
Published
1/1/2013

If Discipline Referral Rates for the School as a Whole are Reduced, Will Rates for Students with Disabilities also be Reduced?

Equity
FBA/BIP/BSP
Tier 3
The primary purpose of the study was to answer the question: “If schools are able to reduce discipline referral rates for major offences for the school as a whole, will the number of students in special education (i.e., students with an IEP) who receive discipline referrals be reduced?”
Published
10/6/2012

What Does it Cost to Implement School-wide PBIS?

District/State PBIS
Evaluation
PBIS Foundations
This model emphasizes the importance of specifying assumptions about the content of SWPBIS and how these affect costs related to implementation. We provide below a condensed summary of projected cost considerations for three common scenarios.
Published
8/1/2012

How to Measure School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Implementation Fidelity with the Team Implementation Checklist: Percent of Points or Percent of Items Fully Implemented?

Data-based Decision Making
District/State PBIS
Assessment
Evaluation
PBIS Foundations
This evaluation brief focuses on comparing different ways to calculate the criterion score for the Team Implementation Checklist (TIC), a fidelity of implementation measure widely used by schools engaged in SWPBS implementation. It examines if schools that optained 80% or more of all TIC points differ on their Benchmarks of Quality score from schools that rated 80% or more of all TIC items as "achieved."
Published
3/1/2012

Stability in Variant Administration Methods of the School-wide PBS Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ)

Data-based Decision Making
School-Wide
Assessment
Fidelity
PBIS Foundations
One of the most frequently asked questions regarding the Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ) has been related to the procedures used for scoring.This brief investigates the following question: Is the BoQ stable and will similar scores result if administered in the method used in the validation study versus other methods?
Published
3/1/2011

The Revised School-wide PBS Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ)

Data-based Decision Making
Classroom PBIS
Assessment
Fidelity
PBIS Foundations
This evaluation brief addresses some of the questions that have arisen during the on-going and widespread utilization of the Benchmarks of Quality. Specifically the questions include: (1) Does a factor analysis indicate that the critical elements of the BoQ “hang together,” that all items are of adequate strength, and do the factors hold true across years of administration? (2) Do the 7 new classroom items form a consistent factor? And (3) Does the BoQ/SET concurrent validity hold true with a greater number of schools than that used in the initial validation study?
Published
3/1/2011

How Many States Reference SWPBS in Their Restraint-Seclusion Policies

Restraint/Seclusion
District/State PBIS
Intensive
Policy
Given the current focus on regulating restraint and seclusion, this brief assesses the extent to which states include school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBS) in their legislation regulating the use of restraint and seclusion.
Published
7/1/2010

Influence of School Level Socioeconomic Status and Racial Diversity on School-wide Positive Behavior Support Implementation

Equity
District/State PBIS
Ethnicity
Implementation
PBIS Foundations
This evaluation brief examines the capacity of schools of varying levels of socioeconomic and racial diversity to implement Tier 1 of school-wide positive behavior support with integrity. The three main evaluation questions addressed are: (1) What percentage of schools are able to achieve 80%-80% implementation status on the School-wide Evaluation Tool (SET) within 1 year? (2) Is school socioeconomic status associated with implementation effectiveness? (3) Is school racial diversity associated with implementation outcomes?
Published
12/1/2009

What Are the Patterns of Office Discipline Referrals Across Grade Levels?

Data-based Decision Making
District/State PBIS
Discipline
Behavior
The goal of this brief is to examine if the overall ODR frequency patterns across grade levels that have been documented in the literature can be replicated with a large national sample of schools using the School-wide Information System (SWIS) to record ODRs.
Published
12/1/2009

Do elementary schools that document reductions in overall office discipline referrals document reductions across all student races and ethnicities?

Equity
Data-based Decision Making
Ethnicity
Given the overwhelming evidence of inequitable disciplinary practices and the availability of an extensive database of ODR, our goal was to examine if elementary schools that record a decrease of their overall ODR rate across a 3 year time span in SWIS show similar decreases in ODR rates for students from different racial and ethnic backgrounds.
Published
9/1/2009

Comparison of Office Discipline Referrals in U.S. Schools by Population Densities: Do Rates Differ According to School Location?

Data-based Decision Making
District/State PBIS
Implementation
PBIS Foundations
This evaluation brief examines the rate of office discipline referrals (ODRs) for different school-grade levels based on locale. Using a cohort of schools that recorded ODRs over 3-years with the School-wide Information System (SWIS), rates are compared across years for elementary, middle, high school, and K-8/12 grade levels. The two questions addressed by this brief are: (1) Based on lacale, what is the number of schools with ODRs for each grade level across a 3-year cohort? (2) Based on locale, what is the rate of ODRs for each grade level, across each year?
Published
6/1/2009

The Relation Between Office Discipline Referrals and School Enrollment Status: Do Rates Differ Based on Enrollment Size?

Data-based Decision Making
District/State PBIS
Discipline
Behavior
This evaluation brief examines the rate of office discipline referrals (ODRs) for different school-grade levels based on student enrollment. Using a cohort of schools that recorded ODRs over 3-years with the School-wide Information System (SWIS), rates are compared across years for elementary, middle, high school, and K-8/12 grade levels. The two evaluation questions addressed are (1) Based on school size, what is the number of schools with ODRs for each grade level across a 3-year cohort? and (2) Based on school size, what is rate of ODRs for each grade level, across each year?
Published
6/1/2009

Do Schools Using SWIS Take Advantage of the "School Ethnicity Report"?

Equity
Data-based Decision Making
Ethnicity
Although disproportionate referral patterns have been documented, it is unclear to what extent schools actively address this issue. Given the current policy mandates holding schools accountable for equitable educational environments where all students can succeed (NCLB, IDEA), our goal was to examine to what extent schools using SWIS take advantage of its ability to record and aggregate ethnicity data.
Published
11/1/2008

Implementation of School-wide PBIS Across the United States

District/State PBIS
Evaluation
PBIS Foundations
This evaluation brief examines the proportion of U.S. schools engaged in School-wide PBIS (SWPBIS) implementation, as of October 1, 2008, as reported to the National Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
Published
11/1/2008
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