Classroom PBIS Data



PBIS Technical Guide on Classroom Data (PDF Download)

Why use data to support implementation of PBIS in the classroom?

Data are used to support implementation of PBIS in the classroom.  Specifically, data guide

  1. educators to use data for decision-making as they implement classroom PBIS practices [1].
  2. school leadership teams to use data for decision making when implementing systems to support educators' implementation of classroom PBIS [2].

What are data and how can we use them in my classroom or school?

Data are an active, dynamic part of decision-making in the classroom that allow educators to identify patterns of strengths and needs. Those patterns drive decision making to continue, adopt, or modify classroom PBIS practices and systems. Data refer to objective (specific, observable, measurable) information about students, educators, or schools. In the educational setting, we typically use data to guide instruction and intervention by

  1. assessing how well core features of a practice or system are being implemented (fidelity),
  2. evaluating progress toward desired goals (outcomes),
  3. guiding a problem-solving process if adequate fidelity or outcomes are not observed,
  4. informing an action plan for improvement, and
  5. considering local norms and values in selecting and measuring strategies and ensure selected strategies support all individuals (equity).

How should I approach selecting and organizing data for use?

Data used for decision making should be valid (properly represent the behavior/skill of interest), accurate (measure true level of behavior/skill), and reliable (consistent across raters and time), and efficient to gather. Educators and teams often balance the need for precision with practicality, and ensure that data are collected in a practical manner. In addition, educators and teams should ensure their selection and use of data is socially valid. Social validity refers to the acceptability and practicality of selected outcomes, data tools, practices, and systems from the multiple perspectives (educators, administrators, students, families). In other words, social validity asks educators and teams to consider the overall "worth" of an approach (e.g., data source or tool) relative to the importance of the results.

How can I use data to make decisions?

To assist educators and school teams in effectively using data to support decision-making, we propose a general process (see Figure) that can be applied at the classroom, school, or district level. Data-based decision-making is a cycle that can be used for prevention and may be entered at any "step," to develop a complete, measurable action plan.


[1] See Supporting and Responding to Student Behavior: Evidence-Based Classroom Strategies for Educators guide for an overview of PCBS practices, which are the foundation of classroom management.

[2] See PBIS Technical Guide on Systems to Support Educators' Implementation of Positive Classroom Support for an overview of the systems needed to enhance educators' implementation of PCBS practices with fidelity.

[3] (Carr et al., 2002; Wolf, 1978)