Skip To Main Content


Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

PBIS is an evidence-based, data-driven framework proven to reduce disciplinary incidents, increase a school's sense of safety, and support improved academic outcomes. More than 10,000 U.S. schools are implementing PBIS and saving countless instructional hours otherwise lost to discipline. Schools successfully implementing PBIS have shown the following:

  • up to 50% reduction in office referral rates per year (and a corresponding reduction in suspension and expulsion rates)
  • improved attendance rates
  • improved academic achievement
  • improved staff morale and perceptions of school safety

The most important components of PBIS are providing students with clear expectations/rules and developing lesson plans for teaching appropriate behavior to students. If students continue to struggle with certain behaviors, we strive to reteach the appropriate behavior. As well, PBIS teams regularly collect and analyze behavioral data and use this information to inform school-wide decision-making processes. Lastly, recognizing and rewarding positive student behavior will promote a climate of greater productivity, safety, and learning.



Typical discipline systems in schools have been based on a reaction to negative behavior and punishment of the offender. Hundreds of studies have shown, however, that this approach does little to reduce chronic misbehavior, and it does not produce positive long-term outcomes for schools or students. The PBIS method of school discipline is different in four
key ways:

  • Prevention:  Correct behaviors are established, taught, modeled, and acknowledged in a systematic way throughout the school. Students are "caught" engaging in the desired behavior, and this behavior is regularly reinforced and recognized.
  • Response:  The response to undesirable behavior is organized, systematic, consistent, and careful. Considerable thought and effort go into having the entire school community on the same page with respect to common definitions of, and the most effective response to, problem behaviors.
  • Data-driven:  Discipline data is collected school-wide in a user-friendly format. When this information is entered and analyzed in an established on-line database, the data provides guidance for understanding when and where problem behavior is more likely to occur. Strategies to address behaviors in these situations are developed, and the data then provides evidence for whether the strategies are working.
  • Process:  PBIS is not a curriculum or a prepackaged program. Rather, it is a framework that guides the school community through a process of addressing the unique culture, climate, and behavioral issues within each school. The idea is to work smarter, not harder, to improve behavior and school climate.


How does it work?

What happens when a student is not demonstrating positive behavior?
Behaviors are separated into minor and major infractions. When minor infractions occur, they are handled by the classroom teacher. Examples of minor infractions include disruption, defiance, property misuse, and inappropriate language. The teacher may assign detention and notify the parents if such behavior occurs.

Major infractions require immediate attention by the administration and include abusive language, fighting/ physical aggression, bullying, overt defiance, chronic disruption, property damage, forgery, and possession of weapons.