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Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS)

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support (PBIS)


PBIS is a clear and systematic way of dealing with school-wide behavior management.  One way to address these issues is by building school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SW-PBIS; Sugai & Horner, 2002).  Instead of using a patchwork of short-term solutions for individual students and situations, school-wide PBIS focuses on proactive ways to define, teach, and sustain appropriate student behaviors across school settings (Kincaid, Childs, Blase & Wallace, 2007; Turnbull, et al., 2002).  Through PBIS, a continuum of behavior support is designed for all students and implemented in all areas of the school including the classroom, lunchroom, restrooms, and playground.  The primary goal of PBIS is to enhance the capacity of schools to design effective environments to increase teaching and learning.
School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is a positive discipline plan for the entire school where the approach is to proactively prevent or reduce challenging behaviors and produce positive outcomes (Turnbull, et al., 2002).  The focus of this approach is to make problem behavior less effective and desired behavior more relevant.  According to the American Heritage Dictionary, discipline is “training that is expected to produce a specific character or pattern of behaviors, especially training that produces moral or mental improvement.”  This is the focus of school-wide PBIS.  School-wide PBIS works under the assumption that like reading and math, behavior can be taught.  PBIS seeks to create positive environments by utilizing proactive strategies such as introducing, defining, modeling, teaching, and supporting positive behavioral expectations school wide and then reinforcing and rewarding students for these positive social behaviors (Scott, et al., 2002).  PBIS is about creating positive school environments so all children feel welcome, safe and can learn.

Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101