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Linking School-wide PBIS with Response to Intervention ( RtI ). Rob Horner University of Oregon Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS ) Goals. Define Current status of School-wide PBIS

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linking school wide pbis with response to intervention rti

Linking School-wide PBIS with Response to Intervention (RtI)

Rob Horner

University of Oregon

Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

  • Define Current status of School-wide PBIS
  • Provide a model for linking/integrating SWPBIS and RtI
  • Define lessons learned about scaling up SWPBIS with fidelity and impact.
  • The purpose of SWPBIS is to make schools more effective learning environments for all students.
a concern
A Concern

Need to improve the effectiveness of schools with a wider range of students

Calls for reform are increasing

Most calls for reform are broad in scope and are NOT tied to specific action

school wide positive behavioral interventions and supports swpbis
School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS)

The social culture of a school matters.

A continuum of supports that begins with the whole school and extends to intensive, wraparound support for individual students and their families.

Effective practices with the systems needed for high fidelity and sustainability

Multiple tiers of intensity

what is school wide positive behavioral interventions and support
What is School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support?
  • School-wide PBIS is:
    • A systems framework for establishing the social culture and behavioral supports needed for a school to be an effective learning environment for all students.
  • Evidence-based features of SWPBIS
    • Prevention
    • Define and teach positive social expectations
    • Acknowledge positive behavior
    • Arrange consistent consequences for problem behavior
    • Classroom linkage of behavioral and academic supports
    • On-going collection and use of data for decision-making
    • Continuum of intensive, individual intervention supports.
    • Implementation of the systemsthat support effective practices
  • SWPBIS is a multi-tiered Framework
  • NOT a specific Curriculum
establishing a social culture
Establishing a Social Culture

Common Language


Common Experience

Common Vision/Values


Supporting Social Competence,

Academic Achievement and Safety

School-wide PBIS












Staff Behavior



  • Function-based support
  • Wraparound
  • Person-centered planning



  • Check in/out
  • Targeted social skills instruction
  • Peer-based supports
  • Social skills club
  • Teach SW expectations
  • Proactive SW discipline
  • Positive reinforcement
  • Effective instruction
  • Parent engagement
  • School-wide Bully Prevention

~80% of Students



Remember that the multiple tiers of support refer to our SUPPORT not Students.

Avoid creating a new disability labeling system.




six basic recommendations for implementing pbis
Six Basic Recommendations for Implementing PBIS
  • Never stop doing what already works
  • Always look for the smallest change that will produce the largest effect
      • Avoid defining a large number of goals
      • Do a small number of things well
      • Define what you will do with operational precision
  • Do not add something new without also defining what you will stop doing to make the addition possible.
six basic recommendations for implementing pbis1
Six Basic Recommendations for Implementing PBIS
  • Collect and use data for decision-making
      • Fidelity data: Are we doing what we said we would do?
      • Impact Data: Are we benefiting students?
  • Adapt any initiative to make it “fit” your school community, culture, context.
      • Families
      • Students
      • Faculty
      • Fiscal-political structure
  • Establish policy clarity before investing in implementation

Michigan State Board of Education Positive Behavior Support Policy

The vision of the State Board of Education is to create learning environments that prepare students to be successful citizens in the 21st century. The educational community must provide a system that will support students’ efforts to manage their own behavior and assure academic achievement. An effective behavior support system is a proactive, positive, skill-building approach for the teaching and learning of successful student behavior. Positive behavior support systems ensure effective strategies that promote pro-social behavior and respectful learning environments. Research-based positive behavior support systems are appropriate for all students, regardless of age. The principles of Universal Education reflect the beliefs that each person deserves and needs a positive, concerned, accepting educational community that values diversity and provides a comprehensive system of individual supports from birth to adulthood. A positive behavior support policy incorporates the demonstration and teaching of positive, proactive social behaviors throughout the school environment. A positive behavior support system is a data-based effort that concentrates on adjusting the system that supports the student. Such a system is implemented by collaborative, school-based teams using person-centered planning. School-wide expectations for behavior are clearly stated, widely promoted, and frequently referenced. Both individual and school-wide learning and behavior problems are assessed comprehensively. Functional assessment of learning and behavior challenges is linked to an intervention that focuses on skill building. The effectiveness of the selected intervention is evaluated and reviewed, leading to data-based revisions. Positive interventions that support adaptive and pro-social behavior and build on the strengths of the student lead to an improved learning environment. Students are offered a continuum of methods that help them learn and maintain appropriate behavior and discourage violation of codes of student conduct. In keeping with this vision, it is the policy of the State Board of Education that each school district in Michigan implement a system of school-wide positive behavior support strategies.

Adopted September 12, 2006

…it is the policy of the State Board of Education that each school district in Michigan implement a system of school-wide positive behavior support strategies.


Count of School Implementing SWPBIS by State

August, 2011


12 States > 500 Schools

Rhode Island

randomized controlled trials examining pbis
Randomized Controlled Trials Examining PBIS
  • Reduced problem behavior
  • Improvements in academic achievement
  • Enhanced perception of organizational health & safety
  • Improved school climate
  • Reductions in teacher’s reports of bullying behavior
  • Improve social emotional functioning
  • Improved teacher effectiveness

Bradshaw, C.P., Koth, C.W., Thornton, L.A., & Leaf, P.J. (2009). Altering school climate through school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: Findings from a group-randomized effectiveness trial. Prevention Science, 10(2), 100-115

Bradshaw, C.P., Koth, C.W., Bevans, K.B., Ialongo, N., & Leaf, P.J. (2008). The impact of school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) on the organizational health of elementary schools. School Psychology Quarterly, 23(4), 462-473.

Bradshaw, C. P., Mitchell, M. M., & Leaf, P. J. (2010). Examining the effects of School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports on student outcomes: Results from a randomized controlled effectiveness trial in elementary schools. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 12, 133-148.

Bradshaw, C.P., Reinke, W. M., Brown, L. D., Bevans, K.B., & Leaf, P.J. (2008). Implementation of school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in elementary schools: Observations from a randomized trial. Education & Treatment of Children, 31, 1-26.

Horner, R., Sugai, G., Smolkowski, K., Eber, L., Nakasato, J., Todd, A., & Esperanza, J., (2009). A randomized, wait-list controlled effectiveness trial assessing school-wide positive behavior support in elementary schools. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 11, 133-145.

Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., & Anderson, C. M. (2010). Examining the evidence base for school-wide positive behavior support. Focus on Exceptionality, 42(8), 1-14.

academic behavior connection
Academic-Behavior Connection

Algozzine, B., Wang, C., & Violette, A. S. (2011). Reexamining the relationship between academic achievement and social behavior. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 13, 3-16.

Algozzine, R., Putnam, R., & Horner, R. (2012). Support for teaching students with learning disabilities academic skills and social behaviors within a response-to-intervention model: Why it doesn’t matter what comes first. Insights on Learning Disabilities, 9(1), 7-36.

Burke, M. D., Hagan-Burke, S., & Sugai, G. (2003). The efficacy of function-based interventions for students with learning disabilities who exhibit escape-maintained problem behavior: Preliminary results from a single case study. Learning Disabilities Quarterly, 26, 15-25.

McIntosh, K., Chard, D. J., Boland, J. B., & Horner, R. H. (2006). Demonstration of combined efforts in school-wide academic and behavioral systems and incidence of reading and behavior challenges in early elementary grades. Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions, 8, 146-154.

McIntosh, K., Horner, R. H., Chard, D. J., Dickey, C. R., and Braun, D. H. (2008). Reading skills and function of problem behavior in typical school settings. Journal of Special Education, 42, 131-147.

Nelson, J. R., Johnson, A., & Marchand-Martella, N. (1996). Effects of direct instruction, cooperative learning, and independent learning practices on the classroom behavior of students with behavioral disorders: A comparative analysis. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 4, 53-62.

Wang, C., & Algozzine, B. (2011). Rethinking the relationship between reading and behavior in early elementary school. Journal of Educational Research, 104, 100-109.

using pbis to achieve quality equity and efficiency
Using PBIS to AchieveQuality, Equity and Efficiency
  • QUALITY: Using what works; Linking Academic and Behavior Supports
    • North Carolina (valued outcomes)
    • Michigan (behavior and literacy supports)
    • Commitment to Fidelity Measures
    • Building functional logic/ theory/ practice (Sanford)
  • EQUITY: Making schools work for all
    • Scott Ross
    • Russ Skiba
    • Vincent, Cartledge, May & Tobin
    • Bully prevention
  • EFFICIENCY: Working Smarter: Building implementation science into large scale adoption.
    • Using teacher and student time better.
    • Dean Fixsen/ Oregon Dept of Education
Time Cost of aDiscipline Referral(Avg. 45 minutes per incident for student 30 min for Admin 15 min for Teacher)
what does a reduction of 850 office referrals and 25 suspensions mean kennedy middle school
What does a reduction of 850 office referrals and 25 suspensions mean? Kennedy Middle School
  • Savings in Administrative time
  • ODR = 15 min
  • Suspension = 45 min
  • 13,875 minutes
  • 231 hours
  • 29, 8-hour days
  • Savings in Student Instructional time
  • ODR = 45 min
  • Suspension = 216 min
  • 43,650 minutes
  • 728 hours
  • 121, 6-hour school days
linking pbis and rti
Linking PBIS and RTI
  • Continuum of Support Practices
  • Emphasis on “Foundation Supports” and investment in prevention.
  • Emphasis on the organizational systems needed to implement practices with fidelity and durability.
  • Collection and use of data for decision-making
linking swpbis and rti
Linking SWPBIS and RtI

Response to Intervention/Prevention

14 Core Functions

Early Intervention





Family Support

Behavior Support

Student Outcomes

© Dean Fixsen, Karen Blase, Robert Horner, George Sugai, 2008

linking rti and pbis

1. Effective and Efficient Foundation Practices

Establishing a Universal System of Support

  • Effective Curriculum
  • Unambiguous Instruction
  • Adequate intensity
  • Reward System
  • Error Correction System
Linking RTI and PBIS
linking rti and pbis1

2. Universal Screening

  • Collect information on all students at least twice a year
  • Use data for decision-making
      • 2 or more ODRs
  • SSBD is used in Illinois
Linking RTI and PBIS
dibels universal screening
DIBELS Universal Screening

Primary Problem Statement

Our DIBELS Distribution summary shows that 49% of our kindergarten students at Adams Elementary fall in the strategic and intensive range.

We have over 50% of our students requiring strategic and intensive supports for ISF, LNF.

Primary Goal

At least 80% of our Kinders will be in Benchmark range at Winter Universal Screening Time


Tier I Risk Tier II Risk Tier III Risk

Literacy Risk


Jennifer Frank, Kent McIntosh, Seth May

Cumulative Mean ODRs Per Month

for 325+ Elementary Schools 08-09

Cumulative Mean ODRs

linking rti and pbis2

3. Continuum of Evidence-based Practices

  • Targeted interventions for students “at risk”
  • Intensive, Individualized interventions for students with more significant needs
  • Early Intervention
Linking RTI and PBIS
linking rti and pbis3

4. Progress Monitoring

  • Collection of data on a monthly, weekly, daily rate
  • Use of data for decision-making
Linking RTI and PBIS
linking rti and pbis4

5. Fidelity Monitoring

  • Assessing the extent to which we are implementing what we claim to implement
  • Use of the data for decision-making

Team Checklist

Individual School

Team Checklist Data

Linking RTI and PBIS
implications for systems change
Implications for Systems Change
  • 1. District policy
      • Clear statement of values, expectations, outcomes
  • 2. Ability to conduct universal screening and progress monitoring assessments
      • District provides efficient options for universal screening and progress monitoring measures
  • 3. Recruitment and hiring
      • Expectations defined in job announcements
  • 4. Annual faculty orientation
implications for systems change1
Implications for Systems Change
  • 5. Professional development
      • Focused strategies for staff development in core skills
      • Always train teams not individuals
      • Match training with access to coaching support
  • 6. Coaching Capacity
      • Training linked to on-site assistance to implement

Competent Implementation


(% of Participants who Demonstrate Knowledge, Demonstrate new Skills in a Training Setting,

and Use new Skills in the Classroom)






Use in the Classroom

Theory and Discussion




..+Demonstration in Training




…+ Practice & Feedback in Training




…+ Coaching in Classroom




Joyce and Showers, 2002


Successful Student Outcomes

Program/Initiative/Framework (e.g. RtI)

Performance Assessment (Fidelity)







Organization Drivers

Competency Drivers

Integrated & Compensatory


Decision Support Data System




Continuing Ed

© Fixsen& Blase, 2008

stages of implementation

2 – 4 Years

Stages of Implementation
  • Exploration
  • Installation
  • Initial Implementation
  • Full Implementation
  • Innovation
  • Sustainability

Implementation occurs in stages:

Fixsen, Naoom, Blase, Friedman, & Wallace, 2005







Leadership Team

Active Coordination






Local School/District Teams/Demonstrations


Scaling up School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports:The Experiences of Seven States with Documented SuccessRob Horner, Don Kincaid George Sugai, Tim Lewis, Lucille Eber, Susan Barrett, Celeste Rossetto Dickey, Mary Richter, Erin Sullivan, Cyndi Boezio, Nancy Johnson

lessons learned
Lessons Learned
  • Multiple approaches to achieving scaled implementation
      • Colorado: Started with Leadership Team
      • Illinois: Started with Leadership Advocates and built team only after implementation expanded.
  • All states began with small “demonstrations” that documented the feasibility and impact of SWPBIS.
  • Only when states reached 100-200 demonstrations did scaling occur. Four core features needed for scaling:
      • Administrative Leadership / Support/ Funding
      • Technical capacity (Local training, coaching and behavioral expertise)
      • Local Demonstrations of feasibility and impact (100-200)
      • Evaluation data system (to support continuous improvement)
  • Essential role of Data: Fidelity data AND Outcome data
lessons learned1
Lessons Learned
  • Maintain a clear and unrelenting focus on student outcomes (academic and social)
  • Select research-validated practices that provide a multi-tiered system of support.
  • Use data for decision-making to assess BOTH fidelity and impact.
    • Assume continuous improvement is essential for sustainability
  • Build the systems (team structure, policies, data sources) that support high fidelity implementation
  • Invest in durable, large-scale applications of effective practices.



Practices that affect quality of life

Practices that work



Practices that are practical, durable and available