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Using Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS/ PB4L) to Make Schools more Effective and Equitable. Currently using PBIS? ------------------------------ Elem, Middle, High?. Rob Horner University of Oregon Goals. Define purpose of PBIS

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Using Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS/ PB4L) to Make Schools more Effective and Equitable

Currently using PBIS?


Elem, Middle, High?

Rob Horner

University of Oregon

  • Define purpose of PBIS
  • Define core features of PBIS
  • Define how PBIS helps schools be more effective learning environments
  • Define how PBIS helps schools be more equitable learning environments.
why swpbis pb4l
  • The fundamental purpose of SWPBIS is to make schools more effective and equitable learning environments.





main messages
Main Messages
  • Supporting social behavior is central to achieving academic gains.
  • School-wide PB4L is an evidence-based practice for building a positive social culture that will promote both social and academic success.
  • Implementation of any evidence-based practice requires a more coordinated focus than typically expected.
  • PBIS/PB4L will improve the equity within schools.
main messages1
Main Messages
  • PBIS makes schools moreeffective, equitable, efficient.

Effective (academic, behavior)

Equitable (all students succeed) Efficient (time, cost)

experimental research on swpbis
Experimental Research on SWPBIS
  • SWPBIS Experimentally Related to:
  • Reduction in problem behavior
  • Increased academic performance
  • Increased attendance
  • Improved perception of safety
  • Reduction in bullying behaviors
  • Improved organizational efficiency
  • Reduction in staff turnover
  • Increased perception of teacher efficacy
  • Improved Social Emotional competence

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.

Bradshaw, C., Waasdorp, T., Leaf. P., (in press). Effects of School-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports on child behavior problems and adjustment. Pediatrics.

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.

Ross, S. W., Endrulat, N. R., & Horner, R. H. (2012). Adult outcomes of school-wide positive behavior support.

Journal of Positive Behavioral Interventions. 14(2) 118-128.

Waasdorp, T., Bradshaw, C., & Leaf , P., (2012) The Impact of Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and

Supports on Bullying and Peer Rejection: A Randomized Controlled Effectiveness Trial.Archive of

Pediatric Adolescent Medicine.2012;166(2):149-156

Bradshaw, Pas, Goldweber, Rosenberg, & Leaf, 2012

Freeman, J., Simonsen, B., McCoach D.B., Sugai, G., Lombardi, A., & Horner, ( submitted) Implementation Effects of School-wide

Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports on Academic, Attendance, and Behavior Outcomes in High Schools.

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 Student Instructional time
  • ODR = 45 min
  • Suspension = 216 min
  • 43,650 minutes
  • 728 hours
  • 121, 6-hour school days
  • Savings in Administrative time
  • ODR = 15 min
  • Suspension = 45 min
  • 13,875 minutes
  • 231 hours
  • 29, 8-hour days
what is school wide positive behavior intervention and support pbis pb4l
What is School-wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS/PB4L)?
  • School-wide PBIS/ PB4L is:
    • A multi-tiered framework for establishing the social culture and behavioral supports needed for a school to achieve behavioral and academic outcomes for all students.
  • Evidence-based features of SWPBIS/ PB4L
    • Prevention
    • Define and teach positive social expectations
    • Acknowledge positive behavior
    • Arrange consistent consequences for problem behavior
    • On-going collection and use of data for decision-making
    • Continuum of intensive, individual intervention supports.
    • Implementation of the systems that support effective practices
establishing a school wide positive social culture
Establishing a School-wide, Positive Social Culture

Common Language

Common Experience

Common Vision/Values

school wide positive behavioral interventions and supports swpbis pb4l
School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS/ PB4L)
  • 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




Tertiary Prevention:



Systems for Students with High-Risk Behavior



Secondary Prevention:

Specialized Group

Systems for Students with At-Risk Behavior

Primary Prevention:


Wide Systems for

All Students,

Staff, & Settings

  • Main Ideas:
  • Invest in prevention first
  • Multiple tiers of support intensity
  • Early/rapid access to support

~80% of Students




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

Avoid creating a new disability labeling system.




new zealand data
New Zealand Data
  • Implementing PB4L
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
define school wide expectations for social behavior
Define School-wide Expectationsfor Social Behavior
  • Identify 3-5 Expectations
  • Short statements
  • Positive Statements (what to do, not what to avoid doing)
  • Memorable
  • Examples:
      • Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe, Be Kind, Be a Friend, Be-there-be-ready, Hands and feet to self, Respect self, others, property, Do your best, Follow directions of adults

Tier I: PBIS







Decision System



Bully Prevention

classroom systems
Classroom Systems

Classroom Expectations

Classroom Routines

See work of


Brandi Simonson

Tim Lewis

Terry Scott

Effective Instruction

Opportunities to Respond

Constructive Feedback

Active Supervision

High rate of positives

Functional Consequences

Physical Space matches Function

  • Partnership with families
  • What three things could most families do that would make the biggest positive impact on student educational success?
  • Options
      • Show interest
          • (ask how the day went)
      • Help with homework
          • (time, place, support, knowing)
      • Communication with school
          • (events, needs, what is working, and what is not working)



Team Activity:

  • How can your school engage families:
  • What are 1-3 reasonable things families can do that would make a difference?
  • What would be the best way to share this information with families? How would we know if we had been successful?


Academic Engagement


Available at


Ross, S. W., & Horner, R. H. (2009). Bully prevention in positive behavior support. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 42(4), 747-759.

Three Schools

Six students identified for high rates of verbal and physical aggression toward others.

Whole school implementation of SWPBIS

Whole school addition of Stop-Walk-Talk

Direct observation of problem behavior on playground.







19% decrease

28% increase

BP-PBS, Scott Ross


22% decrease

21% increase

BP-PBS, Scott Ross

discipline disproportionality
Discipline Disproportionality
  • A central element affecting the equity and effectiveness of education
elementary schools compare proportion of students enrolled to proportion of students with an odr
Elementary Schools:Compare proportion of students enrolled to proportion of students with an ODR

Risk Ratio = 1.81

% Enrolled

% with an ODR

Preliminary Evidence:When PBIS is linked to reduction in ODRs does reduction occur for students from all ethnic groups?

From: Vincent, Cartledge, May & Tobin, 2009


Recommendations for Addressing Discipline Disproportionality in EducationKent McIntosh, Erik J. Girvan, Robert H. Horner, & Keith Smolkowski

  • 1. Effective Instruction
      • Curriculum, Explicit presentation, Opportunity to respond, Timely and contingent feedback
  • 2. Implement PBIS
  • 3. Collect and use disaggregated discipline data
  • 4. Address “explicit bias” with clear policies, regulations and accountability.
  • 5. Address “implicit bias” with neutralizing routines.
      • Identify times / situations when untended bias may occur
      • Teach self-direction routines when these times/situations occur
measuring fidelity of pbis
Measuring Fidelity of PBIS
  • Very important for initial and sustained implementation
  • To date… too many tools
  • New Fidelity Tool …. Combination of Best Features
    • Strong technical validity
    • Done with Coach and Team
    • Can be done in 15 min per Tier
    • Can be used for initial assessment, progress monitoring and identification of exemplars
    • Results in action plan

Available October 2014 at

or or

Other PBIS Fidelity Measures

School-wide Evaluation Tool (SET)

Team Implementation Checklist (TIC)

Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ)

Strong Technical Adequacy

15 min per tier

Done with Coach and Team

Useful for:

Initial Assessment

Progress Monitoring (by Tier)

Identification of Exemplars


Tiers II and III: PBIS

Elevated Rewards

Prevent rewards for problem behavior

Emphasis on




Increased structure

Decision System

Assessment used to tailor / individualize support

Family/ Wrap around


  • PBIS is a framework for improving the effectiveness and equity of schools
  • PBIS is evidence-based
  • Building a cohesive and clear social culture matters
  • Invest in prevention
  • Use data to BOTH guide implementation and improve student outcomes.



Practices that work

Practices that are practical, durable and available




Practices that benefit all