PBIS (Positive Behavioral Interventions And Supports)

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a framework for promoting positive behavior by creating school environments that proactively encourage appropriate behavior and prevent problem behaviors. PBIS approaches are based on evidence-based behavioral interventions and are applied at a whole school level providing a continuum of strategies and supports at the universal levels (all students), targeted (for those at-risk), and intensive (for those with identified behavioral challenges). For more information, refer to the OSEP Technical Assistance Center on PBIS (www.pbis.org) and the Ohio PBIS (http://education.ohio.gov/Topics/Other-Resources/School-Safety/Building-Better-Learning-Environments/PBIS-Resources).

Proactively Promote Positive Behavior

Go to www.pbis.org to learn more about PBIS! SWPBIS stands for School-wide Positive Behavior Support. This refers to strategies applied at a school-wide level to teach behavioral expectations. The school focuses on 3-5 behavioral expectations that are positively stated and easy to remember by all, such as:

  • Respect yourself, others and property
  • Be safe, be responsible and be respectful
  • Respect relationships and respect responsibilities

School leadership teams develop a matric of behavioral expectations for various environments throughout the school (e.g. classroom, cafeteria, restroom). The goal is to have 80% of staff agree with the goals and implementation strategies.


  • Find out if your school implements PBIS. If so, request to be a part of the staff trainings and school-wide implementation.
  • At minimum, make sure to communicate behavioral expectations for various school environments. Students must understand and be taught appropriate behaviors (e.g. one person speaks at a time, walk between classes, etc.). Refer to sample behavior matrixes at http://www.pbis.org/training/staff/student. Post behavioral expectations and review them routinely. Make sure to notice and reward positive behaviors.

Highly recommended downloadable materials:

  • Bully Prevention Manual: Elementary School Level (Stiller, Ross & Horner) – Teach school personnel and students behaviors that will reduce the probability of bullying and how to respond during a bullying incident using the 'stop, walk, talk' strategy. Retrieve full manual with lessons and worksheets from http://www.pbis.org/common/cms/files/pbisresources/bullyprevention_ES.pdf
  • Bully Prevention In PBIS: Expect Respect (Middle & High School) (Horner, Nese, Ross, Stiller & Tomlanovich) – Use this handbook to teach school personnel and students how promote respect and use a common strategy for dealing with a bullying situation. Students learn five core skills for recognizing and responding to bullying in an assertive manner. Retrieve the full handbook with lessons and worksheets from http://www.pbis.org/common/cms/files/pbisresources/2013_02_18_FINAL_COVR_MANUAL_123x.pdf
  • Advancing Education Effectiveness: Interconnecting School Mental Health with School-wide Positive Behavior Support (Barret, Eber & Weist) – Refer to this downloadable manual for guidance on how to link the education and mental health system in order to improve the educational outcomes for all children and youth, especially those at-risk of developing mental health challenges. Retrieve the full monograph from https://www.pbis.org/common/cms/files/Current%20Topics/Final-Monograph.pdf