What is Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports?
To support the development of positive school climate practices, the NJ PBSIS team uses a multi-tiered behavioral intervention framework known as Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to address the continuum of behavior, conduct and climate needs present in schools. Through the NJ PBSIS training and technical assistance on PBIS, schools develop an integrated system that:
- Promotes and encourages positive social behavior and climate school-wide;
- Applies function-based problem solving to address the needs of students engaging in repeated behavior problems; and
- Engages staff in routine reflection and data-based decision making to guide intervention planning decisions.
PBSIS is guided by universal, secondary and tertiary level interventions. The universal intervention is designed to establish a positive and proactive school climate that guides how staff and students are to conduct themselves. Secondary tier interventions establish a process for developing function-based interventions for students beginning to display repeated behavior patterns. Tertiary tier interventions establish a function-based process for developing comprehensive individualized behavior plans for students with disabilities who have significant behavioral support needs.
Universal interventions provide the foundation to positive and respectful learning environments for all students, including students with disabilities. Implementation of the universal intervention results in consistency across staff and settings regarding (a) the stated expectations for student behavior, (b) the opportunity for positive feedback and encouragement for desired student behavior, (c) the use of a problem solving process to resolve emerging behavior issues; (d) the use of practices that convey a welcoming atmosphere (e.g., caring, help, listening) and (d) the use of constructive practices in response to occurrences of unwanted behaviors and conduct infractions. As a systems level preventative intervention, Universal Interventions work for approximately 80-90% of students in the school building and most often result in decreases in office conduct referrals. Universal Interventions also serve as an important foundation for students with disabilities to successfully achieve behavioral expectations
Secondary Tier Interventions
Secondary interventions use a function-based planning process to develop interventions and supports for students at risk of increasingly restrictive responses (e.g., referral to special education, suspension, alternative school placement) because of behavior reasons. Secondary intervention planning is typically embedded within the school’s Intervention and Referral Services process. A school-based team, most often the Intervention and Referral Service (I&RS) team, learns to use a variety of information gathering tools and intervention options (e.g., check-in systems, social skill training, mentoring, instructional accommodations) to address the underlying cause(s) of chronic behavior problems and to emphasize the development of social and self-regulatory skills that will promote success across school settings.
Tertiary Tier Interventions
A small number of students are in need of comprehensive behavior intervention planning to address the complex array of factors contributing to the occurrence of problem behavior. Characterized by a function-based information gathering process, tertiary interventions are designed to provide the student with disabilities with individualized function-based interventions systemically implemented across the student’s school day. Through a comprehensive training, the Child Study Team learns how to implement a function-based assessment process that results in combinations interventions that emphasize (a) prevention, (b) instruction, (c) reinforcement, and (d) effective redirection of problem behavior.