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District focus on behavior (PBIS)

Establishing and sustaining a positive behavioral system of support in your district

Positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) is part of an equitable, multi-level system of supports. Schools establish expectations, and teach, model, and reinforce appropriate behavior, but district involvement and support is essential to create systems that can be sustained over time.

The district’s role

Districts support schools by:

  • Creating a vision for an equitable, multi-level system of supports
  • Establishing an equitable, multi-level system of supports as a priority
  • Securing funding and allocating resources for the implementation of an equitable, multi-level system of supports
  • Making the equitable, multi-level system of supports highly visible
  • Reviewing and developing policies that enable access and ensure success for all students

For assistance in developing your district’s action plan, you may wish to consult the PBIS Implementation Blueprint Part 2.

Districts empower and support schools’ implementation

Recognizing that schools are trying to meet the needs of ALL learners, effective district teams empower and support each school through the process of building their systems.  

District teams should include:

  • Designated decision-making personnel from the district (not necessarily the superintendent)
  • General education teachers and special educations teachers from multiple grade levels
  • Pupil services staff (for example, school psychologist)
  • Parent and/or community representation, including representatives from any underserved student population

Collaboratively and with input from schools, district teams will:

  • Develop a multi-year district implementation action plan strongly tied to the district’s goals
  • Ensure schools regularly assess their implementation and adjust implementation based on that data.
  • Provide adequate training and support for school staff to implement (for example, coaching or training)
  • Engage with stakeholders and the community, including local mental health providers and other area supports
  • Implement evidence-based practices and strategies that encourage the sustainability of the system despite staff turnover
  • Evaluate district-wide implementation by using schools’ system self-assessments and student assessment data

Assisting schools to measure behavior implementation

Continual self-assessment is critical to the successful implementation of an equitable, multi-level system of supports. Schools measure their systemic behavior (PBIS) implementation using the Tiered Fidelity Inventory or other tools. Districts can help by making sure system assessments remain a priority for their schools, year after year. Visit our implementation calendar or review six practical ways to maximize system assessments.