• What is PBIS?

    Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based three-tiered framework for improving and integrating all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. It is a way to support everyone – especially students with disabilities – to create the kinds of schools where all students are successful.

    Three Tiers of Support

    PBIS is a multi-tiered framework – three tiers, to be exact. Each tier aligns to the type of support students need. These three tiers are:

    BPIS Triangle Image

    Tier 1: Universal Prevention (All students)

    Tier 1 systems, data, and practices impact everyone across all settings. They establish the foundation for delivering regular, proactive support and preventing unwanted behaviors. Tier 1 emphasizes prosocial skills and expectations by teaching and acknowledging appropriate student behavior.

    Tier 1 foundational systems include:

    • An established leadership team
    • Regular meetings
    • A commitment statement for establishing a positive school-wide social culture
    • On-going use of data for decision making
    • Professional development plans
    • Personnel evaluation plan

    Tier 1 practices include:

    • School-wide positive expectations and behaviors are taught
    • Established classroom expectations aligned with school-wide expectations
    • A continuum of procedures for encouraging expected behavior
    • A continuum of procedures for discouraging problem behavior
    • Procedures for encouraging school-family partnership


    Tier 2: Targeted Prevention (Some=about 5% of students)

    Tier 2 systems, data, and practices provide targeted support for students who are not successful with Tier 1 supports alone. The focus is on supporting students who are at risk for developing more serious problem behavior before those behaviors start. Tier 2 supports often involve group interventions with 10 or more students participating. The support at this level is more focused than Tier 1 and less intensive than Tier 3.

    Tier 2 foundational systems include:

    • An intervention team with a coordinator
    • Behavioral expertise
    • Fidelity and outcome data are collected
    • A screening process to identify students needing Tier 2 support
    • Access to training and technical assistance

    Tier 2 practices include:

    • Increased instruction and practice with self-regulation and social skills
    • Increased adult supervision
    • Increased opportunities for positive reinforcement
    • Increased pre-corrections
    • Increased focus on possible function of problem behaviors
    • Increased access to academic supports


    Tier 3: Intensive, Individualized Prevention (Few=about 3% of students)

    At most schools, there are 1-5% of students for whom Tier 1 and Tier 2 supports have not connected. At Tier 3, these students receive more intensive, individualized support to improve their behavioral and academic outcomes. Tier 3 strategies work for students with developmental disabilities, autism, emotional and behavioral disorders, and students with no diagnostic label at all.

    Tier 3 foundational systems include:

    • A multi-disciplinary team
    • Behavior support expertise
    • Formal fidelity and outcome data are collected

    Tier 3 practices include:

    • Function-based assessments
    • Wraparound supports
    • Cultural and contextual fit