PBIS feature Anchor Page the learning cafe

What Does PBIS Stand For?

“PBIS” is short for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports. This language comes directly from the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

PBIS is based on principles of applied behavior analysis, prevention science, implementation science, and values of positive behavior support.

What is PBIS?

PBIS is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students. PBIS IS NOT a packaged curriculum, scripted intervention, or manualized strategy.

PBIS IS a prevention-oriented way for school personnel to (a) organize evidence- based practices, (b) improve their implementation of those practices, (c) use data to guide decision making, and (d) maximize academic and social behavior outcomes for students. PBIS supports the success of ALL students, especially students with behavior risk and with disabilities.

The general goal is establish and maintain effective teaching and learning environments that have a common (a) vision and outcome, (b) language, and (c) experience or routine.

What Does PBIS Have to Do With School and Classroom Discipline?

Effective classroom management and preventive school discipline are essential for supporting teaching and learning.

PBIS goes further by emphasizing that classroom management and preventive school discipline must be integrated and working together with effective academic instruction in a positive and safe school climate to maximize success for all students.

How Does PBIS Respond to Punishment?

Although PBIS has no specific restrictions on the use of consequence-based strategies designed to reduce serious problem behavior, teaching-oriented, positive, and preventive strategies are emphasized for all students, to the greatest extent possible. The emphasis is on the use of the most effective and most positive approach to addressing even the most severe problem behaviors.

Most students will succeed when a positive school culture is promoted, informative corrective feedback is provided, academic success is maximized, and use of prosocial skills is acknowledged.

  • When student problem behavior is unresponsive to preventive school-wide and classroom-wide procedures, information about the student’s behavior is used to
      • Understand why the problem behavior is occurring (function)
      • Strengthen more acceptable alternative behaviors (social skills)
    • Remove antecedents and consequences that trigger and maintain problem behavior, respectively

Add antecedents and consequences that trigger and maintain acceptable alternative behaviors.


What is PBIS


PBIS is about the learning community addressing not only academics, but also the social and emotional learning behaviors required for long term success in life. When all stakeholder in a school come together to meet the needs of the whole child, relationships are strengthened, accountability rises, and contribution increases. All this points to creating a safe environment where students feel appreciated and feel greater individualized support.

PBIS Behavior and Intervention Support

PBIS Explained for Parents and Students




PBIS References and Resources

OSEP Technical Assistance Center


Graphic Resource


Association for Positive Behavior Support

Positive Behavioral Support Project of the University of South Florida Facilitator Guide


To order Behavior Intervention Planning: Using the Functional Behavioral Assessment Data by Terry M. Scott, Ph.D., Carl J. Liaupsin, Ph.D., C. Michael Nelson, Ed.D.

Florida’s Positive Behavior Support Project