What Is PBIS? An Overview for Teachers and Schools


Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a proactive, school-wide approach aimed at improving the overall school climate by teaching and reinforcing positive behaviors. By employing evidence-based strategies and focusing on positive reinforcement, this framework aims to create an environment where all students can thrive both academically and socially. This article will provide an overview of PBIS for teachers and schools, discuss the main components of the program, and outline its potential benefits.

What is PBIS?

PBIS is a framework designed to help schools enhance their disciplinary approach and promote a more positive school environment by implementing research-backed practices. It promotes the use of consistent expectations and consequences, data-driven decision making, and ongoing monitoring of student progress. This framework integrates behavioral and academic support systems and spans across three tiers to cater to different levels of student needs.

The 3 Tiers of PBIS:

1. Tier 1 – Universal Interventions: This tier focuses on primary prevention techniques targeting all students within a school. The main goal is to establish clear, consistent behavioral expectations, which are displayed throughout the school campus. Comprehensive lesson plans are provided to teach these expectations, with regular assessments conducted to measure students’ progress.

2. Tier 2 – Targeted Support: The second tier targets students who may need additional support or interventions beyond what is provided in Tier 1. At this level, schools implement group-based interventions such as social skills training or conflict resolution programs tailored to the unique needs of these students.

3. Tier 3 – Intensive Support: This tier addresses the needs of students with more severe or chronic behavioral challenges. It involves individualized support plans through functional behavior assessments, personalized interventions, and progress monitoring.

Benefits of Implementing PBIS:

1. Improved School Climate: Implementing PBIS leads to the development of a safe, positive learning environment where students and staff feel valued, respected, and supported.

2. Reduced Behavior Issues: By focusing on the prevention of problem behaviors and equipping students with essential life skills, schools can reduce the occurrence of disciplinary incidents and improve academic performance.

3. Enhanced Academic Achievement: With a positive school climate and fewer behavior problems to deal with, teachers can dedicate more time to teaching, and students can better focus on learning.

4. Increased Collaboration: The PBIS framework encourages collaboration among school staff, families, and community members, thus promoting shared responsibility for the holistic development of students.


PBIS is an evidence-based framework that helps schools create a more inclusive and conducive learning environment for all. By implementing the three-tiered support system, schools provide a range of interventions designed to meet diverse student needs. Adopting PBIS paves the way toward improved school climate, reduced behavior issues, enhanced academic achievement, and increased collaboration among stakeholders.