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Getting Started with Positive Behavior Support in Schools for School Boards, Parent Organizations, or Community Partners

School Board, Parent Organization and Community Agency Members, here are the steps to explore whether school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) is a good match for your school/community, and if so, how to move forward:

1. Find Out

2. Build Support

  • Talk with other stakeholders about school-wide PBIS and its benefits. Ask whether they would be interested as well.
  • Talk with a school principal about it and determine her or his interest.
  • Talk with other families, community members, and students. Would they be interested in partnering in an initiative?
  • Having support of the school board and other district and community leaders is beneficial before starting district-level implementation. At the school level, having support of the principal and at least 80% of staff is necessary before starting implementation.

3. Start Small but Think About the Big Picture

Although starting with the whole school or district is recommended, there are steps you can take on your own for youth you know while you continue to build support from the larger school/community:

    • At home: See the page on Getting Started with Positive Behavior Support at Home.
    • At your organization: Define and teach expectations for the board/staff/leaders of your team/organization. Pick 3 to 5 positively stated expectations that will work for your stakeholders (e.g., Be Safe, Be Respectful, Be Responsible). Teach the words, show examples, and provide practice with feedback. Post them and refer to them regularly.
    • In your setting: Is the location interfering with positive behavior? Make changes to make it easier for stakeholders to do the right thing. Examples include changing the room layout, moving materials, or using visuals.

4. Take Next Steps

  • Continue to assess fidelity of implementation, with tools such as the TIC, every 2 to 3 months, to see progress and find next steps.
  • Tell other administrators. Share your journey with them. If you’re doing something worthwhile, they will want to know.
  • Connect with your district administrators. You’re going to need district support to keep PBIS alive.
  • Find resources, such as "How to Get Positive Behavior Support in Your School" to guide you.