Note: MTSS is the new terminology for RTI - it stands for Multi-Tiered System of Support. The next authorization of the Elementary and Secondary School Act (ESEA) will use the MTSS terminology instead of RTI.
School-wide positive behavior intervention and supports (SW-PBIS) is a system of tools and strategies for defining, teaching, and acknowledging appropriate behavior. It is a framework for creating customized school systems that support student outcomes and academic success. SW-PBIS is for the whole school, it is preventative, and it changes the paradigm of focus from negative behaviors and exchanges to positive expectations and interactions.
There are four main elements in SW-PBIS:
- Data-based decision making, which is the corner stone of the behavior problem-solving process
- Customized practices to support student behavior, such as defining and teaching appropriate behavior
- Creation of systems to support educators in the school, such as school-wide behavioral expectations and indicators
- These combine to enable school-wide outcomes, which promote social proficiency and academic success
School-wide means that educators support appropriate behavior in classroom and non-classroom (bathrooms, assemblies, hallways) contexts. This support happens along a continuum from Tier 1 for all students and Tier 2 for a small group of students to Tier 3 for individual students. The goal is to create an environment that sets up ALL students for success.
An important aspect of SW-PBIS is the understanding that appropriate behavior and social competence is a skill that requires direct teaching to students just like math and reading. There is no assumption, in SW-PBIS, that students will learn social behavior automatically or pick it up as they go through life. This critical feature in SW-PBIS leads to its effectiveness (a short video of SW-PBIS success).
For more information:
School-wide PBIS - a more in depth introduction to SW-PBIS
Is School-wide Positive Behavior Support an Evidence-based Practice - information about the evidence-base and effectiveness of SW-PBIS