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Student Support Services

PBIS: Positive Behavioral Supports

Schools throughout Virginia are striving to ensure that schools offer a safe and effective instructional environment in which all students are successful learners. The Virginia Department of Education is working closely with education personnel to accomplish that goal by means of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).

The major purpose of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is to build the capacity of schools to develop, implement, and sustain school-wide, classroom-level, and pupil-specific research-supported strategies and procedures. In introducing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), administers, general educators, special educators, and support personnel—along with school staff, are able to increase educational achievement and promote social skills that allow students to access academic content. At the same time, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) decreases or eliminates the vast majority of behavior problems that impede the teaching and learning process.

Educators learn ‘best practices’, supported by research, so that they are more effective in supporting positive behavior. Students learn skills in communication, goal-setting, problem-solving, self-directed achievement and responsible self-management. School personnel spend less time on discipline and more time on instruction. With Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), schools throughout VA are able to incorporate a Response-to-Intervention approach so that education personnel are highly qualified to respond positively to every student by matching the level and intensity of intervention to each student’s academic and social skills needs.

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is part of the Virginia Department of Education state project: Virginia Tiered Systems of Support (VTSS). VTSS supports school divisions as they implement vital and effective academic and behavioral interventions throughout the Commonwealth. VTSS draws upon the research and evidence-based practices of PBIS as well as Response to Intervention (RTI). These evidence-based practices have a well-documented track record of providing supports that effectively address students’ varying needs. The PBIS and RTI state project components of VTSS work in a collaborative partnership with Virginia Department of Education Training and Technical Assistance Centers.

Providing a rich menu of positive behavioral support options within a response-to-intervention problem-solving model has proven to be effective in achieving and maintaining successful results.

The Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports is established by the U.S. Department of Education's Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) to define, develop, implement, and evaluate a multi-tiered approach to Technical Assistance that improves the capacity of states, districts and schools to establish, scale-up and sustain the PBIS framework. Emphasis is given to the impact of implementing PBIS on the social, emotional and academic outcomes for students with disabilities.