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Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)


Multi-Tiered Framework
A Multi-Tiered System of Support (MTSS) is a data-driven, problem-solving framework to improve outcomes for all students. MTSS relies on a continuum of evidence-based practices matched to student needs. PBIS is an example of MTSS centered on social behavior.

Three Tiers of Support
MTSS emerged as a framework from the work conducted in public health emphasizing three tiers of prevention. Schools apply this model as a way to align to academic, behavioral, social, and emotional supports to improve education for all students. It’s important to remember these tiers refer to levels of support students receive, not to students themselves. Students receive Tier 2 supports, they are not Tier 2 students.

Key Components at Every Tier
Each tier has its own set of systems and practices, but some key components appear across every level. Each of these features needs to be present in order for MTSS to be implemented with fidelity.
  • Practices are based on evidence to be effective in a similar context with similar populations.
  • Practices are organized along a tiered continuum beginning with strong universal supports followed by intensified interventions matched to student needs.
  • Data are collected and used to screen, monitor, and assess student progress.
  • Resources are allocated to ensure systems and practices are implemented with fidelity over time.
Explore the Evidence Base for PBIS

At its foundation, PBIS is a framework supported by research spanning decades. Study after study confirms the positive impact these tiered systems and practices have on improving student outcomes. The evaluation brief, "Is School-wide Positive Behavior Support an Evidence-based Practice?" and the article "Examining the Evidence Base for School-wide Positive Behavior Support" each lay out some of the research and provide additional resources to explore the topic further.