You are on page 1of 13

Title: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) in Schools

Course: EDSP 200

Credits: 3.0 (meeting times and independent course work to equal 45 hours for 3-credits)
Instructor: Sherry Schoenberg, Research Associate Email:
Office: Center on Disability and Community Inclusion, 307 Mann Hall, 208 Colchester Ave.

Meeting Dates, Times and Locations:


Course Description:
There is a growing need for educators to feel confident and competent in preventing and responding to challenging behaviors in classrooms and
schools. From extreme problem behaviors such as shootings to less intense but frequent behaviors such as disruption, tardiness and defiance, proactive
and preventative student, classroom, and school-wide responses are needed. The field of education is moving away from school-wide discipline that is
punishment-based and moving more toward establishing evidence-based practices that prevent, teach and reinforce expected classroom and school-
wide expectations (Anderson and Kincaid, 2005).

Since the 1990s, the implementation of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) has represented a significant change in
approach to school discipline. PBIS is a framework that enhances the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective
environments that improve social and academic competence for all students, including students with disabilities. Research on the effects of PBIS
on school-wide discipline has shown significant results in reducing problem behaviors and increasing positive school climate. Schools that
implement PBIS with fidelity and integrity see a dramatic decrease in the number of behavior problems experienced in their schools. Additionally,
students enjoy greater levels of support and inclusion than those in comparative schools who do not use a system of Positive Behavioral Interventions
and Supports. (

This course will expose students to the three tiers of the PBIS framework for promoting positive behaviors in all schools and across all grades: (a)
universal strategies to support all students; (b) targeted strategies for students at risk; and (c) intensive strategies for students with significant

Learning Objectives:
By the end of this course, students will have:
1. Gained an understanding of the history and background of PBIS within the context of applied behavioral analysis in regular and special
2. Explored the evidence that supports PBIS as a framework that promotes student academic and behavioral success
3. Demonstrated knowledge and skills needed to implement school-wide and classroom strategies to promote positive behavior and prevent
problem behaviors (Tier 1)
4. Demonstrated knowledge and skills needed to implement evidence-based strategies for groups of students not responding to school-wide
strategies (Tier 2)
5. Explored the evidence-based strategies for students with complex needs (Tier 3)
6. Examined the systems necessary for sustainable implementation of PBIS
7. Developed knowledge and skills in using data to assess fidelity of implementation and student outcomes

Professional Standards Addressed in EDSP 200:

Council for Exceptional Children Primary Initial Standards
1. Learner Development and Individual Learning Differences: 1.1, 1.2
2. Learning Environments: 2.1, 2.2, 2.3
3. Curricular Content Knowledge: 3.1, 3.2
4. Assessment: 4.3
5. Instructional Planning and Strategies: 5.2, 5.5, 5.7
6. Professional Learning and Ethical Practice: 6.3, 6.4, 6.6
7. Collaboration: 7.3

Behavior Analyst Certification Board: Registered Behavior Technician Competencies:

A) Measurement = A-01
B) Assessment = B-01, B-02, B-03, B-04
D) Behavior Reduction = D-01, D-02

Assigned Readings

Bruns, E.J., Walker, J.S., Adams, J., Miles, P., Osher, T.W., Rast, J., VanDenBerg, J.D. & National Wraparound Initiative Advisory Group (2004). Ten
principles of the wraparound process. Portland, OR: National Wraparound Initiative, Research and Training Center on Family Support and
Childrens Mental Health, Portland State University.

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and Behavior Support Plans (BSP). (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from

Landrum, T., & Sweigart, C. (2014). Simple, evidence-based interventions for classic problems of emotional and behavioral disorders. Beyond
Behavior, 23(03). Retrieved from Home Page. (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from

Simonsen, Brandi, Freeman, Jennifer, Goodman, S., Mitchell, B., Swain-Bradway, J., Flannery, B., Putnam, B. (2015). Supporting and Responding to
Behavior: Evidence-Based Classroom Strategies for Teachers. U.S. Office of Special Education Programs. Retrieved from

Sparks, D. (2013). Strong teams, strong schools: Teacher-to-teacher collaboration creates synergy that benefits students. Journal of Staff Development,
34(2), 28-30.

Sugai, G., Horner, R.H., Algozzine, R., Barrett, S., Lewis, T., Anderson, C., Bradley, R., Choi, J. H., Dunlap, G., Eber, L., George, H., Kincaid, D.,
McCart, A., Nelson, M., Newcomer, L., Putnam, R., Riffel, L., Rovins, M., Sailor, W., Simonsen, B. (2010). School-wide positive behavior
support: Implementers blueprint and self-assessment. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. Retrieved from:

Sugai, G., Simonsen, B. (2012). Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: History, Defining Features, and Misconceptions. Center for PBIS &
Center for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, University of Connecticut. Retrieved from:

Tips for Rewarding Students for Good Performance | The National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented (1990-2013). (n.d.). Retrieved from
Wheeler, A., Schoenberg, S., & Townshend, C. (2016). VTPBiS Annual Report: School Year 2015-2016.

WWC | Find What Works! (n.d.). Retrieved November 1, 2016, from

Course Expectations and Policies

Respect & Dignity of All Persons:
People with disabilities (especially those with severe and multiple disabilities) have historically been subjected to segregation and discrimination in
virtually all aspects of community life (e.g., education, housing, work, recreation). Like many other minority groups of people, many stereotypes and
unwarranted assumptions exist about individuals with disabilities that are reflected in terminology and other language that often serves to perpetuate
these unhelpful stereotypes and limit opportunities for these individuals. Our use of language is a powerful mitigating factor in coloring our
experiences and perceptions. Therefore, students expected to be especially mindful that all class interactions and homework assignments are expected
to reflect respectful and dignified language when referring to people with disabilities. In part, this means using "people first" language (see listed web
sites) and avoiding antiquated terminology.

Many members of the class are practicing professionals and/or otherwise are personally acquainted with people who have disabilities, their families,
and service providers. Undoubtedly, in the course of practicum projects, assignments, or other class communication, students will share their personal
experiences related to class content. Therefore, it is vital that all such communications respect the confidentiality of those individuals with disabilities,
their families, and service providers. Class members should not use the names of individuals or other identifying information. If such identifying
information is inadvertently disclosed, you are obliged to keep that information confidential.

Classroom Expectations:
Aligning with the mission and values of the University of Vermont, our classroom discussions, interactions and relationships will be built upon respect,
understanding, reciprocity and willingness to learn and engage with our community. Personal computers are allowed for note taking and class-related
purposes only.

Religious Observance:
The official policy for excused absences for religious holidays: Students have the right to practice the religion of their choice. Each semester students
should submit in writing to their instructors by the end of the second full week of classes their documented religious holiday schedule for the semester.
Faculty must permit students who miss work for the purpose of religious observance to make up this work.
Academic Honesty & Professionalism:
All students are required to be familiar with and adhere to the Academic Honesty Policy Procedures delineated in the following website. ).

Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities:

FERPA Rights Disclosure:

The purpose of this policy is to communicate the rights of students regarding access to, and privacy of their student educational records as provided for
in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) of 1974.

In keeping with University policy, any student with a documented disability interested in utilizing accommodations should contact ACCESS, the office
of Disability Services on campus. ACCESS works with students and faculty in an interactive process to explore reasonable and appropriate
accommodations via an accommodation letter to faculty with approved accommodations as early as possible each semester. All students are strongly
encouraged to meet with their faculty to discuss the accommodations they plan to use in each course. Contact ACCESS: A170 Living/Learning Center;
802-656-7753;; UVMs policy on disability certification and student support:

Classroom Responsibilities and Grading Criteria

Homework Assignments:
Spelling, grammar, and professional presentation matter! Remember to put your name and date on all homework submissions. All assignments must be
computer generated (please, no handwritten submissions). Unless otherwise noted in the directions for a specific assignment, all written work should
be double-spaced in an easily-readable, 12-point font (e.g., Times, Palatino, Helvetica). All class assignments are to be received by the instructor no
later than the date an assignment is due (as noted in this syllabus). Late work will be accepted only at the discretion of the instructor and points may be

Attendance Expectations:
Students are expected to attend all scheduled Face-to-Face Meetings, Online meetings & Webinars. Arriving to class on time, staying the full class,
completing assigned readings, and class participation are expected. If you are absent on the day an assignment is due, you are still expected to submit
the assignment on time (e.g., via email). Although I do appreciate being informed if you know you will be absent from class, I do not intend to make
determinations about excused versus unexcused absences. Students will not be penalized for religious holidays (see policy above). Otherwise, (barring
something extremely unusual), points will be deducted from the final grade due to absences.

Assignments, Due Dates, and Points

Assignment Due Point

Assignment 1: Understanding PBIS (10 points, 5% of grade) 10
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Implementation Blueprint:
blueprint; and
Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: History, Defining Features, and Misconceptions:
Using the Blackboard guidelines distributed in class, post 1-2 paragraphs that:
a) Explains the distinction of PBIS as a Framework, not a set of practices. Why is this important? or
b) Describes the benefits of PBIS for all students, including those with disabilities. What are some potential obstacles
to developing PBIS in a school?

Assignment 2: Practice Positive Statements (20 points, 10% of grade) 20

Choose a block of time when you are interacting with people to intentionally say 5 positive statements to every neutral or negative
comment. Keep a tally using the form provided in class. On Blackboard, summarize your experience in 2-3 sentences. How was
this experience for you? What did others think of this exercise?
Assignment 3: PBIS Implementation Plan (60 points, 30% of grade) 60
a) Determine a real or fictitious setting and create a PBIS Implementation Plan for that setting. Using the template provided in
class, create the following:
1) A set of 3-5 behavior expectations;
2) A behavior matrix of how those expectations are defined in that setting;
3) A lesson for teaching one of the expectations within that environment.
b) Prepare a poster presentation to share with the class.
Assignment 4: Identify a Classroom Strategy: (30 points, 15% of grade) 20
a) Choose an evidence-based classroom strategy from the readings and post 1-2

Assignment Due Point

paragraphs on Blackboard about how you could put this in place for all students in a classroom and what it would take to
modify the strategy to meet the needs of an individual student struggling with challenging behavior. Explain how you might
measure the success of this strategy?
b.) Peer Response: Following the submission of your post, you will be asked to read another colleagues post and write a brief 10
response according to the guidelines distributed to the class via Blackboard.
Assignment 5: Research an evidence-based targeted intervention (30 points, 15% of grade) 20
a. Post 1-2 paragraphs on Blackboard: Describe the intervention, the function of behavior that this intervention addresses, and
implications for implementation.
b. Peer Response: Following the submission of your post, you will be asked to read another colleagues post and write a brief 10
response according to the guidelines distributed to the class via Blackboard.
Assignment 6: Functional Behavioral Assessment and Behavior Support Plan (20 points, 10% of grade) 10
a. Identify someone with a behavior that you would like to understand and, perhaps change. Get permission from this person to
complete a simple FBA/BSP process with. Complete a behavior pathway template (provided in class) on this persons
behavior. Define the behavior, the antecedent and the consequence. What is your best guess at the function of the behavior?
b. Using the template provided in class, create a Behavior Support Plan for the behavior you identified in your FBA. 10
Attendance (30 points, 15% of grade) Every 30
1 Absence = No Point Loss class
2 Absences = 10 Point Loss (5% of course total)
3 Absences = 20 Point Loss (10% of course total)
4 Absences = 30 Point Deduction (15% of course total);
More than 4 Absences = See the Instructor ASAP!!!!

Assignments have been numerically weighted with a total score of 200 points.
Grade Percent Points Grade Percent Points
A** 93-100% 185-200 C 73-76% 145-152
A- 90-92% 179-184 C- 70-72% 139-144
B+ 87-89% 173-178 D+ 67-69%* 133-138
B 83-86% 165-172 D 63-66%* 125-132

B- 80-82% 159-164 D- 60-62%* 119-124

C+ 77-79% 153-158 F Below 60%* Below 119

*Note: D grades pertain to undergraduates only. Anything below 70% or C- is considered an F for graduate students.
**Note: A grade of A+ is reserved for exceptional work beyond the highest scores on assignments, to include: (a) substantial and ongoing participation
in class activities, (b) exemplary demonstration of integrating information across different classes, (c) all assignments submitted on time, and (d)
full attendance at all class sessions. The grade of A+ is awarded at the discretion of the instructor.
Grade Appeals:
If you would like to contest a grade, please follow the procedures outlined in this policy:

Course Schedule:
Date Topic Readings Assignments
Switching from Reactive to Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Assignment
Proactive Discipline: History -and9- Implementation Blueprint: 1:
background of PBIS within the context Understanding
of applied behavioral analysis in PBIS. Post
regular and special education. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: History, responses to
Introduction to the framework of Defining Features, and Misconceptions: question/s.
School-wide PBIS.
From Letting it Happen to Making
it Happen: Understanding Strong Teams, Strong Schools:
Implementation Science as a
foundation for PBIS 2013/sparks342.pdf Scoring
Collaboration Matters!
Communication and organizational The
strategies that help school teams following
work smarter, not harder rubrics
Accentuate the Positive! Tips for Rewarding Students for Good Performance, Assignment show the
Tier 1 Practices that promote positive behaviors: National Research Center on the Gifted and Talented 2: Practice
1. Defining overarching behavior ((1990-2013) Positive
expectations; Renzulli Center for Creativity, Gifted Education, and Statements
2. Creating a behavior matrix; Talent Development, University of Connecticut
3. Designing teacher lessons to address Assignment
pro-social behaviors; and valuation/gv_goalva05/ 3: PBIS
4. Creating reinforcement systems that Implementatio
promote a positive school climate. n Plan and
Fair is not always equal! Supporting and Responding to Behavior: Assignment 4
Tier 1 responses to problem behaviors Evidence-based Classroom Strategies for due:
Teachers: Identify and
From admiring the problem to data-based post a
decision making. Tier 1 data-based systems for ClassroomPBIS_508.pdf classroom
tracking behavior. Evaluating school-wide PBIS strategy and
using implementation fidelity and student Simple, Evidence-Based Interventions for peer response
outcome data Classic Problems of Emotional and Behavioral
Putting it All Together! Demonstrating how
Tier 1 PBIS is rolled out in schools. School efresher/SimpleEvidenceBasedPracticesArticl
presentation; Vermont highlights. e.pdf
- 10 -

expectations for each assignment. Full points will be awarded for each section based on the completeness of thoughts, ideas, and clarity
(quality, grammar, spelling, and legibility).

Assignment One: Understanding PBIS Point Due:
Demonstrates an understanding of the distinction between PBIS as a framework or a set of practices and why this is
important Due:
Presents 2-3 potential benefits and challenges of PBIS in schools 5
Total Possible Points 10

Assignment Two: Practice Positive Statements Point Due:
2-3 Major takeaways from activity 10
Connects activity to potential benefits of positive reinforcement in a school 10
Total Possible Points 20

Assignment Three: PBIS Implementation Plan and Poster Presentation Point Due:
Demonstrates full knowledge of the material 30
Poster is presented in an interesting or engaging manner 30
Total Possible Points 60

Assignment Four: Classroom management strategy Point
Demonstrates knowledge of the intervention and application to individuals and classrooms 20 Due:
Participates in Blackboard response 10
- 11 -

Total Possible Points 30

Assignment Five: Evidence-based targeted intervention Point
s Due:
Demonstrates knowledge of the targeted intervention 20
Participates in Blackboard response 10
Total Possible Points 30

Assignment Six: Point Due:
Completes with accuracy 10
Completes with accuracy 10
Total Possible Points 20

Attendance: Point Due:
Attendance 30

Recommended Readings:

Alberto, P. A. & Troutman, A. C. (2008). Applied Behavior Analysis for Teachers (8th ed). New York: Prentice Hall.
- 12 -
Bambara, L. M. & Kern, L. (2005). Individualized Supports for Students with Problem Behaviors: Designing Positive Behavior Plans. New York:
Guilford Press.

Barrett, S., Algozzine, R., Putnam, R., Massanari, C., & Nelson, M. (2005). School-wide positive behavior support: Implementers blueprint
and self- assessment. Eugene, OR: University of Oregon. Available from

Bender, W.N., & Shores, C., (2007). Response to Intervention: A Practical Guide for Every Teacher. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Crone, D. A. & Horner, R. H. (2003). Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools: Functional Behavioral Assessment. New York:
Guilford Press.

Crone, D. A., Horner, R. H., Hawken, L. S. (2004). Responding to problem behavior in school: The Behavior Education Program. New York: Guilford

Eisenberger and Cameron:

Undermining Intrinsic Motivation:

Bob Algozzine, Robert H. Horner, George Sugai, Susan Barrett, Celeste Rossetto Dickey, Lucille Eber, Donald Kincaid, Timothy Lewis, & Tary
Tobin. Evaluation Blueprint for School-Wide PBIS:

Brooks, A., Todd, A. W., Tofflemoyer, S., & Horner, R. H. (2003). Use of functional assessment and a self-management system to increase academic
engagement and work completion. Journal of Positive Behavior Intervention , 5, 144-152.

Crone, D. A. & Horner, R. H. (2003). Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools: Functional Behavioral Assessment. New York:
Guilford Press.

Crone, D. A., Horner, R. H., Hawken, L. S. (2004). Responding to problem behavior in school: The Behavior Education Program. New York: Guilford

Dennis, K. & Lourie, I. S. (2006). Everything is normal until proven otherwise: A book about wraparound services. Washington, DC: CWLA

Horner, R. & Sugai, S. (2007). Is school-wide positive behavior support an evidence-based practice? A research summary. Retrieved from OSEP
- 13 -
Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports:

Kaiser, B. & Rasminsky, J.S. (2009). Challenging Behavior in Elementary and Middle School. Allyn & Bacon, Inc.

Lane, K., Menzies, H., Oakes, W., & Kalburg, J. (2012). Systematic Screenings to Support Instruction: From Pre-school to High School,
Guilford Press

Lane, K., Menzies, H., Bruhn, A., Crnobori, M. (2010). Managing Challenging Behaviors in Schools: Research Strategies that Work, Guilford Press

Lucyshyn, J. M., Dunlap, G., Albin, R. W. (Eds.) (2002). Families and Positive Behavior Support: Addressing Problem Behaviors in Family
Contexts. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing Company.

Riffel, L. (2011). Positive Behavior Support at the Tertiary Level. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin Press.

Riffel, L. (2014). Duct Tape is Not a Behavioral Intervention. Behavior Doctor Seminars, 2014.

Sailor, W., Dunlap, G., Sugai, G., & Horner, R. (Eds.) (2008). Handbook of Positive Behavior Support. New York: Springer.

Snell, M. E. & Janey R. (2005). Collaborative teaming: Teachers guide to inclusive practices. Baltimore, MD: Brookes Publishing Co.

York: Guilford Press.

VanDerHeyden, A.M. & Tilly III, W. (2010). Keeping RTI on Track: How to Identify, Repair and Prevent Mistakes That Derail Implementation. Horsham, PA: LRP

Vermont Statewide Steering Committee on RTII & Vermont Reads Institute (2012). Vermont Multi-tiered System of Supports Response to Intervention and
Instruction Field Guide. Vermont Agency of Education. The guide is available at:

Many other practical readings may be found online at OSEP Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: http://www.pbis