Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) » PBIS


Schoolwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) is a proactive approach to discipline that promotes appropriate student behavior and increased learning. Traditionally, models of school discipline tend to be reactive (i.e., student misbehavior results in punitive consequences). The word “approach” is key in that SWPBIS provides direction, not a canned program, for developing a comprehensive system of behavior support tailored to individual school needs.


The system is based upon a three-tiered model. The first tier (universal) serves as the foundation upon which the other two tiers are built. This tier provides a system of supports to all students in a school based on preventative practices that emphasize teaching and reinforcing expected student behaviors. Tier two (secondary) provides targeted interventions to support students classified as “at risk,” who require more intervention than is typically provided within tier one universal support. Supports offered in tier three (tertiary) require the most intensive level of intervention for students with the most significant behavioral/ emotional support needs.


Characteristics of SWPBIS include:

  • Interventions are planned and positive rather than reactive and punitive
  • Conditions (antecedents) contributing to inappropriate behavior are carefully managed or eliminate
  • Multiple opportunities for positive, corrective feedback are created while negative critical feedback is limited or eliminated
  • Pro social behaviors are taught directly, practiced frequently, and routinized so that they become automatic


It is important to realize that SWPBIS is intended for ALL students, not just students who receive special education services. The SWPBIS approach is structured to provide a blueprint to support all students in a school, from the most compliant to those requiring the most intensive supports. This approach is:

  1. Research based
  2. Promotes accountability and sustainability through data collection and planned, well articulated individual building to district level structures
  3. Fosters school-community partnerships at all levels