What Is PBIS?


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woman in front of paper with dry erase markersThe primary drop-out prevention component within the APEX Dropout Prevention Model is a comprehensive systems change model called Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS).  PBIS is a systemic, data-driven behavioral support and improvement process that consists of three elements, each specifically designed to prevent disruption and address the behavioral support needs of students at risk of school failure: 

  • School-wide Level:  A School-wide Leadership or “Universal” team is formed in each APEX school, and consists of approximately 10-12 teachers, administrators, special educators, parents, and students. An APEX staff member guides the Universal team in its work to evaluate and re-design the discipline systems using the Positive Behavior Supports model; to assess the school’s current behavior profile; to redesign the school’s behavioral expectations; to sharpen the school’s data collection and retrieval systems; and to design and implement school-wide interventions that will benefit all students. Universal Team initiatives are designed to address the needs of the majority of the student body that have the fewest social, behavioral, or academic challenges.
  • Secondary Level: APEX schools also develop a secondary level or “Targeted Team” of specialists and administrators that focuses on those students who exhibit challenging behaviors and who are at risk for school failure due to academic, social, or behavioral issues. The goal of this team is to design interventions for the student or group of students based upon a functional and contextual assessment or Functional Behavioral Analysis (FBA). These “function-based” interventions have been proven highly effective in the reduction of problem behaviors and the associated negative consequences.
  • Intensive Level: An APEX facilitator trained in an individualized, school-to-career service model called “RENEW” works with staff members at each high school and with specialists from community-based organizations to identify individual students who are struggling to complete their program or who have already dropped out of school. A support team is formed around each student and works with the student to develop individualized, student-directed school-to-career plans designed to help the student earn credit toward graduation through appropriate alternative means.

For more information about PBIS training and coaching please contact Sarah O'Rourke at 603-228-2084 or sarah.orourke@unh.edu