Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

History of NCSS PBIS Program:

In the fall of 2012, six NCSS rolled out Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). These schools included all five middle schools and Newton High. The goal of PBIS is to reduce the amount of time students spend out of class due to behavior or discipline incidents. Prior to beginning PBIS, the state DOE requires schools to take an in-depth look at their current discipline data. Our schools were then able to pinpoint the time of day and/or the areas where the majority of behavior incidents were occurring. From this, the PBIS team, made up of school administrators and teachers, brainstormed solutions for preventing student time away from class.

The six PBIS teams participated in a three day intensive training provided by the Georgia Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports agency. The schools were charged with the task of implementing PBIS in their schools from day one of the 2012-13 school year. With support from the GA DOE and NCSS's own behavior specialists, Donna Hooper and Kristen Peebles, all seven school successfully implemented PBIS and the data proved it!

The following is an excerpt from an article written by Manny Fils for the Newton County Citizen. "Before the start of PBIS, the five middle schools (Clements, Cousins, Liberty, Veterans and Indian Creek) averaged 4.12 office referrals per day. In three years those office visits have decreased to 2.74 referrals per day. While 1.38 fewer referrals may not sound like a lot, that comes out to 248 fewer students that were sent to the office in a school year. Clements had the largest drop, going from 5.79 referrals in the 2011-2012 school year to 2.74 last year, followed by Veterans (3.11 to .91), Liberty (5.68 to 4.19) and Cousins (2.98 to 2.05)."

What is School-wide PBIS?

PBIS is a school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments. Positive behavior support is a behaviorally-based systems approach to enhance the capacity of schools, families, and communities to design effective environments that improve the link between research-validated practices and the environments in which teaching and learning occurs. Attention is focused on creating and sustaining systems of support that improve lifestyle results (personal, health, social, family, work, recreation) for all children and youth.

Why is it so important to focus on teaching positive social behaviors?

In the past, school-wide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions. Research has now shown that the implementation of punishment, especially when it is used inconsistently and in the absence of other positive strategies, is ineffective. Introducing, modeling, and reinforcing positive social behavior is an important step of a student's educational experience. Teaching behavioral expectations and acknowledging/rewarding students is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occur. The purpose of school-wide PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm.


Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a team based, systematic approach in teaching behavioral expectations throughout the school. It is based on a proactive model which teaches behaviors, reinforces and recognizes students who are able to model these behaviors and has systems in place to support students who have a difficult time or may present with more challenging behaviors.

PBIS is a school-wide system that addresses the entire school, the classroom, areas outside the classroom (such as hallways, restrooms, offices, cafeteria, playground/school grounds etc.).

Entire faculty of each school is aware of the behavioral expectations and works to ensure students are consistently getting the same message, regardless of the setting they are in or the adult they come in contact with.

Benefits of PBIS (research based):

1. Fosters respectful, supportive relationships among students and staff

2. Creates a more positive safe and calm environment.

3. Reduction in the number of behavioral disruptions

4. Increased academic engagement

5. Increase in student/teacher morale

6. Increases attendance by both students and staff.

7. Dropout prevention

8. Reinforces positive academic and social behavior

9. Provides an opportunity for positive student/teacher interactions

10. Community/Family involvement


After year 1 of implementation, most schools achieved Emergent or Operational status of recognition by the GaDOE.

This year, it is expected that all schools implementing PBIS will receive Operational recognition; the highest level of acknowledgment by the GaDOE.

Several of our school PBIS Teams have proudly represented NCSS presenting at state and national school conferences.

COMMENTS by School Staff

PBIS has provided our school a way of 'streamlining' discipline and rules. Students and teachers are continually made conscious of our expectations. Discipline procedures are well defined and follow-through when dealing with behaviors is more consistent across campus. As a team, we are able to effectively target certain discipline issues and immediately address as they appear. The "Intervention" part of PBIS is truly wonderful and useful.

PBIS has increased school spirit and pride at Newton High School. Every morning we open the day with our chant, WE ARE RAMS... This causes the students to understand clearly the expectations. I have seen it bring about more school spirit and awareness.

Since the implementation of PBIS, my students are more ready for learning when they come to class. My students love being rewarded for good behavior and they also love spending the "cash rewards."

Students actively participate in writing music lyrics and songs for our PBIS objectives.

PBIS has created a more positive atmosphere at our school. Students and teachers alike are being recognized for positive behaviors and jobs "well done."

Students are really thinking about what it means to be Responsible, Accountable, and Engaged.

At our school, PBIS has helped reduce discipline referrals. It has also provided motivation for our students to do better with both their academics and behavior. It has served as a way to increase teacher moral.

It has fostered an environment more conducive to learning!

PBIS has given students, who are normally 'well-behaved,' concrete and tangible rewards for their good behavior. It has motivated many students who experience frequent behavior issues a concrete way to measuring their improvements and monitoring their behaviors.


Georgia Department of Education PBIS Webpage