Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS)

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is a decision-making framework that guides the selection, integration, and implementation of research-based behavioral practices and interventions.  PBIS is a process for creating safe and effective schools.  It is a systems approach to enhancing the capacity of schools to educate all children by developing research-based, school-wide, and classroom behavior support systems.  The process focuses on improving a school’s ability to teach and support positive behavior for all students.  Rather than a prescribed program, PBIS provides systems for schools to design, implement, and evaluate effective school-wide, classroom, non-classroom, and student-specific plans.  PBIS is a team-based process for systematic problem-solving, planning, and evaluation.  The Georgia Department of Education recognizes Rome City Schools as a successful PBIS School District as all schools within the RCS district meet the criteria to be named a PBIS school and all have received advanced PBIS ratings from the GaDOE.

RCS PBIS is not a curriculum, program, intervention, or practice but is a decision-making framework that guides the selection, integration, and implementation of the best research-based behavioral practices and interventions for improving student academic and behavior outcomes for all students.  Each RCS school has an established framework and individual expectations that support their school culture.

The RCS PBIS frameworks emphasize four integrated elements; data for decision-making,  measurable outcomes supported and evaluated by data, practices with evidence that these outcomes are achievable, and systems that efficiently and effectively support the implementation of these practices.  RCS teaching and learning environments are more engaging, responsive, preventive, and productive.  In addition, RCS environments are more effective and efficient in addressing classroom management and disciplinary issues.

 Within the RCS PBIS framework is a multi-level three-tiered structure designed with a clear set of definitions and processes for all behavioral situations.  The implementation framework maximizes the selection and use of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices supporting the academic, social, emotional, and behavioral proficiency of all students.

Tier 1:

Tier 1 provides understanding for all students of behavior expectations and directives on how to meet the behavior expectations of the school. Tier 1 supports include teaching expectations, behavior lessons,  implementing a common language, and recognition of minor and major behavior infractions.  

RCS schools begin each year with school expectations being taught systematically and demonstrated through behavioral lesson plans.  A PBIS kick-off takes place to build excitement around the PBIS framework and expectations.  Time is scheduled to teach students about the school's expectations and on pre-determined behaviors. The schedule for lesson plans is largely dependent on school data, both objective and anecdotal, that suggests which potential or problem behaviors need to be addressed as priorities. Lessons help students understand expectations and give students tools on how to succeed in reaching these expectations. Schools also have "boosters" lessons to remind all students and staff of the expectations. Boosters usually take place after natural breaks in the calendar  (winter and spring break), and anytime students need a reminder of the behavior expectations.  

Expectations include area-specific expectation posters in areas of the hallways, main office, classrooms, cafeteria, media center, gym, playground, computer lab, and other locations in which students are located with specific rules for that area.  Every classroom has a behavior matrix with classroom-specific rules during various transitions (small-group work, lining up, taking a test, etc.) to fit within the school’s expectations. Students are recognized and appreciated throughout the year for following expectations. They are “caught doing the right thing” as part of a schoolwide recognition system where rewards may be individualized, classroom-based, or a part of a school-wide celebration.  As expectations may vary from school to school, so may recognition and celebrations. 

A common language is provided by RCS PBIS. RCS PBIS language is always positive with positive language being maintained in all school communications, including newsletters, emails, daily announcements, signs in the halls, bulletin boards, or any other communication. 

RCS schools are encouraged to dedicate a bulletin board in their school solely to PBIS. This bulletin board can be used to provide updates to everyone about what is occurring with PBIS, can remind students of the expectations, can be used to publicize acknowledgments, or for any other purpose to increase the involvement of everyone with PBIS. 

Each school has developed a behavior infractions chart that aligns with the RCS Rome City Schools Administrator Discipline Guidelines that identify which student behaviors should be handled at the classroom level by the teacher, and which should be referred to the office for an administrator to handle. Behaviors are considered minor when managed in the classroom versus being considered major if managed in the office. 

Tier 2: 

Tier 2 is designed to provide intensive or targeted interventions to support students who are not responding to Tier 1 support. Tier 2 is a regular education process.  Students are referred to the PBIS Tier 2 Team for exhibiting behavioral difficulties. The goal of Tier 2 is to develop and implement interventions to help students become more successful in the classroom.  The function of the RCS PBIS Tier 2 team is to provide insight and specific suggestions to help the classroom teacher provide instruction most effectively with every student. 

The Tier 2 team works on creating a Tier 2 Intervention plan for all students in need of a higher-tiered intervention. The team looks at the problem behavior, the predictors in the environment, the function of the behavior, any possible replacement behaviors, and any changes to the environment needed to ensure the replacement behavior. These changes to the environment are then implemented, and the replacement behavior is monitored. If a student does not respond to this intervention, Tier 3 interventions should be considered.

Interventions That May Be Included in Tier 2: 

  • Check-In/Check-Out (CICO)

    • CICO is an initial intervention at the Tier 2 level. With CICO implementation, the student checks in briefly each morning and afternoon with a designated school adult. The check-in process lasts no more than two to three minutes. CICO allows a student’s day to begin with a positive adult interaction along with verbal reminders of student expectations.  The adult can also determine whether a student is not ready for class and have the student remain with them for further assistance and guidance. A CICO adult may check in with up to ten students each morning.

Students receive a daily progress report (DPR) that is used to track their behavior throughout the school day according to the student's expectations. Teachers mark each section of the DPR with the student’s level of success at meeting expectations for every class period. Teachers are encouraged to provide both positive feedback (written) and corrective feedback (verbal). Students check out with their designated adult at the end of each day for feedback and encouragement to the student. The day’s points are added up, and a student takes a copy home for a parent/guardian to sign. 

Individualized CICO: Specific students may need one or more elements of CICO to be adjusted to a specific need.  This may include: 

  • Morning greeting time (student is always late)

  • Morning greeter adult (student does not get along with usual morning greeter)

  • Add a check-in at a specific time (have students check in right after lunch as they usually struggle after lunch)

  • Have the teacher carry DPR (the student usually loses the DPR)

CICO Success: Success with CICO is determined as those students who receive an 80% on their DPR for 80% of the time over the course of four or more weeks. Those students who do not meet this criterion should be recommended for a student group.

Intervention Groups: If, after individualized CICO, the student is still not meeting his or her goals as identified by DPR data, the Tier 2 team may recommend the student to an intervention student group.    The group is designed to teach students appropriate behaviors that will lead to success and can be created around a specific behavior or need. Students may also be directly referred to a group if there is a distinct need such as students who are new to the school. Students should be selected for a group based on data and their behaviors as failing to meet the schoolwide expectations, not based on life circumstances (Intervention Not Support!) 

Once the target behavior is identified, the Intervention Group facilitator creates lesson plans that teach skills to help students become more successful. For example, if the target behavior is fighting, the lesson plan will teach problem-solving skills or anger management. If leaving the room without permission has become a problem, the lesson plan will teach ways to cope inside the classroom rather than leaving (e.g., safety zone techniques).

Any staff member can lead these groups because they occur at any time during the school day that is available; however, groups are generally run by an RCS counselor or behavior interventionist. Groups should run a consistent schedule every week so that any one student can be added at any time. Once the PBIS Tier 2 team recommends a student for an intervention group, the student is automatically placed in the appropriate group. Students will continue to receive progress monitoring for their behavior outside of the group.

The Tier 2 systems team identifies students who are not responding to CICO or Intervention Group before they enter into Tier 3 interventions.

Tier 3 

Tier 3 behavioral interventions are very intense and individualized. The number of students receiving Tier 3 should represent no more than one to five percent of the total student population. If there is more than five percent of the total student population receiving Tier 3 interventions, then a review of the fidelity of implementation of Tier 1 and Tier 2 systems should take place.

Students may be identified for Tier 3 either by failure to respond to any of the Tier 1 and Tier 2 behavioral interventions and supports or may be referred to Tier 3 by a teacher, parent, or self. It is important to note that referrals to Tier 3 do not constitute automatic initiation of a Tier 3 intervention.

An FBA may be created by an individualized team specific to the student and the student’s needs. This team may include the following individuals:

  • School psychologist

  • School social worker

  • Teachers

  • Administrator

  • Counselor

  • Additional staff who interact with students receiving the intervention, such as assistants

  • Community members (therapist, mentor, parole officer, etc.)

  • Parent(s)

The Tier 3 team uses progress monitoring data such as office discipline referrals (ODRs), daily progress reports (DPR), out-of-school suspensions (OSS), in-school suspensions (ISS), direct observation data, and student attendance. The progress monitoring data will be reviewed to ensure the effectiveness of the intervention.

Behavioral Flow Charts: Each Rome City School has a Behavioral Flow Chart that is supported by Rome City Schools Discipline Guidelines.  Rome City Schools discipline guidelines are designated for Grades Pre K-6 and Grades 6-12.

For Information about Rome City School PBIS, please contact:

Mrs. Sabrina Teems, STEM/PBIS/Gifted Coordinator