Positive Behavior Support (PBS) gives people a new way to think about behavior. PBS is based on understanding why problem behaviors occur - the behavior's function. This approach to behavior can occur on a school-wide level, in a specific setting, classroom, or with an individual student. PBS is the application of evidence-based strategies and systems to assist schools to increase academic performance, increase safety, decrease problem behavior, and establish positive school cultures.
On an individual level, PBS uses functional behavior assessments to understand the relationships between a student's behavior and characteristics of his or her environment. The functional behavior assessment identifies multiple strategies to effectively reduce problem behavior including changing systems, altering environments, teaching skills, and focusing on positive behaviors. The PBS process results in the creation of effective intervention plans that will impede problem behaviors, teach new skills, and create support systems for the student.
On a school-wide level, PBS relies on accurate and reliable discipline referral data to understand the behaviors occurring across campus. An analysis of the data allows a school team to identify the problem areas, brainstorm interventions such as where and what to teach, reward the students exhibiting the expected behavior, and communicate findings to the staff, students, and families. The PBS process is a team-based approach that relies on a strong collaboration between families and professionals from a variety of disciplines regardless of the level implemented.
PBS provides a positive and effective alternative to the traditional methods of discipline. PBS methods are research-based and proven to significantly reduce the occurrence of problem behaviors in the school, resulting in a more positive school climate and increased academic performance. PBS is consistent with the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which advocates the use of positive behavior interventions and school-based disciplinary strategies that reduce or eliminate the need to use suspension and expulsion as disciplinary options.