Worried about a Student?

Picture Wondering how to help a student who does not seem to enjoy school?

Picture Wondering how to interest a too cool student in developing his talents?

Positive behavioral interventions & supports (PBIS) at school can help students with a wide range of needs and at all age levels.


Restorative Practices in Schools!

The literature on restorative practices (RP)-- also known as "restorative justice" or "restorative discipline" -- in schools is expanding rapidly and this trend is expected to continue. Many schools currently using PBIS are now experimenting with ways to also use some of the restorative practices. Here is a link to a list of references on restorative practices and below is information on two 2016 reports:

Zulfa, M. K. (2015). A case study examining the restorative justice practices implemented in three California high schools. Doctoral Dissertations and Projects. Paper 1033. Available online. This study, based on interviews and site visits, explains how peace circles, mediation, and Behavior Support Centers (an alternative to traditional suspensions), as well as "voluntary transfers" (an alternative to expulsion) were used. Hiring a full time staff person to be in charge of a school's restorative practice program is recommended.

Wadhwa, A. (2016). Restorative justice in urban schools. New York: Routledge. This new book describes honestly and in detail the difficulties and successes that a few teachers had when they made an effort to introduce restorative practices, especially talking and healing circles. A strong case is made for trying and not giving up, even when it is difficult because it will be worthwhile even if not done perfectly. Like Zulfa, Wadhwa also says schools need a full time staff person dedicated to managing the school's restorative practices program, especially to follow up after healing circles to make sure agreements are followed. However, the schools described did not have that kind of help although they did have some help from a community organization experienced in mediation.

For those interested in combining RP with PBIS, consider how the restorative idea of providing support that may be needed to keep agreements may mean using functional behavioral assessment to design positive, individualized behavioral plans.

An expanded edition of Building Positive Behavior Support Systems in Schools: Functional Behavioral Assessment, SECOND EDITION. (2015). Authors: Crone, D. A., Hawken, L. S., & Horner, R. H. Includes a checklist for assessing the quality of function-based behavior support and new information on how to provide and monitor that support well for students who need intensive, individualized support. (See below* for two other recently revised books on function-based support.)

Classwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports: A Guide to Proactive Classroom Management by Brandi Simonsen and Diane Myers, from Guilford, presents a multi-tiered approach and reproducible tools. Perfect for new teachers and a great up-date for experienced teachers.

Information on how to improve racial and ethnic equity can be found in the 2015 book edited by Daniel J. Losen: CLOSING THE SCHOOL DISCIPLINE GAP: Equitable Remedies for Excessive Exclusion, from Teachers College Press. Lots of excellent ideas!!!

For help with ideas for teaching students how to (a) manage their emotions, (b) have empathy, and (c) have positive relationships at school, see the new Handbook of Social and Emotional Learning: Research and Practice, edited by J. A. Durkak, C. E. Domitrovich, R. P. Weissberg, & T. P. Gullotta.

Videos about advances in using technology to efficiently collect data and monitor progress at all levels of multi-tiered positive behavioral interventions and supports are posted on PBISApps.org. These tools can improve student behavior at all 3 tiers of prevention levels: (a) primary, Tier 1 (for the whole school) -- School Wide Information System (SWIS) collects office discipline referral data, (b) secondary, Tier 2 (for individuals selected for some extra support on the basis of at-risk characteristics) -- collects data on "Check In Check Out" (SWIS-CICO), and (c) tertiary, Tier 3 (for individuals in need of intensive efforts designed for their unique situation), collects data on functional behavioral assessments and related behavior support, the Individual Student Information System -- (SWIS-ISIS).

*Revised: In addition to Crone et al. (2015), listed above, 2 other great books on function-based positive support have been revised:

The 4th edition of Functional Assessment: Strategies to prevent and remediate challenging behaviors in school settings by Lynette K. Chandler and Carol M. Dahquiest (2015, Boston: Pearson). A practical loose-leaf version is available in addition to other formats.

The 3rd edition of Functional assessment and program development for problem behavior: A practical handbook by O'Neill, R. E., Albin, R. W., Storey, K., Horner, R. H., & Sprague, J. R. (2015, Independence, KY: Cengage Learning, ISBN 9781285734828) is available NOW in a variety of formats (paperback, e-book, e-chapter, and rental).

Here is an article on how to sustain your school's schoolwide positive behavior support program: Strickland-Cohen, M. K., McIntosh, K., & Horner, R. H. (2014). Effective practices in the face of principal turnover. Teaching Exceptional Children, 46, 18-24.

Good information for making team meetings productive: Algozzine et al. (2012). Development and technical characteristics of a team decision-making assessment tool: Decision, Observation, Recording, and Analysis (DORA). Journal of Psychoeducational Assessment, 30(3), 237-249. See also Todd et al. (2012). A case study of team-initiated problem solving addressing student behavior on one elementary school. Journal of Special Education Leadership, 25(2), 81-88.

If you provide behavior support for pre-school children, here is a book designed for you: PREVENT-TEACH-REINFORCE: The early childhood model of individualized positive behavior support. (2013). Dunlap, G., Wilson, K., Strain, P., & Lee, J. Baltimore: Brookes Publishing.

Another excellent book (2009), the Handbook of Positive Behavior Support (edited by W. Sailor, G. Dunlap, G. Sugai, & R. Horner; published in New York by Springer), includes information on how School Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) is being implemented in alternative schools and juvenile justice settings (pages 461-492). Evidence that improving SWPBS will make schools safer also was reported online in Tobin, T. J. (2008), Will functional interventions in versatile environments reduce dangerous behaviors? Journal of Behavior Analysis of Offender and Victim Treatment and Prevention, 1(2), 171-186. When the implementation of Check In - Check Out improved, office discipline referrals for fighting were reduced. See online journal. The list of references for this article was accidentally cut short. Here is the complete list of references.

For an example of use of PBIS to improve the behavior of young students, see Chapter 4 in Schoolwide Prevention Models: Lessons Learned in Elementary Schools edited by Charles R. Greenwood, Thomas R. Kratochwill, and Melissa Clements, published by Guilford Press (2008).

Latino Youth Empowerment Demonstration Project: Working in cooperation with the University of Oregon and Northwest Family Services, three school districts in the Portland (Oregon) area participated in the Northwest Youth Empowerment Demonstration Grant Program (Project YED). Project YED was the topic of a presentation prepared for the Building on Family Strengths Conference in Portland in June of 2009, titled "Involving Latino Youth and Families in Out-of-School Time Youth Empowerment Programs." See also "Northwest Youth Empowerment Demonstration (YED) Grant Program: Preliminary Data" and "Parents' Survey." Parent support was an important part of Project YED. This demonstration project was funded by the federal Office of Minority Health (OMH) as a part of their Youth Empowerment Programs. (No official endorsement of Project YED by OMH should be assumed.)

More Reports Related to Schools Using Positive Methods at School-Wide and Individual Levels:

Systems of Individual Support: The Functional Interventions in Versatile Environments Project's Pilot Study of Evaluation Tools. (2006) A comparison of measures of a school's capacity to provide positive, function-based support for individual students.

Positive Behavior Support Systems: Value Added from Use of School Wide Information Systems (2006) A study of changes over time for schools using Positive Behavior Support with and without also using the School Wide Information System (SWIS) to monitor discipline referrals.

Use of the Team Implementation Checklist in Regular and Alternative High Schools This is a report on a descriptive study of office discipline referrals, suspensions, and positive methods of behavior management in different types of high schools. A slide presentation also is available as a pdf file called "Regular and Alternative" and it illustrates the efforts some alternative schools are making to implement PBIS even though also typically using relatively high rates of out-of-school suspensions.

See the Winter 2007 issue of the Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions for an interesting article on a project that involved teaching school teams to use FBA: Crone, Hawken, & Bergstrom (2007).

PBIS may be able to reduce suspensions and expulsion from school. For research ideas on this, see What Do School Records Reveal about Events Leading Up to Expulsion from School? (Tobin & Flannery, 2006).

Here is help for teachers using positive methods to manage challenging behavior:

"Can Discipline Referrals Be Reduced by Functional Behavioral Assesments?" -- an interesting report on good results obtained by classroom teachers' efforts.

For more recent, evidence-based, online help, try the demo for the the Individual Student Information System which is an application available from the School Wide Information System.

The text version of the Sugai-Tobin Archival Review-Revised (STAR-R); and the spreadsheet that goes with the STAR-R have been useful for research on school records.

Controversy continues to surround the concepts of "intrinsic motivation" and "rewards" although an impressive collection of literature exists to help those who are willing to make the effort to understand how to use positive methods of behavioral support correctly, as described in New Light on Rewards and Intrinsic Motivation: A Survival Kit for Positive Behavior Support Team Leaders."

The next two items are links to pdf files from presentations at the Council for Exceptional Children (CEC) Conference in Salt Lake City in April of 2006. The first is a questionnaire that school behavior support teams can use to track progress. The second is a PowerPoint presentation:

Functional Interventions in Versatile Environments Questionnaire (FIVE-Q)

A Systemic Approach to Including Key Individuals in the Function-Based Suppport Process

At the CEC conference in 2005, a PowerPoint presentation on systems level implementation of PBS for individual students was given and a list of related references provided.

For more specific information on classroom methods, see Comprehensive Positive Behavior Supports (CPBS) Pre-Service Training Program, a paper presented by Emma Martin and Tary Tobin in San Diego at the annual conference of the Teacher Education Division of the Council for Exceptional Children in 2006.

The "Journal of Early and Intensive Behavior Interventions" has a new name: "Journal of Behavior Assessment and Intervention in Children." Articles that were published under the original title are still available online. For information on effects of different types of interventions, see:

"Preventing Problem Behaviors: Primary, Secondary, and Tertiary Level Prevention Interventions for Young Children" by Tobin & Sugai (2005) in Vol. 2(3), pages 115-124.

CASEBOOK: For some students, especially special education students whose behavior problems place then at risk for a change in placement, a positive behavior intervention based on a functional assessment is essential. If you are interested in behavior plans based on functional assessments, try this link: Case Book The Case Book contains examples of successful function-based support and links to more information on the use of functional assessment in developing interventions to enable at risk students to be successful. Not new, but still valid and may provide some ideas you can use.

If you are interested in helping families, or in home-school cooperation related to behavior support, see the PARENTS and FINDING HELP links below.

For best results, use Version 10 or higher of Adobe Acrobat Reader to view the PARENTS file. Here is a link to a free download of Acrobat, Version 10 or higher

PARENTS Parents' Guide to Functional Assessment, 3rd edition.

FINDING HELP How to Find Help and Make It Work for Your Child.


Dixie Jordan's "Functional Behavioral Assessment and Positive Intervention: What Parents Need to Know" is an excellent introduction for all parents and includes information that would be particularly useful for parents of students with disabilities who may benefit from special Ceducation.

"Using Electronic and Other New Ways to Help Students Improve Their Behavior: Functional Behavioral Assessment at Work" by Kim Condon & Tary Tobin was published in Vol. 3, No. 1 of TEACHING EXCEPTIONAL CHILDREN in 2001. This article describes in detail two ways to help elementary school students with behavior problems learn to self-recruit the positive teacher attention they need to do their best work and be on their best behavior. It includes information on how to use the "Mr. Attention" device to help students who may be hyperactive or easily distracted and an example of the use of points and frequent feedback in a systematic way.

An IEP Teams' Guide to Functional Assessment Practical and free information on behavior support, including a booklet written for parents, teachers, and others on an Individualized Education Plan team.

HIGHLY RECOMMENDED PBIS WEB SITE: Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Keep up-to-date with the latest in all aspects of positive methods of behavior support! Topics include legal issues; school-wide, classroom, and individual support; and more. View PowerPoint presentations, download or order materials, and find out about conferences. Whether you are looking for evidence or examples, or just trying to find something quickly, try to links in the Research/Literature section.

Dr. Colvin's Library: Professional Development Resources This web site offers a number of excellent books and videos related to PBIS. "Defusing Anger and Aggression" is outstanding because it dramatically contrasts effective ways that teachers can handle behavior problems with ineffective ways.

Dr. Mac's "Behavior Advisor" Page This page has something for every teacher.


Different Ways to Measure Fidelity of Implementation of PBIS

References Related to Fidelity of Implementation

Oregon Youth Development Project

Lasting Relationships

National Data on Discipline, Academic Achievement, and Examples of Successful Behavior Support Strategies

Summer EXPO Presentation

20 Practical Strategies Activity

Dealing with Noncompliance

Handout for Exclusionary Discipline Practices: Findings from Oregon

Highlights of the Healthy Marriage Initiative in Oregon

A Psychometric Evaluation of the Core Baseline Questionnaire Used in the Oregon Youth Development Project

Practical Ways to Help Students Who May Be "Different" This was presented at a conference sponsored by the Northwest PBIS Network.

For more information, to give feedback, ask questions, or share information, please contact:

Tary Tobin (ttobin@uoregon.edu)

February 17, 2016

Who is Tary Tobin? Photo. Vita