Steps toward implementation

Step 1: Initiative Discussion

The goal of the this step is to select the system(s) to meet the needs of your students. In this step, your school or district will strive to identify the best fit, which is the match between needs and resources and goals for your school or district.
As your district/school is considering PBIS, the following actions should be taken.
  1. Educate your administrative team regarding PBIS/MTSS and how this system of supports works within a school. Consider requesting a South Dakota MTSS coordinator to visit your school and facilitate the discussion. The state of Wisconsin has developed this informational videos to help inform your decision:

  1. Review research regarding the evidence base of PBIS
  2. Consider visiting other schools that are implementing PBIS/MTSS in your area. Your MTSS coordinator should be able to assist with this.
  3. Review your current school and district data to determine if PBIS fits the needs and goals of your school.
    • Discuss the availability of resources for PBIS at district and building leadership team meetings.
    • Determine the funding source for training, personnel time, and other expected expenses for a minimum of 3-5 years.

4. Present PBIS to your school staff and get feedback to assess buy-in to determine your ability to implement PBIS in your school.Your regional MTSS
coordinator can assist with this as well.

Step 2: Infrastructure

The infrastructure step refers to making the structural and instrumental changes necessary to implement the program within an organization. As your school prepares to build the infrastructure to support the implementation of PBIS, the following steps should be completed:
  1. A PBIS leadership team (generally 6-8 members) is formed and has broad representation, including a building administrator, general education teachers, special education teachers, social worker and/or school psychologist, specials teachers, paraprofessionals, and family members
  2. The school PBIS team commits to meet monthly, at minimum, to analyze school-wide behavioral and academic data and use this data in the problem-solving process (See Step 3 below for examples/resources for PBIS team)
  3. Identify internal and external coaches to support the implementation process.
  4. The school identifies who the district's PBIS Assessment local coordinator is and how to contact them.
  5. The school staff complete the Self-Assessment Survey SAS
  6. The school identifies a data system that will allow for office discipline referral (ODR) data to be graphed in, at minimum, the following ways and disaggregated by disability and race:
    1. ODRs per day per month
    2. ODRs by location
    3. ODRs by behavior
    4. ODRs by time
    5. ODRs by student
    7. The school participates in summer implementation training and completes the PBIS Action Plan.

Resources and examples are available under the Links and Resources page.

Step 3: Initial Implementation

Building level teams attend summer implementation training in order to define their implementation plan. Based on plans made in the summer, staff roll out is conducted prior to the beginning of school with student roll out plans identified as well. Practitioners and staff will be changing their behavior, using new skills for the first time, and incorporating new practices into their everyday routine. This stage is often awkward because people are now expected to perform new skills and engage in new processes, which may lead them to perform in an uncoordinated or hesitant fashion. Practicing and implementing new skills with fidelity will take time.
Team Resources are below:

Step 4: Full Implementation

Full implementation occurs when the program is integrated into the school and district systems. The processes and procedures to provide PBIS/MTSS are now in place. It now becomes important to maintain and improve the program through excellent monitoring and purposeful improvement to avoid entering program drift (that is edging toward a lack of fidelity). PBIS is ready to be evaluated, with a focus on assessing program fidelity. Fidelity measures, such as the Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI), Team Implementation Checklist (TIC), Self-Assessment Survey (SAS), and Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ) are used at this point to determine if the program is being delivered as intended with fidelity. These tools also draw attention to areas that may need attention for the team, and potential areas for growth.
After PBIS has been implemented with fidelity, modifications may be considered to help produce better outcomes. For example, if fidelity is high but outcomes are not as expected, this may require program adaptation, an adjustment to PBIS to fit the local school environment and needs. All adaptations should be carried out carefully and systematically and with attention to both implementation and outcome evaluations. Implementation evaluations determine if PBIS has been implemented as intended. The same fidelity measures mentioned above can be used for implementation evaluations. Outcome evaluation refers to reviewing the results to determine if the program is working. Implementing PBIS with fidelity is likely to impact school climate, office discipline referrals, suspensions and expulsions, and ultimately academic performance.

Step 5: Sustainability

Sustainability is only possible when full implementation has been achieved. Sustaining change can be difficult. PBIS is not frozen in time and must adapt continually to changes in the community, funding streams, and organizational priorities. Organizational culture, leadership, and staff need to be nurtured and maintained. The involvement of high-level administrators in a continuous feedback loop with the PBIS team, staff, families, communities, and students is critical. At this stage, schools should continue to utilize fidelity tools and review outcome data to evaluate the implementation and outcomes of PBIS implementation. This will facilitate assessing the effectiveness and quality of PBIS in the school.
Most importantly, sustainability can and should be planned for early in the implementation process and examined at each stage.