Defined by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, “NC MTSS is a multi-tiered framework which promotes school improvement through engaging, research-based academic and behavioral practices. NC MTSS employs a systems approach using data-driven problem-solving to maximize growth for all.”

What is PBIS?

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS) is a decision making framework that guides selection, integration, and implementation of the best evidence based academic and behavioral practices for improving important academic and behavioral outcomes for all students.  PBIS helps parents and school staff create and maintain a safe, supportive learning environment, promote positive life skills, and reduce negative behaviors so that all children can succeed in school.  The framework addresses both individual behavior and environmental factors and focuses on skill building rather than punishment.  In addition, PBIS addresses bullying prevention, social skills development, resilience building, and discipline. 

One of the most significant advances in school-wide discipline is the emphasis on school-wide systems of support that include proactive strategies for defining, teaching, and supporting appropriate student behaviors to create positive school environments.  A continuum of positive behavior supports for all students within a school are implemented in areas including the classroom, cafeteria, they gymnasium, school buses, hallways, restrooms, sidewalks, play areas, and other common areas.

PBIS uses a multi-tiered model approach.

Why do we use PBIS?

In the past, school-wide discipline has focused mainly on reacting to specific student misbehavior by implementing punishment-based strategies including reprimands, loss of privileges, office referrals, suspensions, and expulsions.  Research has 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 rewarding students for following them is a much more positive approach than waiting for misbehavior to occurr before responding.  The purpose of PBIS is to establish a climate in which appropriate behavior is the norm. 

PBIS Outcomes

When implemented with fidelity, PBIS is an evidence based framework that improves the school behavioral climate.  That is reflected in:




Office discipline referrals

Academic performance

Suspensions and detentions

On task behavior

Disruptive classroom behavior         

Parent, student, and staff satisfaction

Staff retention