Funding for PBIS/MTSS

Federal Funding for Prevention Programs

The Center for Health and Health Care in Schools and the Center on Education Policy, both at the George Washington University, analyzed dozens of federally funded programs administered by ED. This research found 15 specific funded programs that contain either explicit or implicit authority for prevention-related activities. The main sections of this guide describe each of these programs, including their purpose, recent funding levels, entities eligible for funding, and specific provisions in the authorizing legislation, regulations, or program guidance that explicitly or implicitly permit funds to be used for prevention. The majority of these programs are part of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA), which was most recently amended in 2002 by the No Child Left Behind Act. (Retrieved from Center on Education Policy document linked below in July 2014).

Download – A Guide to Federal Education Programs That Can Fund K-12 Universal Prevention and Social and Emotional Learning Activities

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PBIS)

Improving student academic and behavior outcomes is about ensuring all students have access to the most effective and accurately implemented instructional and behavioral practices and interventions possible. School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) provides an operational framework for achieving these outcomes. More importantly, SWPBS is NOT a curriculum, intervention, or practice, but 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 behavior outcomes for all students.

In general, SWPBS emphasizes four integrated elements: (a) data for decision making, (b) measurable outcomes supported and evaluated by data, (c) practices with evidence that these outcomes are achievable, and (d) systems that efficiently and effectively support implementation of these practices. (Retrieved from in January 2012)

State Resources, begin on the “Getting Started” page  – 
National Resources – Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

Arizona’s  Govenor’s Office Recommendations for PBIS – ADDPC_2011 PBIS Report Summary
Full Report – ADDPC_2011 PBIS Position Paper

Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports (MTSS)

A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a systemic, continuous-improvement framework in which data-based problem-solving and decision making is practiced across all levels of the educational system for supporting students (academically and behaviorally). The framework of MTSS is a “way of doing business” which utilizes high quality evidence-based instruction, intervention, and assessment practices to ensure that every student receives the appropriate level of support to be successful. A Multi-Tiered System of Supports helps schools and districts to organize resources through alignment of academic standards and behavioral expectations, implemented with fidelity and sustained over time, in order to accelerate the performance of every student to achieve and/or exceed proficiency. (Retrieved from in July 2014)

MTSS Fact Sheet – What is MTSS?

School Climate & Safety

US DOE Guiding Principles

On January 8th, 2014, the U.S. Department of Education released new Guiding Principles for Improving School Climate and Discipline.

The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice (Departments) are issuing this guidance to assist public elementary and secondary schools in meeting their obligations under Federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The Departments strongly support schools in their efforts to create and maintain safe and orderly educational environments that allow our nation’s students to learn and thrive. Many schools have adopted comprehensive, appropriate, and effective programs demonstrated to: (1) reduce disruption and misconduct; (2) support and reinforce positive behavior and character development; and (3) help students succeed. Successful programs may incorporate a wide range of strategies to reduce misbehavior and maintain a safe learning environment, including conflict resolution, restorative practices, counseling, and structured systems of positive interventions [such as PBIS]. (Retrieved from US DOE Dear Colleagues Letter, Jan. 8, 2014)

DOE Website – US Education website on school safety and discipline
Download – Guiding Principles document
Download – Fact Sheet

Bullying Prevention

Preventing Bullying, Harassment and School Violence

Definition: Bullying is unwanted, aggressive behavior among school aged children that involves a real or perceived power imbalance. The behavior is repeated, or has the potential to be repeated, over time. Both kids who are bullied and who bully others may have serious, lasting problems.

In order to be considered bullying, the behavior must be aggressive and include:

  • An Imbalance of Power: Kids who bully use their power—such as physical strength, access to embarrassing information, or popularity—to control or harm others. Power imbalances can change over time and in different situations, even if they involve the same people.
  • Repetition: Bullying behaviors happen more than once or have the potential to happen more than once.

Bullying includes actions such as making threats, spreading rumors, attacking someone physically or verbally, and excluding someone from a group on purpose. (Retrieved from in January 2014)

Website Resources –

2011 Exec. Summary/OpEd – Arizona’s Bullying Laws New Legislation for an Old Problem

Mental Health in Schools

Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF)

The Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) builds from the established and effective platforms of Positive Behavior Interventions and Support (PBIS) and Implementation Science to integrate school mental health (SMH) programs and services. ISF blends education and mental health systems and resources toward depth and quality in prevention and intervention within a multi-tiered framework, allowing for greater efficiency and effectiveness. In addition to promoting improved processes for increasing the likelihood of positive outcomes, the ISF addresses critical gaps in current systems.

For the PBIS system, the ISF addresses the common concern, of insufficient development of Tier II and Tier III structures, resulting in unaddressed behavioral and emotional needs for students with more complex mental health needs. Also, PBIS Tier I systems, although showing success in social climate and discipline, do not typically address broader community data and mental health prevention.

For the SMH system, the ISF addresses the lack of implementation structure, poor use of data, and disconnection from the Tier II and III services that are provided. Without the implementation structure, SMH efforts are highly variable, and often reflect a “co-located” arrangement of community mental health providers providing some services to some students,with school staff not knowledgeable of (and often suspicious) of these efforts.

The ISF addresses limitations of both PBIS and SMH by systematically bringing these systems together, adding depth and quality to the multi-tiered system of prevention, intervention and support, and creating the synergies that increase the probability of achieving valued school and student outcomes. (Retrieved from ISF document linked below, June 2012)

ISF Document – Advancing Education Effectiveness: Interconnecting School Mental Health and School-wide Positive Behavior Support

Seclusion & Restraint

2012 Restraint-Seclusion – 15 principles from the Department of Education to ensure that any use of restraint or seclusion in schools does not occur except when there is a threat of imminent danger of serious physical harm to the student or others, and occurs in a manner that protects the safety of all children and adults at school.

Standards for Professional Learning

Professional Development

2011 Learning Forward National PD Standards – Professional Development

ISTE Standards

ISTE Standards

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