School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (SWPBIS):

School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (SWPBIS):

What is School-wide Positive Behavioral Supports?

School-wide Positive Behavioral Supports (SWPBIS) is an evidence-based framwork for promoting positive school climate, while improving the social-emotional outcomes for students. SWPBIS includes: (1) building a culture within the whole school that will serve as a foundation for both social and academic success, (2) emphasizing early identification and prevention of problem behavior, (3) directly teaching appropriate social skills to all students, and modifying or rearranging the school context when necessary to prevent problem behavior, (4) using a three-tiered continuum of behavior support practices in order to prevent problem behavior, and (5) actively using data for decision-making (6) a system for encouraging expected behaviors (reward system). SWPBIS focuses on achieving social and academic achievement outcomes by establishing data, systems, and practices. All students receive the support they need for success based on a continuum of need and intensity. 

What are the core components of PBIS? 

Three to five positively stated behavioral expectations that apply to all staff and students and are defined across all settings of the school building

 Explicit teaching of behavioral expectations in each setting of the building to promote generalization of the behavioral skills

A system to encourage expected behaviors by verbally acknowledging and rewarding students’ appropriate behaviors

A system to discourage inappropriate behaviors through consistent responding across all school staff
A focus on data to guide decision-making efforts regarding behavioral discipline and support policies

What does SW-PBIS look like in Philadelphia?

Currently, the district has 36 schools implementing SW-PBIS. Each school participating in SWPBIS formed a planning team that is representative of their school staff. The planning team is required to attend 3-days of training where they develop the school-wide system. Training in SWPBIS is different from traditional workshop approaches because it provides more support for schools based on broader systems change efforts. SWPBIS is not based on a written script or program that looks the same in each school. Instead, it is a framework or system that allows schools to build on existing strengths and to “work smarter, not harder” using data, systems, and practices.

After training the team is responsible for providing information to school staff about PBIS efforts, probelm solving around systemic behavioral issues, ensuring that meetings are scheduled and data are collected for data-based decision making purpoes. Internal district coaches are also provided to schools implementing SWPBIS. The role of the coach is to ensure fidelity of implementation. Additionally, the coach will attend team meetings, assist in summarizing school data, problem solves with school teams, and provides PBIS trainings to staff as needed. 


For a detailed implementation timeline please click here.

If you are interested in becoming a PBIS school please contact Kristy Ritvalsky, Lead PBIS coach at kritvalsky@philasd.org 

Philadelphia Schools Currently Implementing SWPBIS

To see a full list of PBIS schools please click here.