MTSS Pyramid

School Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS)

  • Tiers of School Wide PBIS: Continuum of Support

    The type and level of behavior support provided for any student must match the intensity of his or her needs. Student responsiveness to academic and behavioral supports must guide instructional and intervention decisions. Schools implementing PBIS school-wide must organize behavior support across multiple tiers which increase in intensity as students’ needs dictate.

    Tier 1: Universal

    Tier 1 supports are delivered to all students and emphasize teaching prosocial skills and behavior expectations. Schools acknowledge appropriate student behavior across all school settings. Tier 1 PBIS builds a social culture where students expect, prompt, and reinforce appropriate behavior for each other. When implemented with fidelity, Tier 1 PBIS systems and practices meet the needs of 80% or more of all students’ needs.

    Tier 2: Targeted

    Tier 2 supports focus on students who are not successful with Tier 1 supports alone. Students receiving Tier 2 support require additional teaching and practice opportunities to increase their likelihood of success. Tier 2 supports are often successful when provided within groups. At this level, systems and practices are efficient. This means they are similar across students and can be quickly accessed. Schools monitor fidelity and outcome data regularly to adjust implementation as needed. The typical range of Tier 2 supports include:

    • Self-management
    • Check-In, Check-Out
    • Small group social skill instruction
    • Targeted academic supports.

    Typically, schools deliver Tier 2 supports to 5-15% of the student body.

    Tier 3: Intensive, Individualized

    Tier 3 are more intensive and individualized. Schools use more formalized assessments to match interventions to the behavior’s function. They create individualized plans incorporating the student’s academic strengths and deficits, physical and medical status, mental health needs, and family/community support. Support plans emphasize:

    • Prevention of problem situations
    • Active instruction of new, replacement, and adaptive behaviors
    • Formal strategies to acknowledge desired behavior
    • Systematic procedures to reduce the likelihood problem behaviors are reinforced
    • Safety routines
    • Accurate and sustained implementation
    • Data collection procedures to measure fidelity and impact
    • Coordination of family, agency, and other systems of care.

    Tier 3 supports target the 3-5% of students with the highest support needs in the school.


    Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

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