Universal Screening to Determine PBIS Application

Susan Barrett (bio) recommends universal screening to effectively focus tier-one intervention.

One of the things we're really interested in is this universal screening. So if we've got this mindset, if you will, of everybody in the school community that says, "You know what? We're going to address the needs of everybody that comes to our school, and we're going to start by having a positive, preventive, nurturing school climate, and we are going to use data to then say, 'What else do they need from us?' "

If we create a social behavior core curriculum, where 80 percent of our kids are successful, then we're doing a pretty solid job. In fact, we've got data that suggests when you do PBIS schoolwide tier one, and it's in place at an 80 percent fidelity, we use something called a SET — school wide evaluation tool — when you reach 80 percent, our elementary schools are seeing a 95 percent response — so 95 percent of the students in the school are responding to the core curriculum, which shrinks the number of kids that need access to more support.

So this multi-tiered system of support starts with a social behavioral core curriculum where 80 percent are responding to that. And for kids who need more, we respond really early on, because we've got the data. We've got the relationships with the students to know we need to kick it up a notch.

And so what we do is we provide a tier two kind of support for those kids who need maybe a targeted group intervention. It's important to nest it within the core curriculum. A lot of times, we're not very efficient. We do something different for a group of kids who need more from us. It's going to be important to infuse it into the core curriculum, the common language that the schools work so hard to establish.

And then, the students really just need more structure, more access to feedback, more time to access the skill. And then, for some kids, they need intensive supports. But again, we're going to nest it in the core, and we're going to individualize those supports based on their individual needs.

So, for us, in terms of kids who've experienced trauma, we would be able to do a universal screening for all the kids that came into the school. And if our data suggests that we've got 80 percent of our kids who need something from us, then that would be a tier one intervention because a lot of our kids need that.

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Excerpted from an interview at CBITS Summit 2012 in Santa Monica, CA.


More About "Discipline"


More From Susan Barrett (bio)

  • Implementing PBIS in Schools

  • PBIS Overview

  • Sustainability of PBIS in Schools