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Educators from The Netherlands visit USF to Learn Firsthand about the FLPBIS Approach for Supporting Student Behavior

Dr. Heather Peshak George and the Florida Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support: MTSS Project staff welcomed 23 Dutch visitors during the week of October 8. They came to learn firsthand more about the project and the PBIS framework which encompasses a range of research-based strategies used to increase overall school climate and decrease problem behavior by using data to teach new skills and make environmental changes to systematically improve the behavioral, social and academic outcomes of all students.  PBIS is most often associated with applications in schools, although the strategies can also be found in a variety of settings and with a variety of individuals.

The Dutch visitors were comprised of educators (special education and general education teachers), school principals, administrators, PBIS coaches and researchers from Belgium and Windesheim University in Zwolle, The Netherlands, where Dr. George established an international research partnership through USF World in 2016. This marks the third time Windesheim University has brought a large group to Florida for a week long study week. They visited PBIS Model or exemplar school sites in Martin, Brevard, Osceola and Hillsborough Counties and viewed differences in implementation while having conversations with Florida school administrators and staff.

Visitors also had the opportunity to meet with many of the FLPBIS:MTSS project staff and other USF researchers for an in depth discussion and debrief from the school visits. (See photo above.)

"We had an excellent sharing of ideas and practices," said Dr. George. "We often talk about flexibility of PBIS implementation based on specific school needs but learning how to do that firsthand with another culture is priceless. We have established quite a unique partnership and our PBIS Model Schools in Florida are excellent hosts to our international visitors. I look forward to the continued collaboration with our global PBIS colleagues."

As of August 2018, PBIS has been implemented as a whole-school approach in over 26,000 schools in the United States. Florida has the 2nd largest number of schools implementing PBIS in the country, with almost 2,000 schools trained (over 50% of the state’s schools) across 58 districts. For additional information, visit www.flpbis.org

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