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PBS: A Proven Approach in Schools Results in Fewer Referrals and Suspensions

One of the primary initiatives of the Florida Center for Inclusive Communities (FCIC), housed within the Department of Child and Family Studies, is the area of Positive Behavior Support (PBS). The PBS framework, designed to enhance academic and social behavior outcomes for all students, has transformed states, early childhood programs, professional development approaches, and the use of data for decision-making within schools and early childhood programs.

Through diverse federal, state and local funding streams, faculty from FCIC have been engaged in three decades of leadership research, training, and implementation of PBS within early childhood and K-12 settings. Now implemented in over 20,000 schools nationwide, notable outcomes of the program include a reduction in office discipline referrals, school suspension and expulsions and increases in school ratings of excellence.

The framework is also being implemented within early care and education programs by 18 states that have statewide initiatives that are focused on addressing challenging behavior in very young children with an emphasis on promoting the social and emotional development and preventing challenging behavior.

Florida’s Positive Behavior Support

Florida’s statewide initiative of Positive Behavior Support Project (FLPBS), funded by the State of Florida through federal assistance under the Individuals with Disabilities Education ACT (IDEA), provided training and support to school personnel in over 1500 Florida schools in 2013. Across 9 years of fidelity and outcome data collected, high Implementing schools in Florida realized 27% fewer office discipline referrals, 37% fewer in-school suspensions and 42% fewer out-of-school suspensions.

In 2013, the FLPBS website served nearly 300,000 visitors (with over 11 million hits!) and offered a variety of supports including online chats, skill-building webinars and web training, practical guides, videos and a variety of materials available for download. The website also offers specific areas for FLPBS District Coordinators, a coaching corner for current FLPBS Coaches, and a Model Schools section, which showcases exemplar FLPBS schools in the state of Florida. For more information about PBS and related interventions, please visit http://flpbs.fmhi.usf.edu.

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