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Unlocking Potential: How Tier 1 PBIS Transforms Education for Students with Disabilities

Unlocking Potential: How Tier 1 PBIS Transforms Education for Students with Disabilities

Implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) at the Tier 1 level in schools has shown promising results, particularly for students with disabilities. The Office of Special Education Programs has funded the National Technical Assistance Center on PBIS since 1998, emphasizing the importance of adopting evidence-based practices within a PBIS framework. While the Center advocates for a comprehensive approach across Tiers 1, 2, and 3, many schools focus predominantly on Tier 1, laying a foundational layer of positive and proactive support for all students, including those with disabilities.

Why Focus on Tier 1 PBIS for Students with Disabilities?

Research consistently highlights the benefits of Tier 1 PBIS for students with disabilities. Key findings suggest that when schools implement PBIS with fidelity, students with disabilities experience improved social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) outcomes, alongside reduced exclusionary discipline such as suspensions, office discipline referrals, restraints, and seclusions.

Improved SEB Outcomes

Reduced Exclusionary Discipline

Recommendations from Research

Given the empirically supported benefits of Tier 1 PBIS, schools are encouraged to continue prioritizing inclusive, robust Tier 1 supports that cater to all students, including those with disabilities. The research also underscores the importance of a full continuum of support for students’ SEB needs, emphasizing that some students, with and without identified disabilities, will require additional support to succeed.

In conclusion, the implementation of Tier 1 PBIS stands as a cornerstone in fostering an inclusive, supportive, and equitable educational environment for students with disabilities. By focusing on positive and proactive support, schools can significantly enhance SEB outcomes and reduce exclusionary discipline, ensuring that all students have the opportunity to succeed.

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