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Glossary of PBIS Abbreviations and Terms


Administrator Academy: provides professional development opportunities for school administrators.

Action Plan 

School-Based Unified Action Plan, Multi-Tiered Action Plan (MAP) or a tool that serves a similar function: combines data from multiple sources (e.g. SAS, TIC, BoQ, PoI, etc.) and helps teams prioritize and detail step-by-step activities and timelines to guide implementation steps and technical assistance.

AYP: Adequate Yearly Progress

NCLB Act requires states to measure Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP) of all schools/districts to determine if they are successfully educating their students.  Each school must comply with proficiency requirements in all categories of students until 100% proficiency rate is reached.


Benchmark for Advanced Tiers:  A self-assessment tool used by school teams to self-assess the implementation of behavior support systems at Tiers 2 & 3


Behavior Education Program (Crone, Horner, & Hawken): A targeted (or Tier 2) intervention otherwise known as Check-In/Check Out (CICO).


Behavior Intervention Plan: An intervention strategy used when behavior impedes learning – a written intervention plan is developed based on the results of an FBA to provide highly individualized behavior support for a student across all settings in school.


Behavior Support Plan: Another name for a Behavior Intervention Plan.

“Big 5” data 

Data graphs critical to school-wide decision making, created by entering data into SWIS (School Wide Information System) which are aggregated by:
  1. Average Referrals Per Day, Per Month
  2. Referrals by Problem Behavior
  3. Referrals by Location
  4. Referrals by Student
  5. Referrals by Time


Benchmarks of Quality: A self-assessment tool that provides coaches and school-based teams with a way to identify and evaluate areas of strength, and areas in need of improvement, for the purpose of action planning.


Bullying Prevention: Within PBIS, “giving students the tools to reduce bullying behavior through the blending of school-wide positive behavior support, explicit instruction, and a redefinition of the bullying construct.” (Ross, Horner, Stiller)


(Sinclair, et al) - Comprehensive strategy used to provide support to those students in need of targeted or more individualized interventions/support.  (Typically treated as a Tier 2 support.)  Mentoring and individual student planning are critical features of Check and Connect.

Check-In/Check-Out (CICO)

A targeted (or Tier 2) intervention that builds upon a school’s Tier 1 systems by providing some students a higher frequency of scheduled, positive feedback from adults and progress monitoring regarding the school-wide behavior expectations through the use of a daily report card (otherwise known as BEP.)


see Check-In/Check-Out


Individual that builds capacity of district and/or school teams through coordination, evaluation, technical assistance and training supports.

Cool Tools

Lesson plans for teaching behavioral expectations

Community Member

Individual who lives within the district’s geographic catchment area.  This could include a range of people (ex: business owner, community leader, civil employee, recreation organizer, volunteer, etc.)

Community Representative

A community member, who is NOT an employee of the target district, who actively participates on a school or district PBIS planning team.

Complex/Multiple-life-domain FBA/BIPs 

A function-based support plan that addresses needs across life domains (e.g. home, school, and/or community) developed as a result of a Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA.)  Designed for youth not responding to Tier 2/Secondary supports and/or for whom a Tier 2 intervention would not be intense enough to reduce the impact of social behaviors on academic participation.  Highly individualized interventions, FBA / BIPS are developed based on assessed maintaining function of the problem behavior or skill-deficit (ex: youth needs to know how to appropriately ask for attention.)

Cultural Responsiveness

Using cultural knowledge, prior experiences, frames of reference, and performance styles of ethnically diverse students to make learning encounters more relevant and effective for them (Gay, 2000). Requires that teacher / school personnel have knowledge about students and families.


“refers to a particular racial/ethnic group being represented in a given category at a significantly higher or lower rate than other racial/ethnic groups” (Equity Project at Indiana University); also “the extent to which membership in a given group affects the probability of being placed in a specific special education disability category” (Oswald, Coutinho, Best & Singh, 1999)


Daily Progress Report:  A tool (often a card or piece of paper) that tracks student progress, utilizing a point system, toward meeting academic and or social expectations throughout the school day.


Effective Behaviors Support Survey (see SAS)


Education Environment (see LRE)


A set (usually 3-5) of positively stated school-wide rules that apply to all staff and students in the building.

External Coach

A district-level individual that facilitates the district team’s process of establishing and maintaining the implementation of positive behavior support systems.

Family Member

Individual involved in the home-life of a child in the district.  This could include a range of people (ex: parents/primary care givers, siblings, aunts, grandparents, etc.)

Family Representative

A family member of a child that attends the target school/district, who is NOT an employee of the target district, who actively participates on a school or district PBIS planning team.


Functional Behavioral Assessment: Systematic process of identifying problem behaviors, and the events that predict and maintain those behaviors. Conducted via a series of interviews and observations and used to develop a Behavior Intervention Plan. 


An example of a school name for a tangible acknowledgement (i.e., paper, ticket, post card, etc.) earned by a student “caught” demonstrating positive behavior.  Distributed by adult school personnel.  


Individuals with Disabilities Education Act: A federal law created to protect the rights of students with disabilities who require special education, and their families, by ensuring everyone receives a free appropriate public education.


Individualized Education Program: A written, legal document that defines the plan/program developed for every child eligible to receive special education services.  IEPs are required by law for every student with a disability needing special education services because of that disability. Teachers are legally bound to deliver the accommodations and modifications as written into the IEP. 

Interconnected Systems Framework

Integrating the work of the National PBIS Center and the Center for School Mental Health, to include the experiences and knowledge of both, in an effort to build a more responsive and effective connection between mental health and education in schools, guided by youth and families.

Internal Coach

Building-based individual that facilitates the school-based team’s development, implementation and maintenance of school-wide positive behavior support systems


In School Suspensions


Local Area Network: Voluntary, inclusive and community based bodies with the express purpose of improving the welfare of children and their families. LANs are comprised of the traditional human service systems, families, community members, service professionals and educators working together to meet the needs of at-risk children and their families.  (also referred to as a C&A LAN – Child & Adolescent Local Area Network)


Least Restrictive Environment: IDEA mandates that every student with a disability has the right to be educated in the most ‘least restrictive environment’ possible for that individual student (also known as EE)


Multi-Tiered Action Plan (see Action Plan)


No Child Left Behind Act: Federal legislation, signed into law in January 2002, that requires schools to administer statewide standardized tests annually to all students, report (and meet) their Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP), and provide ‘highly qualified teachers’ to all students.


Office Discipline Referrals: Means of tracking and reporting discipline infractions.


Out of School Suspension


Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports: proactive systems approach to establishing the behavioral supports and social culture needed for all students in a school to achieve social, emotional, and academic success.


Positive Behavior Supports (another name for PBIS)


Phases of Implementation: The Illinois Phases of Implementation Rubric is the primary tool by which implementation of the PBIS process is measured at all levels.


Tangible and intangible acknowledgements, or rewards, for positive behavior; make desired behavior more likely.


Rehabilitation, Empowerment, Natural supports, Education & Work (Malloy, Drake, Cloutier, Couture), 2011: A unique application of wraparound specifically designed for older, transition-aged youth (16-21) at risk of alternative placement and school dropout.  RENEW focuses specifically on increasing effective school engagement, employment, and post-secondary education and completion for older, transition-aged youth, who have experienced the most system failure over time.

Restorative Justice

A philosophy based on a set of principles that guide the response to conflict and harm.  The three main goals are 1) accountability: opportunities for wrongdoers to be accountable to those they have harmed;  2) community safety: keeping the community safe by building relationships and empowering community members;  and 3) competency development: increasing the pro-social skills of those who have harmed others, addressing underlying factors that lead to the delinquent behaviors, and building upon strengths in each young person.  (Implementing Restorative Justice: A guide for schools; ICJIA)


Response to Intervention: Multi-tiered system of support for redesigning and establishing teaching and learning environments that are effective, efficient, relevant and durable for all students, families, and educators.  RtI is also defined as “the practice of providing high-quality instruction and interventions matched to student need, monitoring progress frequently to make decisions about changes in instruction or goals, and applying child response data to important education decisions” (Batsche).


Social/Academic Instructional Group:  Small instructional groups provided for youth around a common need for direct instruction and practice of either (1) school appropriate social  behavior; (2) academic access skill (organization, note taking, asking question, etc.); or (3) both academic and social skills. 

SAS: Self-Assessment Survey

Annual assessment for building level staff of school-wide, classroom, non-classroom, and individual behavior practices.  This tool assists with annual action planning, internal decision making and assessment of change over time. (Previously known as EBS: Effective Behaviors Support Survey)


School-wide Evaluation Tool: External evaluation tool used to assess a school’s implementation of PBIS by evaluating on-going efforts toward school-wide behavior support, comparing efforts from year to year, and action planning.


Systematic Information Management for Educational Outcomes: Data collection and reporting system that generates graphs and charts for integrated data-based decision-making.  These SIMEO tools/reports help monitor progress for students in need of Tier 2 and Tier 3 supports, and guide teams in creating effective plans.

Simple Secondary Interventions 

Quick and easy interventions for a group of students within the school demonstrating similar needs not responding to Tier 1/Universal supports: e.g., Check-in/Check-out (CICO) and Social/Academic Instructional Groups (SAIG).

Simple Secondary Interventions with individualized features 

A unique feature for an individual student added to a group intervention (e.g. CICO with individualized check in times, check in personnel, or modified individualized goals.)


Systems-Response Tool: The SRT assists school teams in reflecting on and action planning to improve their school’s typical responses to challenging youth behavior.


Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders: Universal Screening Tool that identifies externalizing and internalizing behaviors that may impede academic and social functioning.


School Safety Survey: This survey assesses risk factors and response plans for school safety and violence. Data provides scores in both risk factors and protective factors.

SWIS: School Wide Information System

Web-based data collection and reporting system for office discipline referrals.  (see “Big 5 Data”)


PBIS Technical Assistance Coordinator: provides training and technical assistance to school/district coaches, administrators, and facilitators in implementing PBIS.


PBIS Technical Assistance Director: provides statewide and regional leadership, and supports TACs in their training and technical assistance of districts.


Team Implementation Checklist: designed to be completed by the PBIS team once per quarter to monitor activities for implementation of PBIS in the school, and guide action planning and team activities throughout the year. (action plan is to be completed at the same time)


Wraparound Integrity Tool: The WIT is designed to assess the team’s perception of the integrity of the wraparound process. The tool was designed to assess the four phases of wraparound: engagement and team participation, initial plan development, plan implementation and refinement, and transition.


Wraparound is a family-centered, strength-based philosophy of care used to guide individualized service planning for students with, or at-risk of, emotional/behavioral disabilities and their families.

Wraparound (Wrap) Plan

A complex and comprehensive plan addressing multiple life domain issues across home, school, and community (e.g. basic needs, MH treatment, behavior/academic interventions, as well as multiple behaviors) that is uniquely individualized to the student, and reflective of youth/family voice and choice.


BoQ scoring measurement of overall school-wide implementation.  Schools scoring 70% or higher are generally considered implementing PBIS at the Universal/Tier 1 level with fidelity. 


SET scoring measurement of overall school-wide implementation.  A score of 80 as the total score and 80 on the teaching expectations component generally indicates fidelity of Universal implementation.