PBIS October 2013 Update Newsletter

Dear PBIS Partners and Collaborators,

The Illinois PBIS Network is pleased to provide you with the electronic version of the October 2013 Update Newsletter.  This issue provides information about the positive impact of PBIS on students with disabilities, building PBIS capacity and sustainability, enhancing coaching supports, scaling up Tier 2/Tier 3 implementation, the increase in high schools implementing PBIS at advanced tiers, and efforts to ensure equity for all students in school discipline.
A printable version of this newsletter is also available for download at 
www.pbisillinois.org/publications/reportsThank you for your interest and support of the PBIS initiative!
     Volume 18; Issue 1
     October 2013 
Forward this issue
In This Issue

Building Capacity & Sustainability:

Enhancing Coaching Supports:

Scaling Up Tier 2/Tier 3 Implementation:

Quick Links

About the Network 

The Illinois PBIS Network is the Positive Behavior Interventions & Supports component of the Illinois Statewide Technical Assistance Collaborative (ISTAC) - an Illinois State Board of Education funded initiative promoting effective practices to benefit all children.


The Illinois PBIS Network builds capacity of schools, families, and communities to promote social and academic success of all students, including those with emotional/behavioral and other disabilities.  Key focus areas of the Illinois PBIS Network include:


Prevention-basedschoolwide systems of positive behavior support,

Data-based decision makingfor instruction of behavior and academics,

Wraparound planning for students with complex emotional and behavioral needs and their families,

Community-based supports for families, youth, and schools.


2014 Winter Leadership Conference

January 23-24, 2014
O'Fallon, IL
A Framework for Safe, Respectful, and Effective Schools
Regency Convention Center
2014 APBS International Conference

March 5-8, 2014
Chicago, IL
The Expanding World of PBIS: Science, Values, and Vision
Hyatt Regency Chicago

Readiness for Tier 2/Tier 3


District level readiness and commitment are needed to ensure Tier 3 fidelity and effective outcomes.  These system commitments need to be established before training teams on interventions.  The Illinois PBIS Network offers:

  • Tier 2/Tier 3 Readiness Tools online for action planning at the district and school levels.
  •  Tier 2/Tier 3 Readiness webinars to clarify readiness criteria, share district experiences and plans, and answer questions.
Discipline Data Connection for Students with IEPs

Students with disabilities are typically at higher risk for suspension, expulsion, and drop out than non-disabled peers. Installing systems and practices to reduce problem behaviors for all students has impact on the rate of discipline and risk of dropping out of school for students with IEPs as well.  Reducing office discipline referrals (ODRs) is an important step as ODRs predict out of school suspensions which are strongly related to drop out.


Schools Earn Recognition for 2012-13 

A total of 677 Illinois schools were recognized for their PBIS implementation during the 2012-13 school year at one of six different levels:  88-Start-Up, 328 - Emerging,228 -  Implementing, 18 -Implementing Plus, 10 - Fully Implementing, and five at the highest level, Exemplar.  All recognized schools received a congratulatory letter from the Illinois PBIS Network, as well as a window decal award.  Schools recognized at the two highest levels, also received a congratulatory letter from Rob Horner and George Sugai, Co-Directors of the National PBIS Center, as special acknowledgement. 


Congratulations to all of these schools for their outstanding efforts implementing PBIS.  The hard work and dedication of their staff and team members is helping to ensure effective practices and positive outcomes for all children!  For the complete list of recognized schools, electronic images of the decals for download, and for more information about the recognition process, click here.



New Online Training Registration:


Visit the improved "Training" tab on the Illinois PBIS Network website!  Choose your area of interest, then click on specific training topics and events to access course descriptions; dates, times, and locations; how to register; as well as materials and resources. Training information will continue to be updated throughout the year, so please check back often.

Statewide Contacts 

Lucille Eber

Statewide Director,lucille.eber@pbisillinois.org


Brian Meyer,

Director of Operations,



Technical Assistance Directors:


Kimberli Breen



Ami Flammini,


Susan Gasber,


Sheri Luecking,


Jessica Swain-Bradway,

Research & Evaluation Director,


Danielle Phillips,

Evaluation Coordinator,




Michelle Grimms,

Communications Coordinator,




Ann Marie Onesti,

Training Coordinator,




Patti Bardell,

Training Coordinator,



Kelly Hyde,

Research Consultant,


Jennifer Rose,

Cultural Relevancy Consultant,


Michele Carmichael,

ISBE Principal Consultant,

School & Mental Health Supports,


Building Capacity & Sustainability
Over 1,800 Illinois schools in approximately 375 Local Education Agencies (LEAs) are implementing Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS).  This represents nearly 45% of all Illinois schools.  Additionally, high schools adopting PBIS have more than doubled in the past five years, with over 200 now implementing PBIS, representing 30% of all high schools statewide.

 ImpactVulnerablePopImpact on Vulnerable Populations


A test of the implementation of a schoolwide system of support is if the most vulnerable students experience success.  In particular, students with disabilities have a history of being over represented in removal from classrooms and schools due to behavior challenges.  This newsletter highlights how students with disabilities in Illinois schools implementing the multi-tiered system of PBIS are experiencing greater equity with regards to school discipline as they gain access to effective interventions.


Enhancing Coaching Supports
BuildingCapCoachingBuilding Local Capacity Through Coaching

Coaching is essential for sustainability of PBIS implementation.  Coaches guide teams in applying the systems and practices of PBIS.  This includes accurately using fidelity data to improve  implementation by strengthening Tier 1 foundations while scaling up to more advanced tiers.  The Illinois PBIS Network continues to direct technical assistance support to district and regional coaches with the goal of ensuring fidelity, sustainability, and the capacity to scale-up.  This enables schools to gain the confidence and competence to achieve effective outcomes for all students, including those with social/emotional challenges.  

 TASupportsECCoach Technical Assistance Supports District-based Coaching 


A core component of sustainability of a systems change, such as PBIS, is ongoing technical assistance to guide and evaluate efforts. During 2012-13, 161 regional Coaches Network Meetings were held to assist over 1,800 participants refine and practice their skills around classroom-based applications, developing Tier 2/Tier 3 systems, and using data-based decision making.  Additional technical assistance opportunities available for coaches include:  the monthly electronic Coaches Front Page Newsletter, high school specific networking webinars, as well as additional resources available on the Coaches webpage.

Scaling up Tier 2/Tier 3 Implementation
More Schools Implement Tier 2/Tier 3 Interventions:
District Systems Ensure Readiness to Implement


Illinois PBIS Network support continues expanding facilitation for Tier 2/Tier 3 interventions for schools already implementing Tier 1. To that end, the Network hosted six Tier 3 Readiness webinars in 2012-13 with 68 LEAs participating.  The readiness webinars are being offered again during the current school year to assist LEA leaders in developing their systems so they can benefit from the Tier 2/Tier 3 training events.


During 2012-13, approximately 73% of Illinois PBIS schools (1,326) had documentation of Tier 1 PBIS implementation through active use of self-assessment and progress monitoring tools. Tier 2/Tier 3 implementation has greatly increased over the past three years with over 600 schools documenting Tier 2 implementation, and close to 500 schools self-assessing and monitoring the fidelity of implementation at Tier 3 during 2012-13. Over 300 schools had reached full fidelity at Tier 2, and 111 of schools implementing Tier 3 documented full fidelity in 2012-13. 



FidelitySuspMSPBIS Fidelity Impacts Suspensions in Middle Schools


Implementation of PBIS has been shown to reduce discipline problems in schools, including office discipline referrals (ODRs) and out of school suspensions (OSS).  For middle schools in particular, fidelity at Tier 1 has an impact on suspensions.  For example, 133 Illinois middle schools with an assessment of Tier 1 fidelity and OSS data show a lower rate of OSS per 100 students per day.  Over the last two years, these middle schools at Tier 1 fidelity had a 9% decrease in OSS per 100 students per day, while middle schools not at fidelity actually experienced an increase in suspensions.

Impact of PBIS on Students with Disabilities
ReductionODRSuspReduction in Discipline Referrals & Suspensions 
for All Students:
Students with IEPs Experience Similar Benefit


Previous reports have documented that Illinois students with disabilities benefit equally when discipline problems are reduced schoolwide.  Review of data from 2010-11 to 2012-13 confirms these earlier findings with a larger number of schools.  In a sample of 166 Illinois elementary schools documenting a 10% reduction in office discipline referrals (ODRs) schoolwide, students with IEPs showed a 44% decrease in average ODRs from 2010-11 to 2012-13 while students without IEPs showed a 38.5% decrease.  The relative risk ratio in 2011-12 for students with IEPs for ODRs was 0.952, indicating that students with IEPs in this sample are slightly underrepresented and are less likely to receive an ODR than students without an IEP.*  Students with IEPs in these 166 schools also had similar reductions in out of school suspensions (OSS) with a decrease of 73.5% on average OSS from 8.71 per school in 2010-11 to 2.30 OSS per school in 2012-13, while students without IEPs showed a 54% decrease over the same three years.  The risk ratio for students with disabilities in 2011-12 (0.952) indicates these students are actually less likely to receive an OSS than their non-disabled peers*.


*2012-13 enrollment data for students with IEPs is not yet available.  Risk ratio for 2012-13 will be calculated and shared as this data becomes available later this fall.


DistExBehOutcomesDistrict Example of Behavioral Outcomes for 
Students with IEPs


Eleven Waukegan CUSD 60 schools monitored behavioral outcomes for students with IEPs during the 2012-13 school year. Four of these schools, two middle and two elementary, had three years of data available for review in the study described above. Students with IEPs in the two elementary schools had a 65% decrease in ODRs from 2011-12 to 2012-13, and were underrepresented in OSS data, indicating that they did not receive a disproportionate number of OSS compared to students without an IEP. In the two middle schools, students with IEPs experienced a 75% decrease in OSS from 2011-12 to 2012-13, and also had a decrease in ODRs for the same time frame. 

DecrsSuspMSIEPsDecreased Suspensions for Students with Disabilities 

in Middle Schools


A sample of 46 Illinois middle schools that experienced a 10% or greater decrease in ODRs for three years was further examined to investigate impact on out of school suspension (OSS) for students with disabilities.  The schools in this sample recorded 77% fewer OSS events for all students in 2012-13 than in 2010-11 and the students with IEPs experienced 79% fewer OSS events.  Using special education enrollment data (available through 2012) a risk ratio was calculated to determine how much more or less likely a student with an IEP was to receive an OSS than a student without an IEP.  In 2010-11, the risk ratio for students with IEPs in this sample was 1.19, and decreased to 1.11 in 2011-12.*  Although the risk ratio shows that students with IEPs are still slightly over-represented in OSS, relative risk for receiving an OSS for students with IEPs is decreasing over time.  If trends continue, the ratio for students with IEPs will be equitable to the risk experienced by students without IEPs.


*2012-13 enrollment data for students with IEPs is not yet available. 


IEPSucceedDistT2Students with IEPs Succeed as Schools Build 

Tier 2 Capacity


As the total number of students accessing Tier 2 interventions increases, the percentage of students with IEPs accessing and benefiting from these interventions also increases. In a sample of schools using the online Tier 2 Check-in Check-out Schoolwide Information System (CICO-SWIS) and monitoring outcomes for students with IEPsthe percentage of students enrolled in CICO increased from 4.6% in 2009-10 to 10.5% in 2012-13.  Students with IEPs accessing CICO in these schools more than doubled over the same four year period, from 7.3% to 18.7%. Students succeeding in CICO increased by 12.3%, from 2009-10 to 2012-13, while students with IEPs succeeding in CICO in this sample increased by 15%. The graph below illustrates how students with IEPs are succeeding on CICO by exceeding 80% on average on their Daily Progress Reports.


High Schools Implementing Advanced Tiers
HSBuildT23SystemsMore High Schools Building Tier 2/Tier 3 Systems


Over the last three years, there has been a 29% increase in the number of high schools implementing PBIS, from 156 in 2010-11 to 201 in 2012-13.  To assess their progress, 97 high schools in 76 LEAs completed the Illinois PBIS Phases of Implementation (PoI) during 2012-13, with 56 high schools in 46 LEAs documenting activity at Tier 2/Tier 3.  To build their Tier 2/Tier 3 systems, 36 LEAs with high schools participated in Illinois PBIS Network hosted Tier 3 Readiness Webinars in 2012-13.  Support of advanced tiers implementation at the high school level continues to be a focus of the Network in the current school year.


Use of RENEW at Tier 3 for Students with IEPs


RENEW, a Tier 3 wraparound-based intervention for older youth, focuses on increasing school engagement, employment, graduation, and post-secondary education for youth who have experienced the most system failure over time.  The investment in RENEW has increased, from seven districts in 2011-12 to ten in 2012-13 with 40 active RENEW facilitators working in 17 schools with 72 students.  Over half of these students had an IEP.  RENEW implementers included four districts participating as ISTAC Educational Environment (EE) demonstration sites, using RENEW as an explicit intervention through special education to support their students with disabilities who are most at risk.

Reducing Drop-out Risk Factors:


Thirty-two students accessing RENEW had data available for analysis at the end of 2012-13.  Positive outcomes for these students during 2012-13 include:

  • An 11% reduction in risk of a more restrictive school placement.
  • A 20% reduction in risk of a restrictive community placement.
  • A 50% reduction in failing classes.
  • A 2% increase in academic grade point average (GPA).
  • A 47% reduction in ODRs.
Outcomes for the nine RENEW students with IEPs include:
  • An 8% reduction in risk of a more restrictive school placement.
  • A 52% reduction in ODRs.
Efforts to Ensure Equity in School Discipline
EquityAssessToolNew PBIS Equity Assessment Tool Now Online


The new Culturally Relevant PBIS (CR-PBIS) Self-assessment Tool, presented at the October 2013 PBIS National Forum, is now available for review and download on the Illinois PBIS Network website here.  The tool was initially developed based on practices identified by Sugai, O'Keeffe, and Fallon (2012) to ensure that all students benefit equally from schoolwide PBIS.  Incorporating feedback from a multi-district pilot, the tool was updated to include a rubric to help teams complete the self-assessment process and action plan.  Future plans include piloting the updated CR-PBIS tool in three districts:  Schaumburg SD 54, Elgin SD U-46, and Woodland SD 50.  Then in January/February 2014, the Illinois PBIS Network will host a webinar to discuss team reactions to the revised tool, to gather information regarding implementation of action plans, as well as to share success stories.  Watch the Training and Events Calendar for information and to register.  For more resources about addressing equity in schools, please visit our Equity page.


Sugai, G., O'Keeffe, B., Fallon, L. (2012). A contextual consideration of culture and school-wide positive behavior support.  Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions,14(4) pp. 197-208. 


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