Kathy Lane, Director of Alternative Schools
PBIS is a decision-making framework that guides
selection, integration, and implementation of the
best evidence based academic and behavioral
practices for improving academic and behavioral
outcomes for ALL students. It is a team-based
process for systemic problem solving and planning.
PBIS emphasizes four elements: data for
decision making; measurable outcomes;
practices with evidence that these outcomes are
achievable; systems that effectively and
efficiently support implementation practices.
PBIS is not a program or a curriculum but assists
schools to support all students in all venues: the
classroom, areas outside the classroom (hallways,
restrooms, cafeteria, and playgrounds), and
individual students. These systems define school
rules and expectations, provide training about the
rules, and offer feedback through acknowledgements
In July 1999 the Maryland State Department of Education,
in collaboration with the Sheppard Pratt Health System
conducted the initial workshops for Positive Behavioral
Interventions & Supports (PBIS).
In 1999, fifteen elementary school-based teams
representing 9 local school systems (LSS), including
AACPS, were trained at the initial workshop “Tough Times
– Tough Kids” which featured Dr. George Sugai from the
University of Oregon’s national center on Positive
Behavioral Interventions and Supports.
MSDE has subsequently collaborated with Dr. Sugai,
Center for Behavioral Education and Research,
University of Connecticut to conduct Summer Institutes
annually. Since July 1999, over 800 school teams,
representing all 24 local school systems, have been
trained in PBIS. Most of these schools have experienced
success at achieving their goals of reducing behavioral
THE MARYLAND MODEL
State Leadership Team
consists of representatives from:
The Maryland State Department of Education: Division of
Student and Family Support Services, Sheppard Pratt
Health System, John Hopkins University, Local School
System Behavior Support Coaches.
The teams meet monthly to plan and coordinate the
training and support for the School Teams and behavior
support coaches. All 24 participating local school
systems (LSS) have identified a specific point of
contact (POC) for PBIS. Information regarding upcoming
meetings and training opportunities are disseminated
through these POCs. Dr. Virginia Dolan, AACPS PBIS
Program Facilitator is on the state team. Her contact
information is 410-923-0776.
Behavior Support Coaches:
Maryland has trained Behavior Support Coaches for each
LEA who facilitate the functioning of the existing
trained teams and provide leadership within their
respective district to continue to expand the
initiative. The majority of Coaches are school
psychologists, guidance counselors, and, social workers.
Within the scope of PBIS, they work with 1-2 PBIS
schools. Coaches attend PBIS school team meetings and
provide ongoing support for the implementation and
sustainment of PBIS. Additionally, coaches meet at the
state each year to share ideas, and challenges.
In Maryland, and in AACPS all of the trained school
teams have volunteered to participate in PBIS. Since
administrative support is so critical to the success of
PBIS, administrators (Principal or Assistant Principal)
must be a part of the team that is trained. The team
also must be representative of the school staff, and
they must agree to collect and use data for all decision
making. Additionally, the school must agree to
implement PBIS for three years.
Anne Arundel County Public Schools currently has 73
school teams, pre K-12, including alternative education
and special education centers, that have been trained
and are implementing PBIS. The significant increase in
Anne Arundel County Public Schools’ participation is, in
part, a result of the system’s efforts to align with the
AACPS Strategic Plan, the Bridge to Excellence and No
Child Left Behind legislation. Each Anne Arundel County
has had the highest number PBIS Schools that have earned
the prestigious Gold Award for excellence with
implementation and positive impact on achievement and
behavior. AACPS’ PBIS Schools have saved 387 Days of
Instruction and 495 Days of Administrative time through
improved student behaviors.
Maryland has partnered with Johns Hopkins University
Center for the Prevention of Youth Violence in
evaluating PBIS in Maryland. The evaluation effort –
titled “Project Target” – is supported by a grant
from the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).
AACPS is also participating in another grant project
with JHU, called PBIS Plus, funded by USDE, to assist
participating elementary schools with professional
development and training to support students with
Each year MSDE hosts an orientation for representatives
of those schools who are interested in participating in
the implementation of PBIS. Attendees are given
information and an application to assist in preparation
for the Annual State New Team training at the July
New Team Training:
Each year schools that wish to participate send a team
of educators, including an administrator to the Maryland
New Team Training, held in July.
Summer Institute: The PBIS Summer Institute
takes place in July. MSDE has divided the local systems
into regions for training. AACPS participates in Central
Region 11 with three other schools systems
EVALUATION: AACPS PBIS teams are evaluated for
fidelity of implementation with the School-Wide
Evaluation Tool (SET) and the Benchmarks of Quality (BOQ).
Teams self assess progress through the Implementation of
Phases Inventory (IPI).