- PBIS as Prevention for High-Risk Youth in Alternative Education, Residential, and Juvenile Justice Settings
This special issue of Education and Treatment of Children explores the use of positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS) as a means of prevention for high-risk youth being served in non-traditional, more restrictive educational settings including alternative education (AE), residential, and juvenile justice (JJ) settings. PBIS is a multi-tiered framework differentiating interventions and intensity of delivery based on student needs and data; and is applicable across all education settings. Currently, the PBIS framework has been implemented in many traditional education settings and has recently been adopted and adapted to non-traditional settings. Youth within these settings present a wide range of academic and behavioral deficits and excesses that could benefit from the tiered support within the PBIS framework.
The goal of this special issue is to provide empirical and practical information on the PBIS framework to educators and a wide-range of service providers (e.g., behavior specialists, counselors, mental health, advocacy, and policy organization personnel) who work with high-risk youth in AE, residential, and JJ settings to improve youth outcomes and teacher effectiveness. In an effort to (a) support the continued and extended use of PBIS in these settings; (b) focus on the utility of PBIS as a method of prevention, in particular as a means to address the school-to-prison pipeline phenomenon of more restrictive placements and possible incarceration; and (c) provide resources and research directions for the field, we have assembled articles that address implementation of PBIS in AE settings across the tiers and provide lessons learned from research and implementation.
To begin, we offer articles that provide an overview of the overarching goals of and need for PBIS in restrictive educational settings. Simonsen and Sugai offer a rationale for why PBIS is needed in restrictive educational settings by linking the broader PBIS literature to the needs of high-risk youth in these settings and how interventions can be intensified across the three tiers. To further contextualize this need, Benner and colleagues offer support for how PBIS can be used to bridge the achievement gap between high-risk youth and their typically developing peers through the use of effective instructional practices. Swain-Bradway and colleagues present common facilitators and barriers from stakeholder interviews of administrators and PBIS team members currently implementing PBIS in AE, residential, and JJ settings to guide future implementation of PBIS across these settings. [End Page 1]
Next, in an effort to provide empirical support and lessons learned from implementing PBIS across the tiers, we offer examples at the primary (tier I), secondary (tier II), and tertiary (tier III) tiers. George and colleagues highlight components of and findings from 15 years of implementation of primary tier PBIS within an AE setting. At the secondary tier, two empirical studies are provided, one with a behavioral focus and the other an academic focus, implemented within two residential facilities. Swoszowski and colleagues describe the effects of Check-in/Check-out and Check-in/Check-up/Check-out for a non-responder on the off-task behaviors of four elementary students with behavioral challenges and special needs. Ennis and colleagues describe the effects of self-regulated strategy development on the writing skills of elementary students with emotional and behavioral disorders. At the tertiary tier, Scott and Cooper provide considerations on how to implement and intensify evidence-based practices across AE, residential, and JJ settings.
Finally, papers on issues surrounding adapting and adopting PBIS in these more restrictive settings are provided. Sprague and colleagues provide a rationale and guidelines for the implementation of PBIS practices across the tiers in JJ settings, including benefits for youth and staff members. Johnson and colleagues report the results of school-wide PBIS implementation in a Texas JJ facility including decreases in behavioral incident reports, improvements in school attendance, and increases in career and technical industry certifications. Scheuermann and colleagues describe and report the results of a survey on a comprehensive PBIS coaching model for use in JJ settings. Lampron and Gonsoulin present advocacy initiatives for PBIS implementation in restrictive settings, including resources for practitioners...