Discipline Rates at One Small Middle School After One Year of PBIS Tier-One Implementation

The purpose of this study was to determine if discipline rates improved, worsened or stayed the same after one year of tier-one Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports (PBIS) implementation in one small middle school. PBIS is an evidenced-based framework that is implemented school-wide in attempt to improve student behavior and make schools safer. There were three prominent themes identified in the literature review: unintended consequences, factors for at-risk youth and alternatives to suspension. The literature reviewed also confirmed PBIS as an effective method to decrease suspension rates. The study focused on quantitative data using the California Department of Education’s Dataquest and California School Dashboard for 5th through 8th graders in the 2016-17 and 2017-18 school years. A casual-comparative design with a focus on a transformative worldview was used in this study. The data collected indicated that suspension rates worsened after one year of PBIS implementation; however, a variety of factors may have contributed to this outcome. The study supports that further longitudinal and qualitative data is warranted.