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School-Wide Positive Behavior Support: Student surveys of expectations and safety

Lisa A Fisher, University of Massachusetts Amherst


School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) is a plan based on broad assessments of schools and their climate that can be implemented to create classrooms and schools that are focused on community and positive behavior (Horner, Sugai, Todd, & Lewis-Palmer, 2005). SWPBS involves creating and explicitly stating expectations, teaching those expectations, encouraging appropriate behavior, and defining ways to handle inappropriate behavior. Current tools that are suggested for use in conducting an assessment of school climate are: the Best Behavior School Discipline Assessment (BBSDA) also known as the Best Behavior Self-Assessment Survey (BBSAS), the School-Wide Evaluation Tool (SET), the Oregon School Safety Survey, and the Effective Behavior Support Self-Assessment (EBS Self Assessment) (Horner, et al., 2005; Sprague & Walker, 2005). All of these indicators and evaluation tools are helpful in planning SWPBS programs as well as assessing the integrity of implementation and changes in behavior patterns; however, they gather limited information from students. Collecting and examining student attitudes and perceptions about their school and safety is an important aspect of the evaluation process. The current study examined information from student surveys concerning the behavioral expectations at school as well as places in the school they felt safe and unsafe. Information gathered from these surveys was used to create an intervention that targeted a specific area identified as being the least safe and most unsafe, the bathroom, in the school to improve students’ sense of safety. Based on the results of student survey information, an intervention was designed and implemented for six weeks. Compared to pre-intervention surveys, the treatment group reported feeling safer in the bathroom after the implementation of the intervention as compared to the control group, which reported no change.

Subject Area

Educational psychology|Psychology

Recommended Citation

Fisher, Lisa A, "School-Wide Positive Behavior Support: Student surveys of expectations and safety" (2010). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI3427526.