This study is a summary of themes found in the meeting notes of school teams implementing school-wide Positive Behavior Support. Positive Behavior Support (PBS) is a systems change process of reorganizing a school's discipline structure to put in place a positive, teaching and reinforcing focus for the improvement of student behavior (Sugai & Horner, 2006). In recent years, education researchers have established that school-wide PBS is an effective way to deliver research- based interventions to improve student behavior (Colvin & Kameenui, 1993, Gottfredson, Gottfredson, & Hybl 1993; Taylor-Green & Kartub, 2000). This study focused on the implementation process in order to gain insights on successes and difficulties encountered by school teams during implementation of PBS. This study utilized meeting notes from 22 school teams that received implementation support from Utah's Academic, Behavior and Coaching Initiative (ABC-UBI). These school teams had at least 3 years of implementation support from ABC-UBI and 3 years of data from the School-Wide Evaluation Tool (SET). The SET provided data indicating the fidelity of implemenation of PBS. From these 22 school teams, 628 total meeting notes were examined using grouded theory and an open-coding process. School teams were divided into 3 implementation patterns according to their SET data: consistently high implementing schools, increasing implementation schools and inconsistently implementing schools. A total of 13 themes were established, through multiple measures of inter-rater reliability, as being present in the meeting notes. According to prevalence rates, there were 2 major themes and 4 minor themes indicated in the meeting notes. The major themes indicated that making assignments and data collection were important to successful school teams. The minor themes indicated that meaningful individual rewards for students, regular staff professional development, utilization of tools provided by ABC-UBI and teaching and posting expectations were important to successful schools. Difficulties with data collection were indicated as being associated with inconsistently implementing schools. From the themes it was inferred that public accountability and the creation of professional learning communities were important factors in consistent and successful PBS implementation.



College and Department

David O. McKay School of Education; Counseling Psychology and Special Education



Date Submitted


Document Type





Positive Behavior Support, systems change, professional learning communities