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Minnesota School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (SW-PBIS)

Minnesota School-wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports Overview

“A proactive strategy for defining, teaching and supporting student behavior resulting in academic and social gains and a positive school environment”
- MN Department of Education

What is SW-PBIS?

The Minnesota Department of Education launched a state initiative for School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports in 2005. The goal of this initiative was to help schools successfully educate all students and especially those with challenging behaviors.

Why does PBIS work?

Research shows that when a school environment is positive and predictable, students feel safer, have better academic performance, higher test results and make better behavior choices. Schools also show a gain in instructional time, reduction in out of school suspensions and discipline referrals and show a decrease in referrals to Special Education.

Is it a curriculum?

No. PBIS is not a curriculum, but a process of planning and problem solving that includes direct teaching of social behaviors like academics. The basic PBIS approach is to use proactive, research-based strategies to teach clearly defined behavioral expectations. Most importantly, it establishes ongoing behavior supports that can be used by ALL students, staff, volunteers, parents and community members.

Can parents be involved?

Yes! Research shows that parent involvement in a child’s school experience greatly increases their chances for academic success, positive behavior, higher self-esteem, better attendance and greater motivation. Parents are key sources of information about their child, are their child’s first teachers, and have strengths and interests that can contribute to the educational process. When schools and families work together to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but also throughout life. (National PTA, n.a.; Newman L. 2005; Henderson and Berla, 1997).

How can I get my school information about SW-PBIS?

In Minnesota, contact the Minnesota Department of Education at 651-582-8645 or visit their Website. Minnesota also has their School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports site at

How can I get involved as a parent or professional?

The MN Department of Education offers information sessions on SW-PBIS for schools considering implementing SW-PBIS. Parents can contact PACER Center for information on parent involvement in SW-PBIS, parent leadership training, understanding positive behavioral interventions, developing collaboration skills and many other topics related to behaviors and academic achievement. For more information contact Renelle Nelson at 952-838-9000 or [email protected].

The school-wide PBIS web site was developed from a grant from the Minnesota Department of Education.