Pulaski County Special School District (PCSSD) is integrating Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) as its tier 1 framework for behavior. Staff will teach kids behavioral expectations, just as teachers teach about other subjects. This is an extension of the multi-level Response to Intervention (RTI) support system designed to improve learning and/or behavioral outcomes for ALL students.


Response to Intervention (RTI) is the practice of providing ALL learners with high-quality instruction, ongoing assessment, and intervention based on their specific needs. The components of this practice include high quality, scientifically based classroom instruction, ongoing student assessment, tiered interventions and parent involvement in order to address each student’s specific needs whether academic or behavioral.

RTI is designed to accomplish three important goals:

  1. Ensure all students receive research-based instruction;

  2. Provide progress monitoring tools that will be utilized in making data-based decisions in terms of interventions and enrichment; and

  3. Provide a more practical method of identifying students with specific learning needs.

District RTI Manual


Arkansas Department of Education: Response to Intervention (RTI) is a multi-component, general education model, designed to identify students who may be at risk for learning or behavior challenges, offer support, and monitor progress.Image

RTI tiers

Tier 1: Behavior instruction is provided to ALL students. This should allow at least 80-85% of students to meet behavior expectations.

Tier 2: Instruction/intervention provided to 10-15% of students who are at risk for not meeting behavior expectations with frequent positive reinforcement.

Tier 3: Instruction/intervention provided to 1-5% of students who are not making enough progress at Tier 2 to meet behavior expectations with more frequent positive reinforcement. 


PBIS changes the focus to prevention from punishment to improve school safety and promote positive behavior with the understanding that kids can only meet behavior expectations if they know what the expectations are. Schools will still use discipline, but the punishment isn’t the focus - instead the focus is on teaching expectations and prevention of problems.

PBIS Venn Diagram

PBIS is a three-tiered framework for improving and integrating all of the data, systems, and practices affecting student outcomes every day. It is a way to support everyone – especially students with disabilities – to create the kinds of schools where all students are successful.

PBIS isn’t a curriculum you purchase or something you learn during a one-day professional development training. It is a commitment to addressing student behavior through systems change. When it’s implemented well, students achieve improved social and academic outcomes, schools experience reduced exclusionary discipline practices, and school personnel feel more effective.


Arkansas Department of Education/CCE: PBIS is not a packaged curriculum, scripted intervention, or manualized strategy. PBIS is a framework that helps schools organize evidence-based behavioral strategies into an integrated system. The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is a main partner in the Arkansas State Personnel Development Grant, with the role of providing training and support to targeted schools in the implementation of PBIS.