Date of Award

Summer 6-18-2020

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Julia Hadden

Second Advisor

Doug DeVore

Third Advisor

Josephine Moccia


Purpose: The purpose of this replicated multiple case study was to describe practices of the implementation process of a schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) approach at three purposely selected Washington state middle schools.

Methodology: A descriptive, qualitative, replicated multiple case study approach was selected for this study. Artifact reviews were conducted and an appropriate data collection tool was utilized to collect data. Observations of the sites where PBIS was being implemented were conducted with an appropriate observation tool to gather data. Interviews were conducted with qualitative questions asked. These data collection methods were then triangulated to find patterns and trends that could describe the successful implementation of the PBIS frameworks that might generalize to other populations or settings.

Findings: Middle schools that successfully implemented PBIS developed 3 to 5 schoolwide rules with staff input and taught them to all students. Ongoing rewards and incentives supported positive student behaviors, and an electronic discipline system tracked negative student behaviors and office referrals. Evidence of improving behavior support systems included using behavior data from the electronic system to help guide the next steps. Support for the staff included training, professional development, and financial support.

Conclusions: Middle schools that successfully implement PBIS use a systematic approach with different levels of interventions for negative student behaviors. PBIS should be implemented with strong and consistent leadership and financial support for incentives and rewards that help to make PBIS successful. Training and collaboration are essential to keep staff informed and motivated to implement PBIS.

Recommendations: Further research recommendations include (a) implementing PBIS with other populations, (b) replicating the study with a larger sample of middle schools that have implemented PBIS and met the same criteria as this study to further validate the results, (c) replicating this study but identifying staff members by their job positions to determine the perspective of different levels of staff members, and (d) researching how middle schools implement PBIS with additional components of relationship building and education such as restorative justice or character education.