PBIS/MTSS as a Framework for Equity

PBIS/MTSS can allow us to correct the systematic academic and disciplinary inequities that have persisted in our school systems. By identifying the patterns of inequity, we can begin to openly, explicitly address inequitable outcomes for our students and families. Read our NWPBIS Equity Statement. 

The hyperlinked guides and examples below will help your team prioritize equitable school supports and outcomes. These research-based resources inform our approach to  professional development to address equity in school outcomes. 

    Addressing Implicit Bias in PBIS / MTSS Implementation

    A Commitment to Racial Equity from the Center on PBIS

    School behavior support systems can serve to perpetuate oppression or be a force for dismantling systemic racism and promoting equity. At the Center on PBIS, we are committed to improving outcomes for each student, and given centuries of oppression, violence, and segregation, we must increase our commitment to improving outcomes for each Black student. To dismantle systemic racism, we must:

    • Increase the voice of students and families in their educational systems
    • Use strategies to make every student feel safe and welcome
    • Examine school-wide expectations and teaching matrices for hidden biases and to increase cultural responsiveness
    • Disaggregate data to assess and address disproportionality in exclusionary discipline
    • Use engaging instruction that builds on students’ prior knowledge
    • Support educators in replacing exclusionary responses to problem behavior with instructional responses
    • Revise punitive policies that disproportionately harm students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color
    • Identify our own biases about student behavior and replace deficit thinking with a strengths-based approach

    The Center on PBIS is committed to partnering with the Black community and providing resources to help educators make Black lives matter.

    NWPBIS Network Equity Statement

    NWPBIS Network is a private nonprofit organization that is part of a network of school districts, ESDs, community organizations and other stakeholders invested in creating positive systemic change in schools and other environments that serve children and youth in the Pacific Northwest region. 

    NWPBIS Network recognizes the history of oppression that has resulted in ongoing disparities in treatment and outcomes for historically underserved and underrepresented communities in schools and other educational environments. These populations have been and continue to be defined by race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, different abilities, and first language. 

    NWPBIS Network is committed to our role as a change agent for more inclusive and equitable educational environments for our children and the adults who serve them. Specifically, we recognize Schoolwide PBIS as a framework to reduce the use of out-of-school disciplinary practices like suspension and expulsion and to reduce the disproportionate use of suspension and expulsion with students of color, students with disabilities, and other historically underserved students. We recognize that SWPBIS is most effective in reducing educational disparities and disproportionate discipline when it is used with other promising strategies such as restorative practices, trauma-informed care, and others. 

    1. To increase equitable outcomes, the Board will undertake the following actions:
    2. The Board will review its strategic plan and ensure equity is addressed within that plan.
    3. The Board will increase the diversity of board members to ensure that multiple voices and perspectives are represented. The Board will increase communication with diverse stakeholders, including those who are skeptical that SWPBIS is an effective framework for underserved and underrepresented populations.
    4. The Board will provide professional development for board members on equity.
    5. The Board will use the following equity lens in board decision making: (1) What equity issues need to be considered for this discussion? (2) How are various groups advantaged or disadvantaged by this action? (3) What steps will we take to ensure that all stakeholders have a voice in the process or are invited to provide feedback? 
    6. The Board will add an equity question to the meeting evaluation check at the end of each meeting to monitor fidelity of implementation. 

    NWPBIS Network is a learning organization. In undertaking this work, we recognize that we will likely make mistakes, and we own our responsibility for corrective action.