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Home » Child/Adolescent Mental Health » Promoting Mental Health » Behavioral Development » PBS/PBIS


In our haste to change a person’s behavior, we often overlook how their behaviors make sense to them.  Try as we might as adults or professionals to guide them, they will not heed our words or advice or intervention until they are confident we understand they are already doing the best that they can with what they have.

Michael Unger

Positive Behavior Supports (PBS), also referred to as Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), is a comprehensive approach to implementing positive and consistent student discipline systems in educational settings. Unlike other approaches, PBS emphasizes a positive climate schoolwide by focusing systematically on:

  1. the general school population
  2. students at risk
  3. students with intensive or chronic behavioral and emotional problems

PBS complements and extends the approach used in other programs such as Responsive Classroom which is widely used across Chittenden County schools.

Some Chittenden County schools are implementing PBS/PBIS and others are exploring a variety of schoolwide systems for promoting and supporting positive behavior in their students.  To find out if your school is implementing or exploring implementation of PBS/PBIS or to be linked with many excellent PBS resources, visit  For a parent guide to Vermont PBS, click here.  To find out more about PBIS from the National Technical Assistance Center, visit