Presentation Title

Office Discipline Referrals: What they Show Us about PBIS Implementation

Highest Degree of Primary Presenter

Bachelor's Degree

Presentation Abstract

Currently, Georgia’s DOE has a strategic plan supporting the implementation of schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to help all schools in Georgia achieve a “preventative and proactive system of addressing discipline problems that includes fair and consistent discipline practices” (GaDOE, 2014, p. 1). One way to evaluate the effectiveness of schoolwide PBIS implementation is to examine Office Discipline Referral (ODR) data. Relevant literature defines ODRs as “any instance where a student is referred to the principal’s office for any school rule violation that was more serious than could be handled immediately” (as cited in Clonan, McDougal, Clark & Davison, 2007, p. 21). ODR data can help school staff better understand student disciplinary issues and make informed decisions regarding the effectiveness of various interventions within the PBIS framework. Studies have found that increases in ODRs within schools reveal various patterns about a “problematic school climate” and the necessity for school-wide supports (Irvin, Tobin, Sprague, Sugai & Vincent, 2004, p. 138). Thus, understanding the fluxuations in ODR data is crucial for schools implementing PBIS.

The current study examines the relationship between ODRs and schoolwide PBIS implementation. Participants were from three high-need, low-resource school districts, which have been implementing PBIS for varying amounts of time. Part of the purpose for PBIS implementation in these school districts was to decrease problematic student behavior, which could be reflected in a reduction in the median number of ODRs per student in each school. However, results show that with consistent enrollment numbers in each district, the median number of ODRs increased in each district from 2015-16 to 2016-17. Presenters will discuss possible contributants (such as: time implementing, fidelity levels, and socio-cultural factors) to these patterns and potential ways to improve PBIS implementation to decrease office discipline referrals.

References:

Clonan, S.M., McDougal, J.L., Clark, K., & Davison, S. (2007). Use of office discipline referrals

in school-wide decision making: a practical example. Psychology in the Schools, 44(1), 19.

Georgia Department of Education. (2014). Positive behavioral interventions and supports of

Georgia: the strategic plan. Retrieved from:

http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Documents/PBIS/2014-15/GaDOE%20PBIS%20Strategic%20Plan.pdf

Irvin, L. K., Tobin, T. J., Sprague, J. R., Sugai, G., & Vincent, C. G. (2004). Validity of office

discipline referral measures as indices of school-wide behavioral status and effects of school-wide behavioral interventions. Journal Of Positive Behavior Interventions, 6(3), 131-147.

Tobin, T., & Sugai, G. (1999). Using sixth grade school records to predict violence, chronic

discipline problems, and high school outcomes. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral

Disorders, 7, 40–53.

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Office Discipline Referrals: What they Show Us about PBIS Implementation

Currently, Georgia’s DOE has a strategic plan supporting the implementation of schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) to help all schools in Georgia achieve a “preventative and proactive system of addressing discipline problems that includes fair and consistent discipline practices” (GaDOE, 2014, p. 1). One way to evaluate the effectiveness of schoolwide PBIS implementation is to examine Office Discipline Referral (ODR) data. Relevant literature defines ODRs as “any instance where a student is referred to the principal’s office for any school rule violation that was more serious than could be handled immediately” (as cited in Clonan, McDougal, Clark & Davison, 2007, p. 21). ODR data can help school staff better understand student disciplinary issues and make informed decisions regarding the effectiveness of various interventions within the PBIS framework. Studies have found that increases in ODRs within schools reveal various patterns about a “problematic school climate” and the necessity for school-wide supports (Irvin, Tobin, Sprague, Sugai & Vincent, 2004, p. 138). Thus, understanding the fluxuations in ODR data is crucial for schools implementing PBIS.

The current study examines the relationship between ODRs and schoolwide PBIS implementation. Participants were from three high-need, low-resource school districts, which have been implementing PBIS for varying amounts of time. Part of the purpose for PBIS implementation in these school districts was to decrease problematic student behavior, which could be reflected in a reduction in the median number of ODRs per student in each school. However, results show that with consistent enrollment numbers in each district, the median number of ODRs increased in each district from 2015-16 to 2016-17. Presenters will discuss possible contributants (such as: time implementing, fidelity levels, and socio-cultural factors) to these patterns and potential ways to improve PBIS implementation to decrease office discipline referrals.

References:

Clonan, S.M., McDougal, J.L., Clark, K., & Davison, S. (2007). Use of office discipline referrals

in school-wide decision making: a practical example. Psychology in the Schools, 44(1), 19.

Georgia Department of Education. (2014). Positive behavioral interventions and supports of

Georgia: the strategic plan. Retrieved from:

http://www.gadoe.org/Curriculum-Instruction-and-Assessment/Special-Education-Services/Documents/PBIS/2014-15/GaDOE%20PBIS%20Strategic%20Plan.pdf

Irvin, L. K., Tobin, T. J., Sprague, J. R., Sugai, G., & Vincent, C. G. (2004). Validity of office

discipline referral measures as indices of school-wide behavioral status and effects of school-wide behavioral interventions. Journal Of Positive Behavior Interventions, 6(3), 131-147.

Tobin, T., & Sugai, G. (1999). Using sixth grade school records to predict violence, chronic

discipline problems, and high school outcomes. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral

Disorders, 7, 40–53.