In its call for social-emotional learning curricula to be integral to every public-school student’s education, federal IDEA legislation, and subsequently ESSA, mandate multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) to meet the needs of all students, academically, socially, and emotionally. This embrace of a response to intervention (RTI) systems-approach is one that many school districts comply with through adoption of school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS). In fact, PBIS is mentioned in legislative language as an exemplar, albeit states and local districts are free to choose their methodology from a host of frameworks, systems, curricula, and programs.

PBIS has enjoyed prominence in...

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  • About the Author:

    Dr. Cynthia Kennedy has spent more than two decades creating and sustaining school-based systems to meet the needs of all students as a teacher, principal, and instructional leader in Massachusetts. Since completing her doctorate in Educational Leadership at the University of New England last year, she has authored and published multiple books on multi-tiered systems of support, such as Leading School-wide PBIS: An Implementation Guide for School Principals and SWPBIS Teams, and School-wide PBIS: An Implementation Guide for PLC. Both are available through Amazon in Kindle and paperback formats. Dr. Kennedy can be contacted at