Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Educational Leadership

First Advisor

Jonathan Becker


This study sought to measure the current status and priorities of high school staff around effective behavior supports. The school district studied includes nine comprehensive high schools and one alternative education site. The use of effective behavior supports in the areas of school-wide supports, classroom supports, non-instructional supports, and individual student supports are the foundations for school-wide positive behavior supports, SWPBS, a tiered system of interventions designed to address the behavioral needs of all students within a school building. The study was designed as a mixed methods investigation. An online survey was created from the Effective Behavior Supports, Self-Assessment Scale, EBSSAS, which was administered to a random sample of teachers, school administrators and school counselors. Ten high school principals also participated in direct interviews. The study found that school-wide, classroom and non-instructional supports are partially in place across the district, while individual student supports are rated as not in place. School-wide, classroom and non-instructional supports status varied from correlating priorities in statistically significant ways, with the schools systemically reporting these areas as low priority for improvement. However, in the area of individual student supports, there was no statistical difference between the status and priority rating (not in place, and low, respectively), indicating less confidence in those types of behavioral supports district wide. Implications of these findings include a need for systematic address of individual student support structures, and the usefulness of developing a district-wide manner of coordinating of individual school efforts to meet the needs of students with habitual problem behaviors. Through a district wide support structure, each school should use the data gleaned from the survey responses to develop their own tiered system of support for addressing students with more significant behavioral needs, through means other than suspension.


© The Author

Is Part Of

VCU University Archives

Is Part Of

VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission

December 2012