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Title and acronym: Building School-Wide Inclusive, Positive and Equitable Learning Environments Through A Systems-Change Approach [SWPBS]

Project type: Erasmus+ KA3 Project, Support for Policy Reform

Ref. no.: 606687-EPP-1-2018-2-CY-EPPKA3-PI-POLICY


Promoter /Coordinator: Centre for the Advancement of Research & Development in Educational Technology Limited (CARDET), Cyprus

Duration: 28/02/2019 to 27/02/2022

Total project grant: 2.265.916 Euro

Total expenditure (grant) for the University of Pitești: 141.896 Euro

Local coordinator for the University of Piteşti: Assoc. Professor Dr. Eng. Dumitru CHIRLEȘAN


School-wide Positive Behaviour Supports (SWPBS) is “an implementation framework for maximizing the selection and use of evidence-based prevention and intervention practices along a multi-tiered continuum that supports the academic, social, emotional, and behavioural competence of all students” (U.S. Office of Special Education Programs [OSEP], Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, 2018, p.1). Extensive research knowledge base has been established in USA, where SWPBS has been researched and implemented for more than three decades reaching out to more than 26,000 schools (OSEP, 2018) and acquiring an extensive knowledge base on SWPBS implementation, scalability and sustainability. So far, three meta-analyses have been conducted giving support to SWPBS positive impact on school outcomes (Mitchell, Hatton, Lewis, 2018; Chitiyo, May, & Chitiyo, 2012; Horner et al., 2010).

The purpose of this project is to implement SWPBS across four countries. SWPBS aims to establish an inclusive non-discriminatory social culture and necessary socio-emotional and behavioural supports for all children in a school. It is a systems-change approach and NOT a packaged program or a social skill curriculum; it enhances the capacity of schools, families and communities to design effective and efficient learning environments that (a) address student needs by providing a continuum of supports; (b) monitor regularly the implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) and outcomes, and (c) follow data-based decision making through continuous data-collection process (Horner, Sugai, & Lewis, 2015). This systems-change approach requires at least 3-to-5-year investment to efficiently differentiate behavioural instruction for all students across three tiers, as presented in the above diagram (OSEP, 2017).

  • Tier 1 support (Universal/Primary prevention) is built on the assumption that all children can exhibit appropriate behaviour. As a result, school staff is trained, coached and supported to assess the contextual setting events and environmental conditions and incorporate evidence-based practices and resources to increase the probability of appropriate behaviour. Teachers work to effectively teach, encourage and model school-wide values (e.g., respect, safety, responsibility) and appropriate behaviours (e.g., respect means use kind words and actions) to all children across all school areas (e.g., classroom, hallways, playground). Staff engage families and students in developing a universal positive and inclusive language about school’s vision and mission, identifying schoolwide social values, teaching explicitly expected behaviors and routines, recognizing student and teacher positive behaviours, and providing corrective feedback on student social errors inside and outside of classrooms. Teachers are trained and supported through an active SWPBS leadership team and an external SWPBS coach. Families are encouraged to use the common language and social expectations at home.
  • Tier 2 supports (Secondary prevention) are to those students whose social and academic needs are more intense and they would benefit from additional layers of instructional support. Interventions are usually of low intensity and can be administered by school personnel with high efficiency. A Tier 2 school team is established to coordinate intervention efforts. Family members become involved by providing consent to their child’s receiving support and becoming involved, where applicable, in the intervention. Moving to Tier 2 means that the school has already met the readiness criteria for Tier 2 participation and has been implementing Tier 1 with more than 80% fidelity (OSEP, 2015).
  • Tier 3 supports (Tertiary prevention) are provided to non-responders to Tiers 1 and 2 and focus on individual students who exhibit chronic behavioural difficulties. For these student cases, schools would need to provide intensive individual supports. At this stage the collaboration between school and family is continuous for the design and implementation of an individualized student support plan.



In SWPBS we aim to develop a positive learning environment in our classrooms by:

  • Teaching appropriate social behaviors (e.g., be active listener, follow directions, wait my turn)
  • Acknowledging systematically student expected behaviors and correcting in an instructional manner the inappropriate ones
  • Asking adults to become positive role models in school (For instance, if an adult is using loud voice to talk to students, then students are more likely to imitate such verbal behavior)

These are the important components of the first level of SWPBS.



  1. A research report named “State of the art literature review on schoolwide discipline prevention and student socio-emotional supports”;
  2. SWPBS Tier 1 training manual addressed to school and administration teams interested in implementing Tier 1 supports;
  3. SWPBS Tiers 2 and 3 training manual intended for school and administration teams interested in implementing Tiers 2 and 3 supports;
  4. Coaching and professional development manual for: (a) trainers, coaches, facilitators to support coaching activities related to SWPBS at the school and national level; (b) coordinators and administrators to provide an overview of the content and process of SWPBS coaching to others;
  5. Piloting reports for SWPBS Tiers 1, 2 and 3 training manuals;
  6. Piloting reports for coaching and professional development training manual on SWPBS;
  7. Implementation report for SWPBS Tier 1;
  8. Implementation report for SWPBS Tiers 2 and 3;
  9. Video summarizing project, findings, and impact;
  10. Collaboration space and online platform;
  11. Development of e-learning course with online modules for teacher professional development;
  12. Development of the digital collection tool/MobileApp;
  13. Evaluation Plan and reports; fidelity assessment tools for school teams; coaching protocols for evaluating external coaches’ performance;
  14. Dissemination Plan; dissemination workshops and European Conference;
  15. Exploitation Plan;
  16. Project Management Plan and Guidelines; progress and financial reports;
  17. Quality Assurance Plan and reports;
  18. Development of national level sustainability tool for SWPBS implementation;
  19. Development of guidelines for policy and practice scalability and sustainability.



  1. Centre for the Advancement of Research and Development in Educational Technology (CARDET), Cyprus (coordinator)
  2. Paidagogiko Instituto Kyprou, Ministry of Education, Cyprus
  3. Innovade Ltd, Cyprus
  4. Jyvaskylan Yliopisto, Finland
  5. Kontiolahden kunta, Finland
  6. City of Varkaus, Finland
  7. Lappeenrannan Kaupunki, Finland
  8. Aristotelio Panepistimio Thessalonikis, Greece
  9. Perifereiaki Diefthinsi Protovathmias Kai Defterovathmias Ekpaidefsis, Greece
  10. Universitatea din Pitești, Romania
  11. Inspectoratul Școlar Județean Argeș, Romania



Project website: https://pbiseurope.org/







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