Date of Award

Winter 2-16-2017

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)

Department

Organizational Leadership

First Advisor

Dr. Jonathan Greenberg

Second Advisor

Dr. Martinrex Kedziora

Third Advisor

Dr. Marilou Ryder

Abstract

Purpose: The first purpose of this Delphi study was to identify the degree to which Riverside County directors of student services or administrators who oversee student discipline perceive that positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) components reduce exclusionary discipline and promote a positive school culture. The second purpose of this study was to identify key facilitators and barriers to PBIS implementation within the school districts of the experts who participated in this study.

Methodology: Using the Delphi method, the first questionnaire allowed participants to give broad-based responses from which themes were derived to be coded, stratified, and then presented through a Likert scale for participant rating with the second questionnaire. The second questionnaire was provided to the participants with data from the themes derived from their initial responses along with a Likert scale to rate the importance of the themes. The third questionnaire required the participants to review the aggregated results of the Round 2 questionnaire and categorize the results according to the importance of each emergent theme using another Likert scale.

Findings: Expert consensus revealed that consistent communication of expectations and common agreement of language, rules, and expectations for all school areas were important to reducing exclusionary discipline; understanding and addressing student needs was important to a positive school culture, as was praising students for their strengths and expressing value for them; a lack of professional development (PBIS training) was important as a barrier to the implementation of PBIS within a school district; and a reduction of exclusionary discipline (suspensions and expulsions) was important as a facilitator to the implementation of PBIS within a school district.

Conclusions: Consistent communication and common agreement of language, rules, and expectations have the greatest impact on reducing behaviors that contribute to student discipline; understanding student needs has the greatest impact on enhancing behaviors that contribute to a positive school culture; a lack of professional development is important as a barrier to the implementation of PBIS within a school district; and reducing exclusionary discipline is important as a facilitator to the implementation of PBIS within a school district.

Recommendations: Research recommendations are a longitudinal case study of PBIS implementation in Riverside County, regional study of school culture, exclusionary discipline societal cost study (fiscal and criminal), regional zero-tolerance study, regional parental involvement study, regional behavioral student need study, and regional nutritional and basic needs study.