A Study of the Use of Data to Implement School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports in a Large Elementary School

Eldridge, Edward J.
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In nearly every profession, there is a general understanding that decisions should be informed and driven by data. Even in situations where individuals may not have a clear understanding of what data are needed, people have an innate understanding that more information will normally result in a more desirable outcome. Nowhere should the promise of data-based, high-quality decisions be realized more than in public schools that have answered the call to provide school-wide positive behavior interventions and supports (SWPBIS). The purpose of this study was to evaluate the role of data in the implementation of SWPBIS in a large elementary school in a Northern California school district. This study assessed school personnel’s ability to access and use student data contained in the district’s data system. The study also assessed the impact of providing training to school personnel focused on accessing and using student behavior, attendance, and achievement data available in the district’s data system. A mixed methods, embedded design of a primarily quantitative quasi-experimental, one-group pretest-posttest design supplemented by qualitative data comprised the methodology for this study. The results presented in this study contribute to research literature on the use of data in schools to improve student outcomes by providing strong support for increased data training of school personnel. There was variability between participants’ ratings of data accessibility and usefulness. Additionally, there were significant increases in participants’ ratings regarding the accessibility and usability of data points related to student behavior, attendance, and achievement as a result of data-focused professional development