Date of Award





Doctor of Education

Degree Type



Counseling, Foundations & Leadership

First Advisor

Parul Acharya

Second Advisor

Japheth Koech

Third Advisor

Deirdre Greer


The use of a multi-tiered system of supports framework has been of growing interest in addressing issues related to disruptive behaviors and school suspensions. The purpose of this mixed-methods sequential, explanatory study was to examine middle school teachers’ perceptions (behavioral expectations defined, behavioral expectations taught, and an ongoing system for rewarding behavioral expectations) of their efforts toward implementing Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports with fidelity in two middle schools within an urban school district located in Georgia. Data analyses included descriptive statistics, homogeneity of variance Levene’s test, t-tests, factorial analysis, a one-way analysis of variance, post-hoc tests, frequencies and percentages of suspension, and coding to discover themes from focus group responses. Findings were that teacher participants who were SWPBIS members were assumed were assumed to be more knowledgeable and to know more about policy knew more about policy and procedures than non-SWPBIS members. The results indicated that there was statistically significant difference in years of full-time teaching experience between 6 – 10 years and 11 to 15 years and between 11 to 15 years and more than 20 years. In-school and out-of-school suspensions in M. N. Middle School were less than those in C. M. Middle School to a statistically significant degree, and students received fewer suspensions. Focus group findings showed that the majority of participants held high expectations for student behavior. A review of the results implied that schools with increased disruptive behaviors and suspensions may be motivated to adopt a discipline program. The implications for positive social change are dependent on middle school teachers effectively using SWPBIS with fidelity to improve students’ behavior.