An Investigation of Characteristics, Practices, and Leadership Styles of PBIS Coaches


  • Cayce McCamish NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Heather Reynolds NC Department of Public Instruction
  • Bob Algozzine UNC Charlotte
  • Dale Cusumano Department of Education Leadership UNC Charlotte


instructional coaching, leadership style, positive behavior support


Across the country, local education agencies are using coaching to augment school-based leadership and support classroom instruction that improves student outcomes. Effective systems for positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) include the establishment of coaching capacity to initiate and sustain implementation. We conducted a state-wide survey of district-level PBIS coaches (n = 41) to document and evaluate relationships across perceptions of skills, time allocations for service provision, and leadership style and school outcomes as measured by the School-wide Evaluation Tool, the School-Wide PBIS Implementation Inventory, and the state’s PBIS Recognition Process. Generally more positive outcomes were evident for district coaches who reported providing less than 35 hours per month of direct and indirect supports; and, perceptions of district coach skills and time related positively to outcomes. The reported leadership skills of coaches reflected a transformational (i.e., establishing relationships by gaining trust and confidence as a role model) rather than transactional (i.e., establishing relationships by rewards or punishments depending on performance) or laissez-faire (i.e., establishing relationships by allowing others to make decisions) approach to implementing and supporting PBIS with skills directed at the micro level (i.e., student, school, LEA) more evident than those associated with guiding state level decision-making. Implications for future research and practice are discussed.

Author Biographies

Cayce McCamish, NC Department of Public Instruction

Cayce McCamish is Data and Evaluation Consultant for the NC PBIS Initiative.

Heather Reynolds, NC Department of Public Instruction

Heather Reynolds is Multi-Tiered System of Support Consultant with the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction

Bob Algozzine, UNC Charlotte

Bob Algozzine is Professor in the Department of Educational Leadership.

Dale Cusumano, Department of Education Leadership UNC Charlotte

Dale Cusumano is Project Coordinator for the Team-Initiated Problem Solving Project.






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