Page 62 - Volume 6 - Issue 1 - DBU Journal for K-12 Educational Leadership

60 Lauren E. Bolack, EdD research suggests that positive effects are seen after two or more years of SWPBIS implementation (Childs et al., 2016; Kim et al., 2018). The findings of the current study are consistent with prior literature suggesting that programs often necessitate multiple years of implementation to achieve intended goals (Bradshaw & Pas, 2011). Limitations The current study was a non-experimental quantitative study that used discipline referral data, BoQ scores, and teacher retention rates from 40 elementary school in a large urban school district in North Texas to analyze whether there was a relationship between SWPBIS implementation and teacher retention rates. Relationships were analyzed between SWPBIS implementation and discipline referral rates and SWPBIS implementation and campus teacher retention rates. Correlations were performed based on the BoQ scores and discipline referral percentages. All discipline referral data was assumed to reflect the same population of students from 2015-2016 to Year 1 implementation; however, there may not be a clear independence between schools if students with more frequent discipline behaviors may have moved to a different campus in the district between the initial data collection and the final data collection. Another limitation is a lack of consistent understanding of the SWPBIS framework across all 40 elementary campuses. Although SWPBIS has been a focus in the District since 2015, teachers, counselors, paraprofessionals, and administrators at each campus have varying levels of understanding of the core components of SWPBIS and the proactive alternatives for increasing positive student behaviors. Recommendations for Further Study The current study demonstrated the need for further research on teacher retention to uncover and confirm specific factors that affect teacher retention. The researcher is curious to know if results would differ if the current study was extended to include data from two or more years of SWPBIS implementation. Since research supports positive improved outcomes after two or more years of implementation (Bradshaw & Pas, 2011; Childs et al., 2016; Kim et al., 2018), the researcher believes that expanding the study to move past the implementation phase to the sustainability phase would result in continued decreases in discipline referrals as well as increases in teacher retention rates. Based on the findings and conclusions in the current study, the researcher can make recommendations for the District, other districts using SWPBIS, and the profession. Ongoing professional development is needed to ensure all staff have a thorough understanding of SWPBIS at the Tier 1 universal level, Tier 2 secondary level, and Tier 3 tertiary level. Districts and individual campuses implementing SWPBIS should conduct needs assessments multiple times throughout the school year to determine the need for additional training and supports for teachers and administrative staff. Additionally, given the emphasis on data-based decision making in SWPBIS and the findings of the current study, schools implementing SWPBIS are encouraged to monitor the fidelity of program implementation and use the resulting data to make future program decisions. Conclusions Educators of today face many challenges as they strive to educate students. In addition to meeting the academic demands in the classroom, many schools face the challenging task of educating students whose behavior impedes their own learning as well as the learning of others (Gettinger et al., 2008; Warren et al., 2006). Current literature on supporting students who exhibit challenging behaviors recommends that schools and communities move to a system focused on proactive procedures, specific interventions, and direct instruction of desired behaviors, rather than providing the traditional reactionary consequences such as punishment, suspensions, and expulsions (Freeman et al., 2016; Gettinger et al., 2008; O’Neill et al., 2001). The SWPBIS prevention model seeks to alter the school environment by creating improved systems and procedures to bring about positive changes in staff and student behavior in the school environment (Bradshaw & Pas, 2011). The purpose of the current study was to determine if a relationship exists between SWPBIS