Date of Conferral



Doctor of Education (Ed.D.)




Robert Flanders


An urban southeastern state school district has implemented the Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) framework since 2014. However, campus administrators from six middle schools in the school district faced overcoming the PBIS emerging status as designated by the State Board of Education. The purpose of this basic qualitative study was to explore the challenges that urban middle school administrators confront to overcome the PBIS emerging status of their campuses. An interview protocol was used to explore the middle school administration team’s perspectives on the PBIS framework in reducing unwanted behaviors throughout the school and implementing PBIS. The study was designed to elucidate how school leaders presented the PBIS framework to the staff, how school personnel used and viewed the framework, and the reasons behind the five schools’ emerging status. There were ten participants in the study. The data analysis was conducted based on Lester et al. (2020) seven phases for analyzing and interpreting qualitative data The study found evidence that PBIS has been implemented within the schools; however, there are gaps in practice surrounding buy-in, funding, and lack of continuous professional learning about PBIS. The results of this study may contribute to positive social change by increasing teachers’ and administrators’ awareness of the need for a collaborative effort in implementing an initiative like PBIS and may lead to increased collaboration as PBIS continues to be used at the school. This study’s results can also be used by other school districts with the same demographics to understand better the challenges, successes, and decision-making processes of implementing PBIS.