Date on Master's Thesis/Doctoral Dissertation


Document Type

Doctoral Dissertation

Degree Name

Ed. D.


Educational Leadership, Evaluation and Organizational Development

Degree Program

Educational Leadership and Organizational Development, EDD

Committee Chair

Ingle, William Kyle

Committee Co-Chair (if applicable)

Buecker, Harrie

Committee Member

Buecker, Harrie

Committee Member

Brydon-Miller, Mary

Committee Member

Scott, Terry

Author's Keywords

classified staff; PBIS; inclusion in training


This qualitative case study examined the current use of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) within a large school district and how that district includes classified staff within the implementation process. This study utilized information from interviews and focus groups of district leaders, school leaders, and classified staff to evaluate their perspectives on the daily use of PBIS, specifically how classified staff are included in all aspects of the initiative. Using the Normalization Process Theory (NPT) as a theoretical framework, this study sought to make sense of how complex organizational initiatives are intertwined and become embedded into the normal practices of everyday work within an organization. This case study focused on the voices of the staff whom are responsible for implementation of complex initiatives and provides perspectives that can inform policy and practice for other school districts that use PBIS and whom wish to ensure that all staff members have access to training and support that will lead to successful implementation district-wide. Through thick narrative descriptions of the work in action, this study provides evidence of the potential impact on practice that is timely and informative. Study findings revealed the need for explicit training for classified staff to ensure that all staff members have appropriate training and support to implement PBIS effectively. Additionally, study findings revealed that an emphasis on building relationships with students supports PBIS implementation and improves overall school climate and culture. The findings of this study provide recommendations at both the local level and in a broader context for other school districts that plan to use this program.