Distance Learning
Data Integrity
Apr 9, 2020

Using PBISApps While Students are Home

As schools transition to distance learning, here is our guidance on how they can use PBISApps during this time, too.

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As schools transition to distance learning, we want to give you some guidance on how you can use our applications during this time, too. Whether you need to use the apps to collect behavior data in new ways or you need to know how to update your accounts now that students aren’t physically in your space, here are some ideas for you.

Check Recommendations from Your State’s Department of Education

As you work through which data to collect and how, the first place to check is with your school’s district and state departments of education. These offices may already have guidance for how they expect your school to report behavior data. Be sure to follow those recommendations first and add to them as needed.

Collect Data Using Modifications & a Few Tips from the Field

Because our applications are online, they’re available for you to use wherever you are. Here are a few ideas to keep collecting data while you’re remote.

Conduct your End-of-Year TFI with Your School-level Teams Over Video Chat

Your school team can still conduct the Spring Tiered Fidelity Inventory (TFI), you just likely won’t be able to do it in person. Take advantage of video conferencing software your school is using right now and meet virtually. As you work through the survey, you’ll find there are items you can’t score a 2:

  • 1.3 Behavioral Expectations: School has five or fewer positively stated behavioral expectations and examples by setting/location for student and staff behaviors (i.e., school teaching matrix) defined and in place.
  • 1.4 Teaching Expectation: Expected academic and social behaviors are taught directly to all students in classrooms and across other campus settings/locations.
  • 1.9 Feedback and Acknowledgement: A formal system (i.e., written set of procedures for specific behavior feedback that is [a] linked to school-wide expectations and [b] used across settings and within classrooms) is in place and used by at least 90% of a sample of staff and received by at least 50% of a sample of students.

Score them based on your current situation, even if it’s a 0. So long as you are confident you would score certain questions a 2 under typical circumstances, don’t worry about including them in your action planning discussions.

Use SWIS Custom Fields to Track Remote Locations

When you look back at the year, your team will want to know which behaviors happened while students were at school, and which behaviors happened while students were at home. One way to accomplish that is to use Custom Fields to mark each referral with a remote location. For example, set up a required custom field called “Instructional Delivery Method”. Create options like:

  • Educational App
  • Video meeting
  • Chat room

By making the field required, all referrals entered while students are home will get this marker.

Update Referral Processes so Teachers Know What to Do

If your school hasn’t enabled paperless referral entry or referral workflows, now is a great time to do it! By enabling these features, you open up the ability for your teachers to enter referrals online as behaviors happen. Add reviewers to look over referrals before saving them and your school is ready to document behaviors electronically. To start using these features:

  1. Click Tools and select School Settings
  2. Click SWIS.
  3. Find the setting called Referral Workflows and select Yes from the drop-down menu.

Read More About Paperless Referrals!

Talk to Teachers About Behaviors They’re Likely to See More Frequently

With school happening in new, online contexts, you might see some behaviors you never experienced in class start happening more frequently. Defining behaviors like cyberbullying and inappropriate use of technology in this environment may be easy. More common behaviors like disrespect or disruption might be more challenging to define right now.

Talk to teachers about the behaviors they see and how they fit with your current definitions. Let them know which behaviors you want them to document as they happen and how they should go about documenting them.

Update Teaching Matrices

The practices you set up in your physical classroom are just as useful in your virtual spaces, too. Students may know how to use the technology. They way they’re used to interacting with each other in online spaces might be different from how you expect them to interact in your virtual classroom. The Center for PBIS has a new practice brief, Creating a PBIS Behavior Teaching Matrix for Remote Instruction. The brief walks you through the basics and gives lots of ideas you might not have considered.

  • When you’re conducting class in a video chat, should students mute their microphones by default?
  • Is a private chat channel between students ok? When?
  • How can you incorporate your regular teaching practices in new ways?

Download the Brief for How to Respond to COVID-19 Using PBIS

If your school still has students attending, or plans to reopen for students soon, PBIS can help you address concerns about COVID-19 with your students. The Center for PBIS’ practice brief, How to Respond to COVID-19 Using PBIS, talks about incorporating new routines like hand washing, social distancing, and covering coughs into existing expectations.

When You Can’t Collect Data, Update Your SWIS Suite Accounts

Collecting, monitoring, and using student behavior data is just as important now as it was when students were physically present in your buildings. We understand how challenging it is to transition to distance learning and for some, collecting behavior information isn’t possible right now. If your school is in this boat, there are a few updates we recommend making to your SWIS Suite accounts:

Zero-Out Days per Month

If you have months where you know you will not collect office discipline referrals, update your school days to reflect that.

  1. Head to Tools and click on School Settings.
  2. Click School Days.
  3. Click to expand the 2019-2020 school year.
  4. Enter a zero for months students will not be at school.
  5. Click Save.

Add Plan Changes for Students Enrolled in CICO

If you haven’t done so already, mark the first day students stayed home with a plan change.

  1. From the CICO-SWIS Data Entry page, use the calendar to navigate to the day students first stayed home.
  2. Type something into the Plan Change field for each student to indicate their remote status. For example: Remote learning. No check-ins.
  3. CICO-SWIS automatically saves each change as you move between students.

Unenroll Students from CICO-SWIS & Deactivate Students in I-SWIS

As with the end of the school year, schools that won’t collect intervention data during the time students are at home should unenroll students from CICO-SWIS and deactivate student files in I-SWIS. You can re-enroll students and reactivate files whenever students are back in school. *Here’s a Tip: If you want to note students are not in school before you unenroll them from CICO-SWIS, follow the steps to make a plan change before you unenroll anyone.

To unenroll students in CICO-SWIS, from the CICO-SWIS Dashboard

  1. Click to select a student name.
  2. Click Unenroll.
  3. Select the date students first stayed home as the unenroll date.
  4. Click Save.

To deactivate student files in I-SWIS, from the I-SWIS Dashboard

  1. Click to select a student name.
  2. Select Inactive from the Set Status drop-down menus.
  3. Select the date students first stayed home as the Date.
  4. Enter a note about why you are deactivating the student file.
  5. Click Save.

More Resources!

We may not be in our offices, but we are still here supporting you, your schools, and these applications. Here’s how you can connect with us.

Customer Support is Open

Our customer support team is ready to help answer any question you have. You are welcome to give them a call or send an email. If you call, leave them a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible. The number will appear as a blocked number, so be prepared to answer when they give you a ring. An email is your fastest way to get a quick response from any customer support team member. Let us know how we can help.

  • Call us: 855-455-8194
  • Email us:

Lots of Online Webinars Scheduled

Training team members have moved their services to their homes and online! There are so many upcoming webinars and training opportunities available. Sign up for one, or two, or five.

Find Us on Social Media

We’re updating our social media all the time with new resources, ideas, and questions as we all make our way through this new time. You can find us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Give us a follow, if you haven't already. Let us know how you’re using our applications as a team. Tag us so we can follow along!

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