School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) are a form of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), that is, a form of a framework that is aimed at “addressing student needs and improving student outcomes.” The specific features of SWPBIS include multiple tiers, systematic organization of “behavior support within a school,” and the ambitious aim of improving the performance of all students of a school. Freeman et al. highlight the fact that SWPBIS can indeed achieve their aim in case they are implemented “with fidelity,” that is, consistently, with appropriate and clear expectations, systematic interventions, and monitoring and evaluation. This fact explains why SWPBIS is of interest to practitioners and researchers nowadays.
It is apparent, however, that not every case of SWPBIS is carried out “with fidelity,” which is particularly caused by the fact that every one of its elements is correlated with difficulties. For example, one of the challenges of evaluation includes the choice of the evaluator. There are two options: an external or an internal evaluator can be chosen, and both alternatives have their advantages and disadvantages, which are common for evaluators at schools and in other institutions. An internal evaluator is more likely to have a deeper understanding of the unique conditions of a school, but he or she may also be emotionally involved and biased as a result of this involvement.
External evaluators are less likely to have this kind of bias and are also capable of bringing in a new view or opinion, but they lack insider knowledge and may also be received less favorably than the insider. This challenge can be resolved with the help of stakeholders’ engagement, parents included. Meaningful dialogue can provide an external evaluator with sufficient information, help an internal evaluator by introducing different points of view and critical reflections, and offer support to both. Thus, engagement is not always a challenge; it can also be a solution.