SPBD Support
Staff and student surveys assessing
perceptions of behavior and discipline
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Frequently Asked Questions

General FAQs

Using the Surveys



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General FAQs

Are the surveys anonymous?

Yes. It is important that staff and students feel secure and comfortable in providing their honest responses without concern for retaliation or damaged relationships. We do not collect identifying information. If staff and/or students feel that answering a demographic item could identify them, you can advise them to leave the item blank or mark the “I prefer not to answer” or “other” answer choices as they apply.

Using the Surveys

How do I access the staff and student surveys?

To request the SPBD survey click here to complete the request form.

How much does the SPBD and StPBD cost?

The SPBD and the StPBD are free. Both the survey and a data reports are provided free to users. The measures were developed and are maintained by the voluntary efforts of researchers who have also experienced challenges working in schools. These researchers manage this survey without staff support, so your patience in correspondence is appreciated.

What will the data report include?

The report presents in detail the aggregated results of responses to survey questions. Aggregates are compared to best practice thresholds, and improvement strategies are provided where appropriate. In addition, the report lists the anonymized, verbatim responses to open-ended questions. For samples of survey reports, please see here.

Many of our students and staff wrote lengthy responses to the open-ended items, and there are many pages of text. How do I make meaning of it all?

We recommend analyzing qualitative data by both themes and range. What are the different views or experiences of staff and students? Can you identify potential tensions and diverse views? And, what are most staff and students perceiving and/or experiencing? Can you identify 5-10 most prevalent themes and similarities? To help you reduce text, there are several qualitative data analysis software systems you can use. Some examples include Quirkos, Tableau, Raven's Eye, NVivo, and QDA Miner.


Who is the SPBD survey intended for?

The SPBD is completed by certificated and classified staff who work directly with students. This may include general and special educators, counselors, supervisors, school psychologists, speech and language pathologists, paraprofessionals, bus drivers, recess supervisors, and custodial and cafeteria staff. The data gathered from the SPBD is used to help teams or school leaders understand the strengths and needs of the staff and larger school system. This understanding guides planning and implementation decisions (e.g., targeted professional development). It can help leaders and teams anticipate staff resistance and prevent barriers to achieving sustainable change (e.g., beliefs that conflict with schoolwide positive behavior supports).

How reliable and valid is the SPBD survey?

See publication in JPBI for a full report on the technical adequacy of the SPBD:

Feuerborn, L., Tyre, A., & King, J. (2015). The Staff Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (SPBD) Survey: A tool to help achieve systemic change through schoolwide positive behavior supports. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions, 17(2), 116-126.

Also see an updated analysis of the SPBD factor structure and internal consistency here:

Feuerborn, L., Tyre, A., & Zečević, M. (in press). Factor validation of the Staff Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (SPBD) survey. Remedial & Special Education.

To develop the content of the SPBD, a team of faculty and graduate students conducted a review of the SWPBS and the systems change literature and identified common themes occurring in the literature to develop the content of the survey. The internal validity of the SPBD was investigated through exploratory factor analysis of the survey items. The core 24 items on the SPBD were subjected to Principal Components Analysis (PCA). Principle components analysis was performed and revealed the presence of five components or scales for the SPBD. Review of the five factors revealed a theoretical fit with the literature on SWPBS and systemic change. The five factors identified as part of the SPBD include:

Factor I. Teaching and acknowledging expectations: Effectiveness and need (.72)

Factor II. Systems: Resources, supports and climate (.73)

Factor III. Implementation integrity (.79)

Factor IV. Philosophical views of behavior and discipline (.68)

Factor V. Systems: Cohesiveness and openness to change (.66)

Hierarchical linear modeling (HLM) was used to explore the relationship of the SPBD to school and staff level variables. The SPBD was significantly related to the level of SWPBS implementation as measures by the School Evaluation Tool (SET). The SPBD was also significantly related to school level, staff understanding of SWPBS, staff support for SWPBS, and hours of professional development. As scores on the SPBD increased (indicating more favorable perceptions and beliefs), all of these variables also increased, with the exception of school level. As school level increased (i.e. elementary to secondary), SPBD scores decreased, suggestioning that secondary school staff had less favorable perceptions in these domains as compared to primary school staff.

What will we need to complete the SPBD, and how long does it take?

Typically, once a link to the SPBD is created, the school staff completes the survey within 1-2 weeks. We recommend the survey is presented in conjunction with schoolwide discussions, including open agreement that the survey is beneficial to planning and implementation activities. Once the link to the SPBD is sent to staff, you may wish to allocate time, approximately 30 minutes, for staff to complete the survey. Special consideration should be given to staff who work irregular schedules or have limited access to computers. Many schools find offering the survey during a scheduled staff meeting to be helpful.

Once a representative number of staff have completed the survey, we will send you a data report. Samples of this report may be viewed here.

When should I send the survey to staff?

Although we recommend sending the survey to staff in the early spring to aid planning for the following year, it can be completed at any point during the school year. We recommend administering the SPBD once a year, preferably at the same time each year.

We've completed the SPBD, now what?

It is important to review the data report with your team, share it with staff (as appropriate) and use the information to guide planning and implementation decisions. Also, you may need to further investigate specific themes that arose from the staff responses. The SPBD report identifies potential facilitators and barriers to change as reported by your staff. Additional references including a list of recommendations specific to each SPBD domain is listed under the Resources tab on the opening page of this site. If further assistance or support is sought, please contact Laura Feurerborn at [email protected]

After considering your response rate, we recommend viewing the quantitative, Likert scale items first, taking note of any trends or themes. Then, use the qualitative data from open-ended items to provide more context or explanations for these trends and themes. Many times, the qualitative items point to root causes of issues such as low morale, lack of commitment, or conflicting beliefs; however, you may need to further investigate themes that arose from the staff responses through follow-up discussions, interviews, or other surveys.

Additional references including a list of recommendations specific to each SPBD domain is listed under the Resources tab on the opening page of this site. If further assistance or support is sought, please contact Laura Feurerborn at [email protected]


What is the StPBD?

The Student Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (StPBD) was recently developed. The StPBD assesses student and staff relationships, school climate, family connections, and PBIS practices. It was designed to be used as a companion tool to the SPBD and other measures of implementation (e.g., TFI, SET, BofQ). For more information on the StPBD, see here.

How reliable and valid is the StPBD?

The StPBD is our newest measure. To date, we have conducted an exploratory and multilevel confirmatory factor analysis and a linear mixed effect analysis on student data that we have gathered from three states. Exploratory and multilevel confirmatory factor analysis provides evidence that supports and confirms the internal consistency and factor structure of the StPBD. Also, linear mixed effect analysis reveals significant associations with student and school-level factors as predicted by theory and research. See here for more information.

Contact Us

We welcome your questions, comments and feedback.

Laura L. Feuerborn, Ph.D., NCSP
University of Washington, Tacoma
Email: [email protected]

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Your Rights

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