The Model

Positive Action is an evidence-based, “Approved” Whole-School Reform Model that addresses the school’s entire ecosystem— school, family, and community.


  • - It is a system with engaging, easy-to-use components.

  • - It provides training/PD/consultation services.

  • - It provides evaluation services.

  • - It provides administrative services.


It is evidence-based for improving academics, behavior, social and emotional learning, and mental and physical health.

It is affordable and cost effective.


  • - In the classroom—regular, special needs, interventions.

  • - In the school—schoolwide, alternative sites, and afterschool.

  • - In the home.

  • - In the community


  • - Educators, families, and communities who want to succeed.

  • - A Coordinator and a Committee administer the program.


Positive Action is a comprehensive program that is delivered through toolkits that are complete with manuals and all the materials needed to carry out the lessons and activities. Each component can stand alone, be configured in any combination, or be used as part of the whole.


    - PreK–12 classroom kit

    - Supplement Kits

    - Counselor’s Kit

    - Climate Development Kits


    - Family Kit

    - Family and Parenting Classes Kits


    - Community Kit

A Pre K–12 classroom kit for each teacher and 30 students. Scripted lessons take 15–20 minutes. A Succeeding with Positive Action guide is provided to explain how to implement Positive Action effectively.

Moving from NCLB to ESSA

Using the Positive Action Whole-School Reform Model as an “Approved” Evidence-Based Program.

Schools can use School Improvement Grants’ Positive Action Whole-School Reform model for Title I’s Comprehensive Support and Improvement schools. Both NCLB SIGs and ESSA’s Title I CS&I require evidence-based programs.

Positive Action’s Whole-School Reform model is a perfect choice to address the needs of struggling schools because it is a proven approach for transforming the nation’s lowest-performing schools.

Why use a patchwork of non-evidence-based programs when you can get all of Positive Action’s outcomes with one program that is consistent, engaging and easy-to-use?

A Brief History

NCLB-School Improvements Grants

The U. S. Department of Education, under NCLB, distinguished the Positive Action program as one of four programs in the nation “Approved” for the Whole School Reform model. WSR is the only SIG model that was required to be evidence-based.


  • 1.

    Must be evidence-based by having at least one study (PA has three) that met the standards of the U.S. Department of Education’s What Works Clearinghouse. Positive Action met the requirements for outcomes in:

    • - A core academic area with reading and language arts outcomes.

    • - At least one “Other” area with behavior, social emotional learning (SEL), school climate, mental and physical health, and character outcomes.

  • 2.

    Must serve ALL students

  • 3.

    Must promote leadership and school climate

  • 4.

    Must engage parents

  • 5.

    Must engage the community

  • 6.

    Must include a sustainability component

ESSA-Comprehensive Support and Improvement Schools

Under ESSA, the requirement is for all interventions to be evidence-based.


ESSA—Department of Education

ESSA requires state accountability plans under the law to demonstrate “Evidence-based interventions” and defines “Evidence-based” in four tiers.

Positive Action has studies that meet the requirements in all of the tiers but show here the two highest tiers.

ESSA Tier of ‘Evidence-Based'


Strong Evidence,
meaning supported by at least one randomized study (RCT)

3 Studies

RCT Chicago

RCT Hawaii

RCT Southeastern State


Moderate Evidence,
meaning supported by at least one quasi-experimental study.

3 Studies

Quasi: Long term

Quasi: Nevada

Quasi: Hawaii

Important Registries Listed Evidence-based programs:

  • What Works Clearinghouse

    The US Department of education listed Positive Action on What Works Clearinghouse as the top-rated program in the nation for improving academics and behavior.

  • Academic Achievement: +14 percentile points

  • Behavior: +19 percentile points


Positive Action Model for WSR Flyer

Succeeding with Positive Action Guide