Positive Behavioral Support Tools and Resources
The ultimate goal of Project ACHIEVE’s Positive Behavioral Support System (PBSS) is to facilitate all students’ social, emotional, and behavioral competency and self-management. In order to help districts and schools in the diverse areas of PBSS, the following tools and resources have been developed for your use:
Technical Assistance Papers on Implementing Project ACHIEVE’s Evidence-based School-wide Positive Behavioral Support System (PBSS)
Implementing Project ACHIEVE at the School and District Levels: Positive Behavioral Support System (PBSS) Implementation Fact Sheet
This Technical Assistance paper describes the three-year process for implementing Project ACHIEVE’s school-wide Positive Behavioral Support System (PBSS).
This free Audio Interview (from the nationally-recognized School Leadership Briefing professional development website for school administrators) with Howie Knoff (September, 2012) provides an overview of Project ACHIEVE's Positive Behavioral Support System.
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National Concerns about RtI and PBIS: A Review of Policy and Practice Recommendations Not Based on Research or Effective Practice
Over the past decade or more, there have been a number of policies, practices, or recommendations advocated by OSEP-funded national Technical Assistance Centers (notably, the PBIS, RtI, and Scaling-up centers) that have (a) not been empirically demonstrated prior to being recommended on a national or state scale; (b) been limited in nature relative to the diversity of reasons that explain why students have academic or behavioral difficulties at school; (c) applied research or data—presenting or implementing them as conclusive facts or established procedures—from non-educational domains, areas, or contexts before empirically demonstrating their transferability and/or applicability on a large scale (e.g., practices meant to facilitate “scaling up” at the organization or systemic levels, using incident or epidemiological data from the public mental health arena to predict academic or behavioral problem rates in schools); and/or (d) presented a singular perspective without providing comparable attention, description, and systematic acknowledgement of other, more effective approaches.
This technical assistance document reviews and critiques a number of these recommendations—providing specific reasons as to why they are questionable or ill-advised, discussing how they are impacting students or staff in our schools, and suggesting alternative perspectives or procedures.
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Technical Assistance Papers Reviewing Eight Evidence-based Social Skills Programs, and the Research Base of the Stop & Think Social Skills Program
I. School-wide Discipline, Behavior Management, and Student Self-Management: Focusing on Social Skills Instruction and Selecting an Evidence-based Social Skills Program
II. The Stop & Think Social Skills Program: Exploring its Research Base and Rationale
Research has consistently demonstrated that children’s social, emotional, and behavioral skills and status affect their interpersonal status, academic engagement, and academic success at school. This speaks to the importance of social skills training for all students in the schools—a primary setting where they can learn, practice, and master some of the interpersonal, social problem solving, conflict prevention resolution, and emotional coping skills and strategies that also are critical to their physical and mental health and wellness. While there are hundreds of social skill programs marketed to educators and schools, less than ten of these social skills programs are either evidence-based or well-researched.
The first Technical Assistance paper discusses the evidence-based components of Positive Behavioral Support Systems, including the characteristics of effective social skills programs. It then describes how to teach social skills in the classroom, and reviews eight notable research-based social skills programs. The TA paper concludes with recommendations on ways for districts to select a social skills program for use across all of its schools.
PBSS SPDG Social Skills Briefing Paper
The second TA paper focuses on one of these programs, the Stop & Think Social Skills Program, using it as an exemplar to summarize the research on the characteristics of successful social skills instruction.
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A Sample Teasing, Bullying, and Harassment Policy for a School Board or School District
(Includes Policy Statements on Cyber- or Electronic-Bullying, and Hazing)
After a thorough review of state laws or educational regulations across the country, and school board policies from over 20 model school districts, this document provides a template for school districts who want to create, update, or review their policies in the areas of teasing, taunting, bullying, harassment, hazing, and physical aggression or fighting. Including cyber- or electronic-bullying and cyberstalking, this documents has the following sections: Introduction, Definitions, Training and Notification of this Policy and its Procedures, Reporting and Investigation Responsibilities and Procedures (Staff and Students), Disciplinary Actions and Due Process (Students, Staff, and Visitors), False Accusations, and a Bibliography.
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The School Safety Audit and Emergency/Crisis Prevention Audit Protocols
One way to ensure that common school areas (e.g., hallways, bathrooms, playgrounds) and schools in general are safe and secure is to conduct periodic “School Safety Audits.” These audits are complemented by a written Crisis Management/Emergency Operations Plan and Handbook that summarizes a school’s comprehensive crisis preparation, intervention, and response system. This brief Technical Assistance Paper summarizes the most up-to-date information in these two areas so that schools can analyze their strengths and weaknesses, and close any critical gaps. Relative to the recommended development of an “Emergency Operations Handbook,” three types of crises are identified that schools need to plan for: Crises with Advanced Notice, with Minimal Notice, and with No Notice.
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Survey to Evaluate Staff Collaboration, Cohesion, and Effective Interactions
The Scale of Staff Interactions and School Cohesion
The Scale of Staff Interactions and School Cohesion consists of 25 items and three scales (Staff Understanding of the School’s Mission and Expectations, Staff Collaboration and Cohesion, and Effective Staff Practices and Interactions) that staff rate along a five-point scale from 1- Excellent to 5- Poor relative to their perceptions of the staff in their school. The scale was designed to evaluate the ongoing quality of the staff interactions that support effective school processes and activities. A link to the scale is below, as well as another link to a spreadsheet that will facilitate the scoring process.
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Survey to Evaluate Staff Perceptions of their School’s Student Discipline Processes
The Scale of Effective School Discipline and Safety
The Scale of Effective School Discipline and Safety consists of 58 items and five factors (Teachers’ Effective Classroom Management Skills, Students’ Positive Behavioral Interactions and Respect, Holding Students Accountable for their Behavior: Administration and Staff, Teachers’ Contribution to a Positive School Climate, and School Safety and Security: Staff, Students, and School Grounds) that staff rated along a five-point scale from 1- Strongly Agree to 5- Strongly Disagree. The scale was designed to evaluate school staff attitudes and beliefs regarding the degree to which positive and effective positive school discipline and safety processes exist in their school. A link to the scale is below, as well as another link to a spreadsheet that will facilitate the scoring process.
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Behavioral Observation Protocols: Observing Classroom Climate, Safety, and Student Discipline using Brief Classroom Walk-Throughs; and Student Behavior using Systematic Behavioral Observation
I. Evaluating Classroom Climate, Safety, and Classroom Management using Brief Classroom Walk-Throughs
II. Implementing Project ACHIEVE at the School and District Levels: Positive Behavioral Support System (PBSS) Implementation Fact Sheet
Collecting systematic behavioral observation data is essential to understanding what is actually happening in the classroom relative to both students and teachers. Data from behavioral observations of teachers provide a real-time look at their effective instruction and classroom management interactions, and those that need improvement. Data from behavioral observations of students helps to track such variables as time on-task, the frequency of inappropriate behavior, how long they are able to maintain good attention, and how long it takes before they begin their work.
The Effective Classroom Management Walk-Through (CWT) protocol was developed for principals or others who want to determine the degree of positive, effective, and proactive classroom management approaches in classrooms across their school. Based on educational and behavioral research, the Effective Classroom Management CWT protocol involves 23 items organized in three areas: the Evidence of Teacher’s Effective Classroom Management area, the Students’ Positive Behavioral Interactions and Respect area, and the Classroom Safety and Security area. The first behavioral observation document provides this CWT protocol and describes how to use it.
Classroom Walk Through Behavioral Final
The second behavioral observation document provides a protocol that can be used to observe the classroom engagement of individual students and groups of students, and it describes how to use it.
Behavioral Observation Protocol
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Identifying the Strategic and Intensive Behavioral Intervention Skills and Expertise of School and District Consultants
The Behavioral Intervention Survey
When students are not responding to effective classroom management approaches, they often present challenging internalized (e.g., anxiety and withdrawal) and/or externalized (e.g., anger, aggression, and defiance) behaviors. These situations require the need for strategic or intensive behavioral interventions and the professionals who have the skills to help teachers implement these interventions in the classroom (and elsewhere). This Behavioral Intervention Survey can be used to have school and district behavioral intervention consultants self-evaluate their skills across a number of specific intervention approaches and techniques.
Behavioral Intervention Survey
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Webinar on School-wide Positive Behavioral Support Systems
Response-to-Intervention (RtI) and Behavior: Designing and Implementing Evidence-Based Positive Behavioral Support Systems in Schools and Districts
Today’s school-wide Positive Behavioral Support approaches are more specific, integrated, effective, and comprehensive than ever before. Presented by Dr. Howie Knoff, Director of the SPDG, this webinar describes the components and specific elements of Project ACHIEVE’s evidence-based Positive Behavioral Self-Management System (PBSS) that (a) addresses the prevention, intervention, and intensive needs of challenging students, and (b) is fully consistent with ESEA and IDEA. Six critical components are discussed during the webinar that make up the PBSS: (a) the Stop & Think Social Skills Program; (b) the development of grade-level and building-wide accountability systems; (c) how to increase staff and student consistency; (d) the analysis of “special situations”-- behavioral situations that occur in the common areas of a school and/or that involve peer-mediated teasing, taunting, bullying, harassment, and physical aggression; (e) crisis prevention, intervention, and response; and (f) the importance of home and community outreach. In the end, this webinar describes a functional, effective, and comprehensive school-wide system that maximizes students’ academic engagement and achievement, creates safe school environments and positive school climates, increases students’ prosocial skills, and decreases discipline referrals to the office and school suspensions and expulsions.
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Webinar on RtI and a Multi-Tiered Approach for Behaviorally Challenging Students
Response-to-Intervention (RtI) and Behavior: Organizing Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Interventions along a Three-Tiered Positive Behavioral Support System
A behavioral intervention gap exists, nationwide, in our schools. Indeed, surveys of schools nationwide indicate that they do not have enough professionals available to develop and implement essential social, emotional, and behavioral interventions. This is particularly compelling given the presence of many behaviorally challenging students—students who disrupt the academic climate of their classrooms, often are not academically successful, and who, many times, are early school drop-outs. Presented by Dr. Howie Knoff, Director of the SPDG, this webinar discusses the need for schools to identify their behavioral intervention gaps, address them through systematic professional development programs, and implement strategic behavioral interventions so that challenging students receive the services they need and deserve.
To help guide this process, a three-tiered, evidence-based prevention to intensive intervention continuum is described to help schools address the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all students. This continuum includes over 20 specific behavioral interventions to address the needs of challenging students, and it has been successfully used in Arkansas’ State Personnel Development Grant’s PBSS schools—as part of their involvement in Project ACHIEVE, a national evidence-base school improvement program. These specific behavioral interventions are discussed within a comprehensive Response-to-Intervention (RtI) context.
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