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Universal interventions are those supports and instructional strategies provided to all students to promote successful student outcomes and prevent school failure. An integrated approach views academics and behavior as components of the same support system and realizes the influence one  has on the other. Unless discipline issues are at a minimum, instruction will be interrupted and teaching time lost.  Additionally, poor academic performance may lead to students engaging in problem behavior that results in escaping academic tasks. The universal core system creates the foundation of a multi-tier school-wide model. Effective universal supports alone should be sufficient to meet the needs of most students to be successful in academics and social behavior (Sugai, Horner, & Gresham, 2002). By meeting the needs of most, through effective instruction and behavior supports, fewer students will require more intensified supports. The strategies and practices provided at the universal level should be based on scientific research.

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Culturally Responsive Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS)

PBIS is a framework or approach for assisting school personnel in adopting and organizing evidence-based behavioral interventions into an integrated continuum that enhances academic and social behavior outcomes for all students. PBIS IS NOT a packaged curriculum or scripted intervention. PBIS IS a prevention-oriented way for school personnel to (a) organize evidence-based practices, (b) improve their implementation of those practices, and (c) maximize academic and social behavior outcomes for students. PBIS supports the success of ALL students.

Culturally Responsive PBIS specifically establishes interventions to promote the social culture and individualized supports needed for all students to achieve success by integrating issues of race, ethnicity, and culture.  Children and youth bring complex sets of abilities and experiences that may or may not fit the expectations and dispositions they encounter in school.  Part of the process of becoming educated is becoming socialized to the cultural ways in which knowledge and skills are pursued. Current recommendations in the PBIS literature for considering cultural and contextual factors in culturally responsive PBIS implementation focus on three areas of practice: a) Collaborating with families and community members in teaching and reinforcing school-wide behavioral expectations; b) Monitoring disproportionality in ODRs between dominant and nondominant groups through analysis of trends in data disaggregated across student demographic characteristics (i.e., race/ethnicity); and c) Providing professional development aimed at increasing practitioners’ awareness of differences between their own and non-dominant students’ cultural patterns of communication styles, roles of authority, etc. that will allow them to interpret individual student’s problem behavior correctly.

How does CR-PBIS impact my approach to student behavior?

  • Helps to form supportive relationships with students.
  • Provides clear expectations for 1) schedules and routines and 2) the roles and responsibilities for students and staff.
  • Consider how differences in cultural perspectives influence the way in which student behavior is perceived.
  • Represent students’ cultures in the classroom environment through academic and non-academic materials.
  • Arranges the environment to promote physical and emotional comfort, and efficient and well-paced instruction.
  • Consider cultural, environmental and linguistic factors in the differentiation of instruction, strategies and interventions.
  • Use multiple teaching strategies and methods to promote student understanding.
Differentiated Instruction

Differentiated instruction, according to Carol Ann Tomlinson (as cited by Ellis, Gable, Greg, & Rock, 2008, p. 32), is the process of “ensuring that what a student learns, how he or she learns it, and how the student demonstrates what he or she has learned is a match for that student’s readiness level, interests, and preferred mode of learning.” Teachers can differentiate through four ways: 1) content, 2) process, 3) product, and 4) learning environment based on the individual learner.  Differentiation stems from beliefs about differences among learners, how they learn, learning preferences, and individual interests (Anderson, 2007). Therefore, differentiation is an organized, yet flexible way of proactively adjusting teaching and learning methods to accommodate each child's learning needs and preferences to achieve maximum growth as a learner.

To understand how our students learn and what they know, pre-assessment and ongoing assessment are essential. This provides feedback for both teacher and student, with the ultimate goal of improving student learning.

Delivery of instruction in the past often followed a "one size fits all" approach. In contrast, differentiation is individually student centered, with a focus on appropriate instructional and assessment tools that are fair, flexible, challenging, and engage students in the curriculum in meaningful ways.

How does Differentiated Instruction impact my approach to student behavior?

  • Incorporates areas of student interest to promote engagement.
  • Encourages students to be active learners by increasing student choice.
  • Supports skill development through structured prompting and teaching methods.
  • Sets specific and measurable goals for both academic and behavioral skills.
  • Provides students with frequent opportunities for practice and feedback to maintain and generalize behavioral skills.
Character Education

Character Education is an intentional and comprehensive method of encouraging staff, students and the entire learning community to act on universally accepted values such as: honesty, fairness, responsibility, respect, self-discipline and a commitment to excellence. Staff and students grow in character by working collaboratively with each other and participating in decision making that improves the learning environment. Relating educational experiences to students' lives provides opportunities for students to share their points of view and encourages them to think in complex ways about issues as they appear in the curriculum. Encouraging discussion concerning aspects of school life and how to interact with other people in the appropriate manner also impacts the development of self-discipline.

How does character education impact my approach to student behavior?

  • Encourages self-discipline through cooperative interaction between persons in the learning environment.
  • Guides students in playing a role in decision making in the classroom and school.
  • Staff are role models of respect and care.
  • Uses day-to-day activities and what is happening in the students' lives as opportunities to deal with values and ethics (teachable moments).
CPI  Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training

The SBCSC Special Education Department has endorsed the Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI) Nonviolent Crisis Intervention training. The strategies taught in the CPI training program provide staff members with an effective framework for decision making and problem solving to prevent, de-escalate, and safely respond to disruptive or assaultive behavior.

CPI’s goals include preventing and de-escalating hostile and potentially violent behaviors, being aware of nonverbal communication, avoiding power struggles, and setting appropriate limits. These goals set the tone in the CPI program to help staff maintain professionalism at all times and adhere to the SBCSC board policy on the Use of Seclusion and Restraint (5630.01)

How does CPI training impact my approach to student behavior?

  • Enables staff to empower students to make decisions to manage their own behavior.
  • Staff are aware that their own behavior affects the behavior of the student and the outcome.
  • Strategies allow staff to respond in a professional manner when presented with challenging behaviors.
  • De-escalation strategies provide for the emotional and physical safety for staff and students.