The following fictional stories are examples of what positive behavior supports might look like in practice.
An elementary school staff works with students and parents to create a vision of what they want their school to look, sound and feel like. With a vision of ‘safe and successful for all’ in mind, they focus on:
They monitor their progress through beginning and end-of-year surveys, student feedback and tracking office discipline referrals.
A middle school has a small, but significant number of students who are experiencing behavioral difficulties at lunch hour and are unable to follow the school-wide expectations.
School staff work with the group of students to identify supports that will make this less structured time more positive. Problem behaviour is significantly reduced by increasing supervision, using strategic seating assignments in the lunchroom and ensuring each student is with at least two supportive peers. The lunchroom monitor is also using a Check-in/Check-out strategy. The identified students also receive targeted instruction and guided practice in handling disagreements in agreeable ways and have a system for self-monitoring their own use of these new strategies.
A student in the first year of high school is experiencing extreme frustration in class and is beginning to lash out at students and staff— verbally and physically. A recently completed behavioural assessment shows that this behaviour is most likely to occur as a way to avoid certain academic tasks or when the student perceives (often inaccurately) that a peer is rejecting him.
Staff work with the student and his parents to create a positive behaviour support plan. They identify and document key understandings about his behavior. They also develop strategies that staff and peers can use to support him, defuse situations and respond more positively to his need to be included and valued by peers.