The importance of behavior intervention plans
It’s not unusual for students to misbehave from time to time. However, if a student’s behavior is preventing them, or others, from learning, it might be time for a behavior intervention plan.
A behavior intervention plan, according to Understood.org, is a written plan that a school creates in order to teach a student behavior skills and reward him or her for good behavior. The plan typically lists the problem behavior, describes why it is happening and lists strategies and supports to help address the behavior. These plans are not geared toward punishing the student. Rather, the goal of the plan is to reinforce positive behavior and stop negative behavior before it begins. The California Department of Education’s Positive Environments, Network of Trainers program provides a good overview of the principles to consider when developing a behavior intervention plan.
Often a behavior intervention plan requires that school staff do some investigating to figure out why the behavior is occurring. For instance, they may need to talk to the student’s parents to try to gain insight into why a student is behaving a certain way. Sometimes a review of past behavioral incidents is required. Once school staff assesses the student, and nails down the likely cause of the problem behavior, they can develop intervention strategies to help the student.
Understood.org offers the example of a middle school student who is constantly being sent to the principal’s office for insulting the teacher. The staff develops a behavior intervention plan. Perhaps they determine that the student is seeking attention. One strategy could be to encourage the student to perform in a talent show. Or perhaps the student is acting out because he or she is restless, the teacher can give the student breaks and teach strategies for staying focused.
Components of a behavior intervention plan
According to NavigateLifeTexas.org, a behavior intervention plan should include:
- Results of the student’s behavior assessment
- A list of the student’s specific behaviors––and which ones are most important to work on first
- Things that trigger (or lead to) the student’s negative behavior
- The behaviors school staff want to see more of – and how to support those behaviors
- How school staff handle the problem behavior
- A list of who is responsible for helping with each part of the student’s behavior intervention plan
- Next steps to take if the plan isn’t working
- A plan for updating or ending the behavior intervention plan when the student meets behavior goals
Behavior intervention plans are becoming more and more important as schools increasingly move to a “whole child” philosophy of teaching. In other words, schools today are increasingly focusing on how to address both the child’s non-academic or social-emotional needs, as well as their academic needs. Schools recognize that if those non-academic needs aren’t met, the student will be less likely to succeed academically. Successful behavior intervention plans are a great way to support those non-academic needs and have big benefits for both the school and the student. Simply creating the plan can help. For example:
- The plan helps school staff understand a student’s behavior. This can be especially important for students with disabilities or very young children in which their behavior is the only way they are able to communicate to adults that something is wrong. The assessment portion of the plan helps the adults understand the “why” behind a behavior which is the first step in addressing it. Sometimes, even with older students, they themselves don’t understand why they are acting the way they are.
- The strategies outlined in the plan help the student learn problem-solving skills – for example, they learn what they need to do to get their needs met. This ultimately translates into positive behavior. For example, if a student is restless, they might learn self-calming techniques or learn how to identify the point at which they need help and can ask the teacher for a break to calm themselves instead of acting out.
- The strategies and interventions in the plan teach the student how to make positive behavior a habit. If a student is rewarded with extra computer time or other rewards for working well with a group, the student will remember that and it will encourage the student to make good choices the next time he or she is assigned to a group project.
How can Impero support your plans?
Impero EdAware helps schools get a holistic view of a student’s wellbeing. Schools use it to record student safety concerns and incidents – anything from fights on the playground to mental health concerns to incidents of bullying. The data obtained from Impero EdAware can assist schools in creating a behavior intervention plan and in keeping track of interventions and outcomes. Click here to book a demo.