Students with Significant Disabilities and SWPBS

SWPBS as a Foundation for
Including Students with Significant
Support Needs
Session Overview:
a) Provide an overview of the New Jersey
Positive Behavior Support in Schools training
and technical assistance protocol
b) Discuss challenges we are experiencing to
attaining inclusion despite having SWPBS in
c) Share strategies we are using to ensure that
inclusion is a part of SWPBS planning and
Overview of How
the School-Wide
Positive Behavior
Support is Applied
in New Jersey
NJ Positive Behavior
Support in Schools
• PBSIS is a collaboration between the New Jersey Department
of Education, Office of Special Education and the Boggs Center
at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School.
State Training Team:
Sharon Lohrmann, Ph.D
Bill Davis, M.Ed
Scott McMahon, MSW
• Perkie Cannon, M.Ed
Kate Handville, Ed.S
Paula Raigoza, M.Ed
Blair Rosenthal, Ph.D
Participation and Training
• Two year training cycle:
– Universal intervention development & implementation
– Function based problem solving at the secondary tier
– Function based problem solving at the tertiary tier
• External coach is assigned to the building and
provides a combination of off and on-site
technical assistance differentiated across needs
• Access to maintenance support after the 2 years
Encouraging Signs
We are Seeing in
New Jersey
Number of Out of School Suspension Assignments
Out of School Suspension for All Students
(N = 18 Schools K-12)
reflects a 42.26%
decrease in
suspensions for
all students.
Note: Data voluntarily provided and self-reported by schools
Number of Out of School Suspension Assignments
Out of School Suspension for Students with Disabilities
(N = 18 Schools K-12)
reflects a 57.06%
decrease in
suspensions for
students with
Note: Data voluntarily provided and self-reported by schools
Encouraging Signs We are Seeing in NJ
• The universal intervention (when
implemented well) has a powerful impact on
school climate. When the climate improves
we are seeing:
Shift to more preventative thinking
Changes in attitude about the use of positive interventions
An openness to trying things differently
Students with significant support needs being brought
back from out of district placements
– Increases in ‘opportunities’ for inclusion
Quick Pair-Share
• In your experience, what are the most
common challenges to including students with
significant support needs?
Strategy # 1:
Cultivate Principal
Buy-in and
Challenge: How do we cultivate an
administrative culture that supports FBPS?
• Many administrators do not have a
background in behavior intervention planning
and by default rely on the ‘code of conduct’ as
the primary intervention path
Mrs. Greene, Principal:
• “To exclude students with disabilities from
school-wide PBS would be
Insert picture capture
of mrs. greene
• “School-wide PBS encourages students to
work together , celebrate and support
one another”
• “Teachers need to reflect on how they
have a role in student behavior”
Strategies we are using to cultivate
Administrator support
• Provide an orientation to FBPS
– Principal packet on
• Embed FBPS into your administrators’
– Frequent contacts with small bits of information
(e.g., successes, great example, etc.)
– Encourage teachers to share examples &
testimonials with administrators
Strategies we are using to cultivate
Administrator support
• Periodic administrative team meetings
– Information and discussions to increase
consistency across administrators
• Use data to guide discussions
– Have a systematic method to identify
disparity patterns and emerging trends
Strategy #2:
Establish a Process for
Teachers to Use
Problem Solving
Challenge: How do we help staff move away
from a ‘Self Contained is Best’ mentality?
• Even with school-wide PBS in place personnel
can be reluctant to “let go of” self contained
pull out and self contained options
• Enduring belief that small “special” classes are
the best
• Problem solving teams are perceived as a
‘necessary step’ to removal
Self Contained Mentality
• Mary Allyn (Culture and Climate Specialists)
and Lisa (Principal) discuss the old way of
doing things (6.08):
•“I want this kid out”
•No ownership
•No problem solving
Function Based Problem Solving
is the Best Approach
• Gather representative information through a variety
of methods (e.g., interviews, checklists, observations, baseline
documentation, etc.)
• Map out information learned into setting eventantecedent-behavior-consequence patterns
• Determine the function of behavior
• Select function-based intervention strategies that
address all dimensions of the behavior pattern
• Evaluate the effectiveness of implementation
I & RS
Universal Intervention Tier
Comprehensive individualized planning using
function based problem solving to result in students
being successful in general education programs
Early intervention for at risk students:
•Articulate at-risk indicators
•Link Office conduct decisions & intervention
•Use function based problem solving to guide
intervention development
All staff will:
•Use consistent expectations
•Increase giving positive feedback
•Consistently apply the Office Conduct Referral
•Effectively redirect occurrences of behavior
•Use function based problem solving to
•Constructively reflect on behavior incidents
•Independently problem solve to address
emerging behavior issues
Source: Adapted from Walker, Horner, Sugai, Bullis, Sprague, & Bricker (1996)
Supporting Teachers to
Use FBPS in the Classroom
• All staff get trained in how to:
 Develop the habit of ‘Mapping Out’ incidents
 Use the F-BIT to reflect and organize their thoughts
 Use the Intervention Planner to select strategies [*new]
 Use effective redirection strategies when behavior occurs
• Secondary & Tertiary Teams support implementation
 Always modeling the process in discussions
 Providing coaching to support implementation
 Providing lots of praise & encouragement:
• Have the student give the staff ‘appreciation’ tickets for all their
• Use thank you notes, appreciation tickets, shout outs to reinforce
staff’s implementation of the system
It’s all different now…Using Function-Based
Problem Solving
• Mary Allyn (Culture and Climate Specialist)
and Lisa (Principal) discuss how the process
has changed 7.40-9.13 & 9.54-11.20
•Articulated it was going to be different
•Teachers need to bring data
•Emphasized in class coaching for teachers
•Look for patterns to figure out what interventions
need to be in place
•The process takes time, but is worth the investment
Impact on Tier 2 and 3 Need and Planning
• Melissa & Liz Co-Teachers (2:19)
•Proactive planning and anticipating when children
might struggle is preventing the need for more
‘intensive’ interventions
•Using a constructive reflective process that is
grounded in a function-based inquiry is making them
more proficient at identifying supports best matched
to the student’s need
FBPS at the Classroom Level
• Reflective Planning Using the Function-Based
Information Tool (F-BIT)
– Checklist format
– Helps teachers to reflect on the most typical setting
events, antecedents and consequences that are
– Organizes our thinking into a succinct WHEN WHAT
IN ORDER TO statement that provides a working
frame for selecting strategies
– Links to the PBSIS Intervention Planner for
suggested strategies
Positive Qualities: Reflecting on the student’s positive qualities can be very helpful to selecting
intervention strategies. Review the list below and select all of the positive qualities that reflect
this student’s personality and style.
Attentive to social cues
Conveys thoughts well
Liked by peers, has friends
Engaged learner
Hard worker
Arrives on time
Comes to class/school prepared
Regularly attends school/class
Strategies that Work: What instructional strategies and conditions does
the student typically respond positively? Check all that apply.
Structured tasks/ activities
Clearly defined expectations (e.g., rubric or group norms)
Familiar structured routines
Check-ins (e.g., mid project check in) and reminders
Giving the student ‘chunks’ of a project or assignment at a time
Helping the student to task analyzed projects or test preparation into
‘chunks’ of information or steps
Familiar tasks (e.g., skills required, the type of task, etc.)
Tasks or activities that involve artistic expression of concepts
Review the list
and select the
items that
reflect the
strengths and
what works
Behavior Priorities: (1) indicate with an ‘X’ the behaviors that you would like to
see improvements in how the student is acting and (2) generate a couple of
examples of what the student says and does that is a problem (see the example
Examples of what the student does.
I would like to see
Use VERBS to describe the behavior
the student improve:
not adjectives (e.g. puts head down is
better than doesn’t cooperate)
Following Directions,
Rules and Routines (e.g.,
calls out; makes noises;
talks with peers; gets out of
seat; does not follow
directions; repeats
behaviors previously told
not to do; proceeds doing
something despite being
told to stop)
Interactions with Adults
(e.g., talks back; argues
with teacher; uses rude
language; walks away
when teacher is talking)
Interactions with Peers
(e.g., teases, bullies, calls
names, argues, puts peers
in awkward position)
Rolls eyes when given a direction
Makes ‘huffing’ noises
Ignores direction by not making eye
contact, keeping back to teacher,
continuing to talk to peers
1. Review the list of
2. Select the areas
that you would
like to see
3. Provide
examples of what
the student does
that is a problem
Problematic Antecedent Triggers: Review the list of antecedent triggers below. Select those items that are most commonly associated
with occurrences of behavior. If you are not sure, over the next couple of days take notice of the conditions present just before the
behavior occurs. Then return to completing this list. Once you have selected triggers, consider the possible function: (A) Does the
behavior enable the student to escape or delay the situation? (B) Does the behavior gain the student social attention? (C) Does the
behavior gain the student social control over the situation or perceived image?
Do you think the behavior is motivated by wanting
Behavior typically occurs when…
…to get out of or
Delay a Situation
…attention from
Adults or Peers
…social control
over the situation
Participating in Instruction & Work Routine
… whole group instruction is happening (listening, waiting turn, note
… it is time to do an assignment (attending to directions, getting materials,
starting the task)
… working on a challenging assignment (e.g., above reading or math
level, missing background knowledge, perceptual reasoning, processing,
memory, written expression, etc.)
… sustained effort or attention is needed to complete tasks
… participating in cooperative groups (see transition and social relation
Review the list of antecedent triggers
Select the triggers and the column that represents
your best guess as to what is motivating the
student to act out
Consequences: Review the list of typical consequences / responses to behavior. For each response strategy that you use, Indicate in
the right hand columns the type of outcome you think the student experiences (i.e., escape, attention, social control) as a result of the
response / consequence.
Does the response/consequence result in the
student getting …
Behavior typically occurs when…
…to get out of or
Delay a Situation
…attention from
Adults or Peers
…social control
over the situation
In response to behavior do you….
…give a non verbal cue (e.g., look at student)
…provide a verbal redirection (e.g., “It is time to start work”)
…provide a reprimand (e.g., “This is not appropriate in class”)
…use humor to defuse the situation
…ignore (or try to ignore) what the student did
Review the list of consequences
Select the responses and the column that
represents your best guess as what the ‘payoff’
for behavior is
Pulling the Information Together: Based on the information you selected above, develop a working WHEN, WHAT, IN ORDER TO
statement that explains the pattern of behavior that will help you to select targeted interventions:
When (under
What (the
student engages
in this behavior):
In Order to
(achieve this
it is time to do work and the task is challenging or Abigail doesn’t know
what to do
Abigail rolls eyes, talks with peers, ignores direction, makes ‘under her
breath’ comments
•Escape out of work (even if this means getting a reduced grade on the
•Adult/peer attention (even if this is not always positive attention)
Synthesize the information you checked off
into a when/what/in order to statement
This gives you a short, straightforward way to
sum up what is going on with the student
Function: In light of your reflections about conditions most typically associated with behavior occurrences (antecedent triggers and
consequences) what do you think the student is trying to achieve by acting out (i.e., the function of behavior)? Select those items that most
consistently reflect your understanding of why the behavior is occurring.
The student is engaging in behavior to escape or delay the situation because the student…
… gets overwhelmed in the situation and doesn’t know how to get out of it
…gets frustrated when work is difficult or challenging
…may be embarrassed that they cannot do the work
…doesn’t know how to do the activities / assignments
…has difficulty getting started with tasks
…may be socially uncomfortable
The student is engaging in behavior to gain attention because the student…
…is in need of developing friends
…is going through a difficult time (e.g., illness in the family)
…appears disenfranchised from the peer group
…may lack self confidence and is looking to others to validate their sense of social status
…seems to need a lot of adult attention and interaction
…is trying to access adult assistance for academics or other reasons
The student is engaging in behavior to gain social control because the student may…
… be trying to save face in front of peers
Given your when/what/in
order to statement, why
do you think the student
is engaging in problem
…want more predictability or sense of control over the situation
…be trying to establish their social status or social importance
…be trying to compensate for feeling disliked or disenfranchised from adults at school
…perceive the behaviors being displayed are a means to gain respect
…does not want to make a change in routine or activity (e.g., transition from gym to math)
Sample Intervention Planner Section
Time to Work that is Challenging
Core Strategies
•Reduce length or quantity of work (e.g., less pages, fewer problems, fewer passages; fewer number of word
•Chunk information and present chunks at one at a time
•Reduce the amount of information provided to the student
•Enlarge font
•Provide additional time on tests and quizzes for written responses
•Provide calculator, multiplication table, etc.
•Reduce the amount of writing required in a response (e.g., create a list versus sentences; underline or
highlight as opposed to writing words)
•Provide story starters or scaffolds to help the student construct their ideas
•Have student submit typed responses (instead of hand written)
Adapting reading assignments and materials
•Adapt text to block out extraneous sentences leaving in the essential concepts
•Provide a text with key sentences or vocabulary highlighted to encourage attending to important details
while reading
•Assign short chunks of reading at a time
•Develop summaries or paraphrasing that accompanies the text
•Scan readings into a PDF and use the comment feature to insert comments, definitions, or key ideas the
student should attend
•Use web based CAST Book Builder to develop books on core topics that are at adjustable reading levels (see
resources for web link)
It’s all different now…Using Function-Based
Problem Solving
• Mary Allyn (Culture & Climate Specialist) and
Lisa (Principal) reflect on the teacher’s response
to a systematic function-based approach 12.2015.02
•Teachers feel more supported and listened to
•Teachers are taking ownership
•Surprised by the intensity but the plans are ‘doable’
•More professional referrals and requests for help
•Changes in perception about being able to students
with more significant needs
Giving kids what they need
• Alison and Lori 1st grade co-teachers
•Gives teachers the skills to work with all students
regardless of their level of need
•Able to be more effective at the universal level by
being proactive and giving kids what they need from
the start
Strategy # 3:
Opportunities for
Students with
Support Needs
Within Universal
Challenge: Ensuring students with significant support
needs are included in universal intervention planning
• Are universal interventions really universally
• Since universal interventions are about ALL students,
we need to help teams to have students with
disabilities on the planning agenda
Universally Designed Universal
• Acknowledgment that PBIS is grounded in a
belief in inclusion
• Representation on the planning team
• Deliberate planning of core intervention components
with an eye toward inclusion, for example:
Design of how expectations are represented
Clear ‘school is a community’ message
Incentive systems that promote community
Accommodations during school-wide events
Alison’s advice to help teachers plan for
unique needs
• Advice from Alison (2:13)
•Have a designated communication tree
•Give teachers advanced notice of events so they can
plan for accommodations and supports
•Design universal interventions “universally” that
plan for a diverse range of needs and attention span
Respect privacy and wait your turn.
Place trash in the garbage can.
Flush toilet and wash/dry your hands.
Return to class quickly and quietly.
Keep hands, feet, and objects to
Wait your turn
Wash and dry hands
Put trash in garbage can
Social Story Example
When I help clean up, I am being kind.
You’ve Been Spotted!
To: ________________________ Date __________
From: ______________________
RMS Road to Success
FROM: _______________________
Be Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Safe
Burnet Middle School
Congratulations! You have earned one
Falcon Feather!
Student _____________________________________
Earn Your Wings!
Student Name: __________________________________________
Staff Member: ___________________________________________
Be Consistent
Learn Daily c Lead Responsibly c Live Respectfully
Draw a crowd with a
game show approach to ticket raffles
From Obscurity to Center Stage:
‘Peercentric’ Incentive Options
• Leverage the incentive system to promote
peer interaction opportunities that elevate the
social status of students with disabilities
– Wii lounge
– Bean bag lounge
– Fancy lunch with friends
– Dean’s Marquee Theater
Pictures removed for web posting:
Groups of students illustrating
inclusion in peer oriented incentive
Pictures removed for web posting:
PBIS Student Ambassadors offer an
opportunity to be a leader
Tying School-Wide Recognition System
Tickets to Individual Plans
• School wide tickets can
replace various other
tokens (e.g., pennies) in
individual student
systems to increase the
meaningfulness of the
system and ensure the
student is connected to
what is happening
Sample of a Sticker Chart Using the
S-W Logo and Tickets
Stay in Seat
Do Work
Get a Together Ticket
Together We Can!
Together We Can!
From: Mrs. Smith
Together We Can!
From: Mrs. Smith
Strategy # 4:
Dig Deeper
Disaggregate data
to find inequity
and disparity
Challenge: How to foster consistent and
effective use of data?
• We know that data-based decision making is
essential to successful practices
• Data has a bad reputation
• Beginning the process of using data can be
• School personnel struggle with what to do with
the data once they have
What We are Learning about Helping
Schools Be Better Data Users
• School personnel are benefiting from clear
and structured guidance to:
– Know how to identify disparity and inequity
– Ask probing questions about those patterns
– Select interventions to address those patterns
PBSIS Coordination Meeting
Administrators (Principal,
VP/AP(s), Disciplinarian)
Universal Team Designee(s)
CST Designee(s)
Secondary Team (I & RS)
Other Designated Personnel (e.g.,
anti-bullying specialist)
Coordination Across intervention Tiers:
Planned – Organized – Data-Based
• Updates – each tier representative provides
an update of what is happening with their tier
• Data review & problem analysis – the group
looks at a summary of key data and
determines intervention planning priorities
• Reflection –about PBIS implementation and
other key needs in the building related to
positive climate and social behaviors
Referrals for
students with
Referrals for
students with
reasons without prior intervention implementation at the secondary tier`
Questions to Ask
Students with IEPs are receiving repeated
referrals to the office?
Meet with the administrative team to define a process
that ensure CST receive timely and consistent
communication when students with IEPs are sent to
the office for behavior reasons. Document the
process in writing.
Meet with the administrative team to discuss the
function-based problem solving process – ensure
they understand the how and why of function-based
problem solving; the expected level of participation
from staff; and the importance of administrators
emphasizes the need for staff to participate and follow
Are CST receiving notice from the administrative
team when students with IEPs have received
OCRs or suspensions?
Are administrators familiar with Function-Based
Problem Solving and the basic principles of
behavior patterns and shaping behavior?
Do administrators have a clearly established step
for accessing function-based information (e.g.,
existing FBA or BIP) when making disciplinary
Is there an established process for how
administrators communicate with CST about
students with disabilities, including sending copies
of referrals and suspension notices?
Does the district data management system
accommodate queries to run reports of students
with IEPs for conduct referrals?
 NJPBSIS Introduction to FBPS Principal Packet
– scripted guide for talking with administrators
about Function Based Problem Solving
Facilitate a meeting with all members of the
administrative team to establish an agreed upon set
of criteria and procedures for students with IEPs who
have received office conduct referrals (e.g.,
Implement the BIP for one month & evaluate what is
working or in need of improvement)………
Data informs Decision Making
• Mary Allyn (Culture and Climate Specialist) &
Lisa (Principal) discuss using data to identify
grade level patterns
Final Thoughts: Is SWPBS helping us to
create inclusive schools?
• Big picture:
– Universal intervention provides the
opportunity to cultivate a school climate
• Embraces diversity
• Celebrates and values every student
• Encourages staff to be planful, proactive,
and think outside the box
Final Thoughts: Is SWPBS helping us to
create inclusive schools?
• We need data to measure the extent to which
students with significant support needs are
benefiting from SWPBS
• We need continued discussion and high quality
examples of SWPBS that illustrate inclusion of
students with significant support needs
• We need research that investigates how SWPBS can
help us to create school communities premised on
inclusion of ALL students
Final Thoughts: Is SWPBS helping us to
create inclusive schools?
• SWPBS presents an important opportunity to
transform schools with segregated cultures IF
inclusion is part of the planning and purpose.
• Inclusion needs to be a part of the primary
mission for why we are implementing SWPBS
• Structures, scaffolds, and expectations need to be
embedded within the SWPBS training that move
schools toward creating inclusive school
Questions or Comments?
• Please visit us at –
we have lots of resources for PBIS

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