Positive Behavior Support
The primary method for assisting students at Disston Academy with behavior change is the Positive Behavior Support (PBS) program. PBS is a comprehensive system for behavioral improvement. The positive refers to a change of focus from reactive, constantly pointing out what students did wrong (negatives), to proactive teaching and recognizing what children are doing right (positives). It refers to an overall change in the school climate to a learning environment where students and staff feel appreciated, safe and respected; it is a collaborative, proactive and educative approach.
Response to Intervention (RTI)
As aligned with the District Initiative of Response to Intervention (RtI), the PBS program at Disston Academy is designed in a 3-Tiered model of support or intervention to facilitate student success: Core or Tier 1, Supplemental or Tier 2 and Intensive or Tier 3. The following is a description of this model:
Tier I or Core
Interventions are used on a school-wide basis for all students. This Tier is considered “Core” because all students are exposed in the same way, and at the same level, to the intervention. Core strategies include, but are not in limited to, using effective teaching practices and curricula, explicitly teaching behavior that is acceptable within the school environment, focusing on ecological arrangement and systems within the school, consistent use of pre-correction procedures, using active supervision of common areas and creating reinforcement systems that are used on a school-wide basis. At Tier 1, all students receive the foundation of PRIDE School Wide Expectations and Rules, Affective Group, Character Education, Small Group Instruction and Classroom Setting with Increased Staff Support (typical teacher: pupil ratio of 2:6), PRIDE Points and Tickets (token economies for positive behavior), PRIDE Progress Report for daily behavior documentation, progress monitoring and school/home communication, STAFF PRIDE Flowchart for progress monitoring (monthly), PRIDE Student Portfolio for goal setting and self-monitoring and a structured behavior plan for addressing problem behavior.
Tier 2 or Supplemental
Interventions involve students who do not respond to the Tier 1 or Core strategies and are at risk for academic failure or behavior problems but are not in need of intensive individual supports. At Tier 2, students continue to receive all the supports provided at Tier1 PLUS additional or supplemental supports to facilitate success. Interventions at the Tier 2 level often are delivered in smaller groups to maximize time and effort and should be developed with the unique needs of the students within the group. Examples of these interventions include social support such as pull out groups for social skills training (e.g., explicit instruction in skill deficit areas, friendship clubs, anger management group, check in/ check-out program) or academic support (i.e., use of scientifically-validated intervention programs and tutoring).
Tier 3 or Intensive
Interventions focus on students who display persistent patterns of disciplinary problems who have not responded to Tier 1 or Tier 2 interventions. Tier 3 interventions are intensive and individualized and are the most comprehensive and complex. The interventions within this Tier are based in that the concept that the complexity and intensity of the intervention plan directly reflects the complexity and intensity of the behaviors. Students within Tier 3 continue involvement in Tier 1 and Tier 2 intervention programs and receive additional supports as well. These supports could include the use of specific prevention strategies, a de-escalation plan for the student, individual counseling, specialized classroom environment/setting or curriculum, specialized reinforcement system and/or modifications to the school- wide behavior plan.