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PBIS - From A Student's Perspective

PBIS - Good And Bad Examples
PBIS - Good And Bad Examples


Dear Friends and Colleagues;

Welcome back to school!  We hope everyone's summer was delightful! This quarter's newsletter will focus on the topic, Positive Behavior Intervention and Supports and School Discipline. In December of 2014, the United States Department of Education launched their campaign to "Rethink Discipline". The goal is to reduce expulsion and suspension in early childhood settings, and more broadly, improve school climates and discipline across the educational spectrum.
The first article in our newsletter is the letter from Secretary of Education, Arnie Duncan in which he announces the launch of the campaign as well as the release of a guidance package to help schools implement change. The second article," Know the Data", reveals data from the Civil Rights Data Collection (CRDC) about out of school suspension and how the number of suspensions are higher for students of color and students with disabilities. The article also features several demographic maps showing the areas of the country that have the highest rates of suspension. The third article is joint letter to our nation's schools from the US Department of Education and the US Department of Justice about school discipline. The letter is a guidance package full of useful materials to help schools identify and correct any disparities in race, gender, or disability that exists within their system of discipline. Included is an article that features a local school district, Bridgehampton, that is implementing a new school-wide approach to discipline based on PBIS (Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports).
We sum up this quarter's newsletter sharing the story of our workshop presented in Washington, DC at the OSEP Leadership Conference. LIPC together with LIASEA (Long Island Association of Special Education Administrators) presented a story of collaboration.  We even had the opportunity to share our story with the US Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan!!
The resources section features helpful links found in the process of writing this newsletter. 

Each quarter our newsletter will provide you with current events in education, updates from NYS Education Department, the US Department of Education, and regional resources. Our staff enjoys sharing the most interesting articles and information we find as we navigate through our daily work schedules. What we do know is that there never seems to be enough time to read every article, every e-mail, and every memo that is distributed throughout the field. Our goal is to conveniently share with you the most important and interesting information that we find in a timely manner. We encourage you to join our list serve  click here so in addition to this newsletter you will receive periodic publications and notices that might be of interest to you.

Helene Fallon
Project Coordinator
Acronyms & Key Terms:
OSEP - The Office of Special Education Programs - is dedicated to improving results for infants, toddlers, children and youth with disabilities ages birth through 21 by providing leadership and financial support to assist states and local districts.
OSS  - Out-of-School-Suspension A course of discipline in which a child is removed from school for a specified period of time.
ISS - In School SuspensionA course of discipline in which a child is removed from his/her regular school schedule for a specified period of time, but remains on school grounds with school supervision.

BIP - Behavioral intervention plan  is based on the functional behavior assessment (FBA) and is designed for a specific child. As best practices suggests, the BIP should consist of four components. The first component addresses setting events which are events that influence the likelihood a student will engage in challenging behavior such as lack of sleep, feeling hungry, or a disturbance that occurred earlier in the day.  The second component addresses antecedents (i.e., those events that occur just prior to the challenging behavior) and may consist of visual cues, offering a choice, or breaking tasks into smaller parts. The third component consists of skill based strategies in which the learner is taught a specific skill to replace the challenging behavior.  Finally, consequence procedures should be developed that reinforce appropriate behavior.
FBA - Functional behavioral assessment - is implemented to determine why an individual is engaging in challenging behavior (i.e., the function of the behavior). The first two components of an FBA consist of an interview and a direct observation both of which are implemented to identify when the challenging behavior is most likely to occur and the consequences that are typically delivered following the behavior. A commonly used "interview" is the Motivational Assessment Scale and a commonly used observation system is an antecedent/behavior/consequence analysis. The third component of an FBA consists of manipulating environmental variables to determine their effects on a student's behavior. A well conducted FBA will allow for the identification of the function of the behavior, as well as events that occur before and after the behavior that maintain the behavior. Interventionists can then use this information to develop an effective positive behavior support plan.

PBIS - Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports - This language comes directly from the 1997 reauthorization of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 
RTI - Response to Intervention  - is a multi-tier approach to the early identification and support of students with learning and behavior needs. The RTI process begins with high-quality instruction and universal screening of all children in the general education classroom. Struggling learners are provided with interventions at increasing levels of intensity to accelerate their rate of learning. These services may be provided by a variety of personnel, including general education teachers, special educators, and specialists. Progress is closely monitored to assess both the learning rate and level of performance of individual students. Educational decisions about the intensity and duration of interventions are based on individual student response to instruction. RTI is designed for use when making decisions in both general education and special education, creating a well-integrated system of instruction and intervention guided by child outcome data.
CRDC - Civil Rights Data Collection - Formerly the Elementary and Secondary School Survey (E&S Survey), to collect data on key education and civil rights issues in our nation's public schools. The CRDC collects a variety of information including, student enrollment and educational programs and services, disaggregated by race/ethnicity, sex, limited English proficiency and disability. The CRDC is a longstanding and important aspect of the ED Office for Civil Right's overall strategy for administering and enforcing the civil rights statutes for which it is responsible. Information collected by the CRDC is also used by other ED offices as well as policymakers and researchers outside of ED.

Policy Statement Released From the United States Department of Education

Today, we are issuing a policy statement and recommendations to assist States and their public and private local early childhood programs in preventing and severely limiting expulsions and suspensions in early learning settings. Recent data indicate that expulsions and suspensions occur with regularity in preschool settings, a problematic issue given the well established research indicating that these practices can influence a number of adverse outcomes across development, health, and education. In addition, stark racial and gender disparities exist in these practices, with young boys of color being suspended and expelled at much higher rates than other children in early learning programs. These trends warrant immediate attention from the early childhood and education fields.

School Climate and Discipline: Know the Data

Various data sources show clearly that students with disabilities and students of color are disproportionately impacted by such practices. According to the Civil Rights Data Collection, black students are suspended and expelled at a rate three times greater than white students, while students with disabilities are twice as likely to receive an out-of-school suspension as their non-disabled peers. Sources of discipline data and research can be found here.
Guidance Package For Schools From the US Department of Education and the US Department of Justice

Dear Colleague:

The U.S. Department of Education and the U.S. Department of Justice (Departments) are issuing this guidance to assist public elementary and secondary schools in meeting their obligations under Federal law to administer student discipline without discriminating on the basis of race, color, or national origin. The Departments recognize the commitment and effort of educators across the United States to provide their students with an excellent education. The Departments believe that guidance on how to identify, avoid, and remedy discriminatory discipline will assist schools in providing all students with equal educational opportunities.

Bridgehampton School Seeks To Reinforce Positive Behavior In Students  

Disruptive student behavior and visits to the principal's office might seem like a part of the fabric of everyday school life. But that could soon change at the Bridgehampton School.

Instead of focusing on reprimanding students for being bad, administrators at the Montauk Highway school this year have taken a new approach to incentivize good behavior by rewarding students who exhibit it.

Shifting the Culture;  A Story of Collaboration   
By Helene Fallon

There are often many challenges in our everyday work!  We all have many successes to talk about and at the same time we, as professionals, have barriers and obstacles that cross our path on a regular basis.  What we know is that educators do not go into the field of education to become millionaires, they typically come into the field of education because they love working with children and young adults and wholeheartedly believe in our education system.  We also know whether coming to the table as an educator or as a parent, we all have the same goal which is to educate our students to achieve success academically and socially, both in school and in their post-secondary experiences.  Research that has been done for decades indicates that positive relationships between parents and educators will lead to better outcomes, including higher grades, better attendance, improved behavior at home and at school, better social skills and adaptation to school. (Epstein, J.L., 2007). 


In the course of day to day business and in the process of writing newsletters, LIPC often comes across resources that may be useful to parents and/or professionals. In this resources section, we share with you the websites that we've found useful this quarter. If you have a resource you have found particularly helpful, we encourage you to share it with us here and we will consider it for the next newsletter. 

U.S. Department of Education's Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

New York State's Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports

Rethink Discipline Website:

New York State Policy to Reduce Suspensions and Expulsions:
An example of a successful RTI and PBIS program in Milwaukee schools: 

Google search of the hashtag #rethinkdiscipline

We look forward to working with you.  Please check out the LIPC Website for updates on future trainings and workshops and be sure to look for our next newsletter in the spring!