Positive Behavior

Positive Behavior, One Point at a Time

Super TripCollier Middle School’s Positive Behavior Support program, overseen by our BCBA, Cindy D’Arcy, and BCaBA, Nicole Sharrock, encourages our students to be Respectful, Responsible, Safe, and Kind.

Understanding the importance of continual feedback for our students, we pause every 20 minutes to reflect, reinforce, and guide our Middle Schoolers throughout their day. Each morning students are given a card that is divided into many subsections—each subsection is given a value of 1 point. The point is earned with the students’ teacher’s signature if the student is meeting expectations that have been made clear and seen as achievable for that individual student.

Preferred Activities

Having enough points earns the reward of a preferred activity. Students who did not earn enough points meet with their clinical social worker in the refocus group where they examine the situation, what other choices the student could have made, and what can be done to restore relationships that may have been affected by it. This happens twice a day (after lunch and at the end of the day) which reinforces the idea that we can recover and start over.

Points are never taken away and are tracked daily, allowing our staff to identify trends and either reinforce the positive behavior or teach the skills needed to avoid challenging behavior in the future. At the end of the month, all students who achieved a 90% or above for that month can attend a highly desirable field trip.

AIMStudents who fall below the 90% threshold work closely with our BCBA and BCaBA to develop a behavioral plan. “Sometimes we just have to create an individualized incentive for that student. Not all of our students find going on a trip motivating. So we work with them to find out what they want to work towards,” Ms. Sharrock noted. “Other times, a teacher’s response to a student’s positive behavior may not have been read correctly—especially in students who have trouble reading facial cues. In these cases we work harder at making sure the teachers give clear, concise cues the student can recognize so that they know we are seeing their positive behavior. So it’s not just saying ‘good job’ but ‘good job at coming to class prepared with your notebook.’”

In the two years the Middle School has implemented this program, they have seen a significant improvement in the behavior or their students. “We never imagined that it would be this successful,” Ms. Sharrock exclaimed.