Behavior Modification

Therapeutic Environment

Washington Academy's program is considered a therapeutic environment because of the comprehensive and intensive Positive Behavior Support system (PBS) employed. Our PBS system is rooted in psychological research, but tailored specifically for each individual student in a pro-social and group setting. The goal of Washington Academy's behavior system is to teach each student how to recognize inappropriate behavior, then to understand its impact in their life, and then be able to choose more appropriate alternatives. Students that attend Washington Academy are always reinforced with reinforcers to de-escalate anxiety or aggression and to increase positive emotional responses.

Behavior Plans

A key component to a successful PBS system is to develop a behavior plan. Typically students who attend Washington Academy are already familiar with simple behavior plans in their previous school. Those previous plans were not successful at addressing the core motivations for the inappropriate behavior, thus our trained and specialized staff each create a Classroom Plan.

The expectation is that ALL students will follow the Classroom Plan. The key difference between a Washington Academy Classroom Plan and anotehr school's classroom plan is that we implement multiple tiers of reinforcers to encourage, praise and recognize each student for each success they make.

For students that require even more interventions, our behavior team will create an individualized Behavior Agreement for that student. The goal is always to reduce significant inappropriate behavior in order to promote pro-social skills inside and outside the classroom environment.

Reward Tiers

Student recognition, praise and reward is at the heart of Washington Academy's decades of success with special needs students. Countless students have exceled at Washington Academy as a direct result of our PBS program.

The main idea of our PBS system is that students have many opportunities to "EARN" rewards throughout the day, week, month and school year. Creating multiple tiers allows each student to benchmark their own success and provides a clear goal to strive for during the school year.

All rewards and prizes, at No-Cost to parents/guardians, and can include, but not limited to:

  • Washington Academy logo t-shirts, sweatshirts, pencils, notebooks, lunch bags, and stress balls.
  • WA Basketball Team Home Game played at the Brooklyn Nets Basketball Facility
  • Student of the Month Lunch (with Principal)
  • Field Trips (Movies, mini-golf, bowling, Chinese lunch buffet)
  • Basketball Team participation (Home and Away games)
  • Gift Cards (ie. Walmart, Target, Dunkin Donuts, Best Buy, Applebees)
  • Official Sports Gear (jerseys, shirts, and sweatshirts)
  • Clothing (polos, t-shirts, shorts, sneakers)
  • Environmental Studies Field Trip (in June)
  • Field Day (in June)
  • Trophies and Medals (presented at our Annual Awards Ceremony in June)