Attending school can be very difficult for students, especially those with special needs. There are intense pressures both academically and socially placed on students in this day and age.
For students that are no longer in a public school environment, the pressures and anxiety can be even greater. Therefore Washington Academy has developed a specialized Positive Behavior Support program (PBS), which it has been implementing for the past 30 years.
The core of PBS is to consistently provide positive reinforcement, encouragement and support for all students. As part of a PBS program, students have the opportunity to earn points toward rewards. The school sets benchmarks for the expected behaviors and whether or not the student is attaining rewards.
Students are made aware of school rules and expected behaviors and how to earn points and the different types of rewards that are available. In this way, the students can take personal responsibility for their own behavior.
A well designed PBS program can address and help students have a positive self-image, self-esteem and confidence in order to be successful in school.
Depending on grade level, a behavior plan is tailored to the individual needs of the students in each classroom based on the IEP.
PBS incorporates recent trends in research and practice that emphasize designing positive and effective interventions that are based on a comprehensive assessment of the variable affecting a person’s behavior (Horner et al., 1990; Ruef, Poston & Humphrey, 1999).
This trend is supported by recent mandates, including the 1997 amendments to the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, which call for the use of functional behavioral assessment and positive support strategies (Tilly et al., 1998).