The Behavior Management Program at Fieldston Preparatory School is driven by the Behavior Intervention Plan that is a multidisciplinary process and includes parents, the student, outside agencies, teachers and any other individual with interest in and has knowledge of the student and his or her own special needs. A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) and Behavioral Intervention Plan (BIP) are developed when the Individual Education Plan Team identifies certain significant behaviors that would benefit from direct positive interventions. For students initially registering that have a current BIP, the school staff will observe and document statistical data for two to four weeks to monitor the transition. The results of these observations will be shared with the individual student and, if needed, the school will perform a Functional Behavior Assessment with suggested classroom interventions. The process for completing the FBA and BIP is to identify the target behavior, collect information across respondents and settings, identify antecedent events and consequences, identify the function or purpose of the behavior, develop a hypothesis about the behavior, and develop an intervention plan based on the hypothesis. The goal of this plan is to eliminate disruptive, aggressive and noncompliant behaviors that interfere with the student’s opportunity to acquire and produce academic skills.
We seek to correct three persistent concerns in standard behavior management approaches. First, when the highly structured system of rewards and consequences is no longer available to students, the improvement in behavior dissipates and old patterns of negative behaviors reemerge. Second, when the highly structured behavior management program is used, the relationship of adults to students is characterized by control and compliance rather than respect and learning. And Third, in behavior modification models, much academic time is lost to the program of rewards and consequences such as school point stores and time out areas. To address these three concerns, Fieldston approaches behavior not as something to be rewarded or punished. Positive behaviors are expected and intervention strategies include: Effective Prevention, Remediation, and Development of Alternative Behavior.
Negative behaviors are viewed as “teachable moments”. Our staff uses a problem solving model to process misbehavior with each student and to describe better ways of managing their frustrations in the future. Fieldston does not use time-out or seclusion methods because, in addition to wasting valuable academic time, these strategies do not teach students appropriate ways to interact or manage frustrations. Our program uses proactive positive strategies that anticipate potential difficulties while at the same time making adjustments to the student’s environment to help teach alternative behaviors to meet their needs more acceptably.
Teaching appropriate behavior is so important, especially when students do not know what appropriate behavior should be demonstrated in a certain situation. This generally involves a combination of the following: self evaluation, self management, self instruction and self reinforcement. Behavioral self-control interventions are designed, for the student, to match the functions of the problem behavior identified during the functional assessment. The problem solving approach to behavior management requires that students feel a connection with the adults involved. Children with behavioral disabilities perceive themselves as alienated from school staff so at Fieldston, we strive to build our foundation on strong, positive relationships among all members of the educational team – school staff, students, parents and families, and all parties involved in each student’s education. Our policy of kindness and respect colors everything we do.