Dean’s Office

Our Beliefs around Discipline and De-escalating unproductive behavior.

Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies

On a daily basis we respond to a wide spectrum of student behaviors. Teaching with Love and Logic (Fay & Funk) and our experience with student behavior/social-emotional needs, gives us a framework to understand and consider responses to these actions and offers a concrete toolkit.

Some misbehaviors are best dealt with inside the classroom by the teacher, while others must be referred to the dean, guidance or school leadership.

The list below attempts to categorize types of misbehaviors as well as some suggested follow-up steps to address them, utilizing TL&L principles of enforceable limits and applying consequences with empathy.

  1. Off-Task Behaviors Generally Handled Best Within the Classroom, by the Teacher:

The following are examples of off-task behaviors that are generally handled best within the classroom, by the teacher. We say generally, because this is true in the vast majority of instances; however we know that each individual student is different and may have different needs. When off-task behaviors are chronic, we must examine the roots of these actions. Teachers will need to address these causes alongside members of the PBIS team.

Some examples of procedural behavior issues:

  • Student doesn’t bring necessary materials to class.
  • Student doesn’t complete assigned work.
  • Student doesn’t comply with classroom rules, such as a seating arrangement or raising hands to speak.

Possible teacher responses to behavior:

  • Call attention to the procedure/infraction and restate the expectation.
  • Use verbal and written feedback to support continued and regular practice of the particular procedure.

Off-task behavior issues:

  • Playing around with other students
  • Loss of focus, confusion, or temporary frustration or anger
  • Interrupting others or blurting out inappropriate comments

Possible teacher responses to behavior:

  • Offer verbal prompts and invitations that encourage students to self-correct, re-focus and get back on task. (“Can you take a moment to fix your behavior…”)
  • Offer a choice or opportunity to solve the problem. (“Would it help you to sit by the window or closer to the front of the room?”)
  • Record exactly what a student is doing or tally the number of times a behavior occurs so that you can discuss this data with the student.
  • Teacher-led detention during lunch or after school
  • Call home
  • Develop an appropriate consequence with the student

Chronic off-task behavior issues should be documented and brought to attention of Summer School Coordinator.

  • No attempt to do assigned work
  • Non-participation in activities, withdrawal or detachment
  • Inability to manage anger or deal with persistent discouragement and frustration effectively
  • Persistent attention-seeking behavior

Possible responses to behavior:

  • Share observations using non-threatening language. (“So I’ve noticed in the last week ______. What’s up?”)
  • Listen to and acknowledge student’s feelings.
  • Convey support and understanding of what you heard.
  • Develop a behavior contract with the student
  1. High Impact Behaviors

High impact or extreme behaviors that disrupt instruction should be handled by teachers with support from the SS Coordinator. These behaviors must be documented as well.

Chronic unwanted behaviors or high impact behaviors:

  • Deliberate acts and use of negative speech that sabotage the classroom order
  • Uninvited physical contact with other students
  • Acts of spite and revenge directed at an adult
  • Leaving classroom without permission
  • Throwing items
  • Banging on desks

Possible immediate responses to behavior:

  • Immediate intervention to stop the behavior and defuse the situation. (“That is not okay. We don’t say things like that.”)
  • Removal from classroom (please see below regarding classroom removals)

Additional responses to behavior – with support from Counselor/Dean

  • Conduct sheet
  • Written reflection or apology
  • Teacher-led detention
  • Parent meeting
  • Mediation
  • Counseling for student
  • Classroom community service (i.e. assisting teacher in organizing or cleaning classroom)

III. Big Nos

These behaviors violate the core values of the school and threaten the safety and security of the community members. They must be documented.

Aggression towards peers:

  • Physical acts with intent to harm
  • Verbal intimidation or threats
  • Bullying

Aggression towards an adult:

  • Cursing specifically directed at an adult
  • Verbal, hostile, and aggressive confrontation, or physical intimidation

Cutting Class

  • Student leaving class without permission without returning
  • Student arriving more than 15 minute late to class (Note – it is up to teacher discretion whether to document this as cutting)

Immediate teacher responses to Big Nos:

  • Immediate intervention to stop the behavior and defuse the situation
  • Classroom removal (see below for more on classroom removals)
  • Contact Dean

Counselor/Dean/Admin responses to Big Nos:

  • Conference with student and teacher
  • Pre-suspension conference
  • In-school suspension
  • Out-of-school suspension
  • Counseling for student

*A Note on Classroom Removal

At times, it may be necessary to ask a student to step outside of the classroom. As a response to off-task or high impact behaviors, students can be asked to leave the room for a short period of time. Students should be given a specific instruction (i.e. “I want you to have a chance to cool-off until you’re ready to enter the class.”) before leaving the classroom, along with the stating the expectation that students should remain outside the door of the classroom. Teachers must check in with student after 2 minutes.

Things to consider when asking a student to “step outside.”

  • This is often most effective when it’s a quick conversation offering an opportunity for students to re-set their behavior.
  • If a student must be removed from class because of a high impact infraction or a violation of a Big No, the Dean must be contacted so that the student can be escorted to an appropriate location. Students cannot be unattended in the hall for extended periods of time. Do not send a student out of the room without a plan for when/how they will return.


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