Brett Sloane from Valley Cottage Elementary in Nyack shared that a student at the school was exhibiting highly problematic behavior on the bus and not responding to any of the consequences. Serious consideration was being given to permanently removing the student from the bus.  However, the staff decided to implement a new set of strategies based on positive behavioral supports.  According to the coach, “What a turnaround!!  His behavior on the bus improved dramatically and he became a model bus student!”

How was this accomplished?

The school team engaged the student in monitoring his own behavior while they focused on acknowledging him for what he was doing well.  The student first worked with the team to develop his own positive behavior plan for the bus.  As he implemented the plan he checked in with an adult daily on his progress.  Initially he received tangible rewards for meeting his goals but now the acknowledgements and his own pride are sufficient motivation for maintaining his success.

What can we learn from this Bright Spot?

  • Teaching students to set their own goals, and then giving them strategies to monitor their success in meeting those goals, produces positive immediate outcomes that can have long-term consequences.
  • Creating structures that ensure positive student-adult interactions is an important part of effective behavior interventions.