by Danielle Franchini-Muir, MS ED. BCBA
Video #2 in series of positive behavior shorts for parents!
Movement Breaks/Activities :
by Danielle Franchini-Muir, MS ED. BCBA
As we all find ourselves at home to help flatten the curve of COVID-19, Easterseals would like to help provide some helpful resources.
Our Director of Behavioral Support Services, Danielle Franchini-Muir, MS Ed., BCBA, is developing a video series to help families implement positive behavior intervention supports at home.
In this first video, Danielle gives an overview of what positive behavior intervention supports (PBIS) is and how you can begin to implement this helpful tool at home.
by Adrienne Young
It has been four years since the Bucks Division started on the Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) journey to improve the quality of our programs and to bring staff, parents and children together as a team through “positive possibilities.”
This year, we submitted our Benchmarks of Quality, stating that we are providing the proper strategies and supports to staff, children and families related to our behavioral expectations. In May, we were recognized for fidelity by the Pennsylvania Positive Behavior Support Network in Hershey and received a banner that is proudly hanging up in our vestibule. Thanks to all of the parents, staff, from the administrative staff, the classroom staff, therapists, nurses, the coaches, the Core Leadership Team, Mr. Dan, our music therapist and our amazing Facilitator, Meghan von der Embse. And an extra special thanks to Janet Rubien, our former Director of Programs – she was there with us from the start, cheering us on and brainstorming with us as a member of the Core Leadership Team.
PBIS fidelity could not have happened without the team working together and I am so proud to be a part this amazing group!
by Kathryn Wallace
This month in Bucks County we are unveiling our PBIS Staff Acknowledgement Board!
One of our very own teaching assistants designed and painted the board and fins. We polled our staff a few months ago and they chose to have a board for recognition. The purpose of the board to is highlight staff anonymously for their work with the students and with each other. We are going to highlight the actions of our staff when they are following the positive behavior principles by writing their good work on a “scale.” (Learn about PBIS here, also here, and here) Our Core Leadership Team is excited to add another exciting resource to improve our blossoming positive workplace.
by Michael Murphy
At Friendship Academy in Bucks County, following the rules is not as hard as you’d think. While the children all learn differently, we have really had the benefit on controlling behaviors following six simple rules. The rules are not a list of ‘Don’t’ and ‘No’, which can intimidate and often do not help students behave any better, nor are they loosely described by any means. Our six rules are very closely tied to our classroom expectations as labeled through our PBIS initiative (Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports). Our six rules are:
Be a Friend
The nice thing about these rules, best utilized during times of instruction (circle, story, activity\craft instruction, etc.), is that they describe aspects of the individual child that can be controlled with self-regulation and practice. Instead of telling students what not to do, and providing examples of how they can (poorly) behave to receive some additional attention, the rules simply act as reminders of what their bodies are capable of and how they can best use their bodies to their advantage.
What has made our rules all the better is tying them, in part, to a superhero theme. Thinking of the different aspects that make superheroes special, yet still require them to work in teams to solve problems, helps to create some additional hints towards working together with our peers, finding individual strengths and using new ideas for the greater good. Many preschool and early learning programs use a similar “Be A Superfriend” strategy that helps to recognize the everyday superstars that our children can be, through simple, kind and intentional acts in daily interaction.
Recently Edwin Gonzalez, Friendship Academy’s artistic Teaching Assistant, has created an exciting set of pictures and classroom reminders that help students focus on their expectations. The pictures show diversity, from Wonder Woman’s watching eyes to The Incredible Hulk’s waiting feet to Iron Man’s mechanical caring heart. They are bright and colorful, much like the students we teach. The pictures speak to all types of children, whether they like the hero or just the picture itself. The pictures grab their attention just enough for the teacher to direct it to the lesson. The pictures are unique and even the process of putting them together drew attention from the students as they watched Edwin plan, draw, color, laminate and post. You could tell that they already felt a little super about each addition to the series.
In addition to our Superfriends, there is much to be said about the everyday unsung heroes, the Teacher’s Assistants, the Bus Aides, the therapists, nursing staff, individual support staff, those that cook, clean, file or place calls. We are all part of a team of heroes. When we focus on what we are able to control, our body and our attitude, we can think more positively about the effects our actions have on our team, and more so, how we can contribute to make a team stronger. A team is only as strong as the weakest link, and if your weakest link is the Incredible Hulk, you are in pretty good shape.
by Colleen Joyce
On Friday, June 10th, the Montgomery County Division of Easter Seals had a full day of PBIS training for the majority of the staff, including teachers, administrators, and behavioral specialists.
What is the PBIS methodology though?
PBIS is an acronym for Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support. One of the key components of its methodology involves one to one coaching and training. PBIS training shows teachers and staff members how to apply positive social behaviors in both classroom and non-classroom settings, so they can get positive results from their students in return. The PBIS method uses research and an evidence-based approach to school discipline to create a system that encourages supportive social competence and academic achievement. PBIS training aims to help disabled students reach social, emotional, and academic milestones.
The PBIS method focuses on four key elements:
On June 10th, representatives on behalf of the PBIS training method came to Easter Seals of SEPA – Gresh Center to give a rigorous presentation to staff members. Our staff learned a lot and they are now ready to implement technical, multi-tiered strategies in real classroom environments!
For more information on the PBIS training method, including webinars and a training slideshow go to their website: https://www.pbis.org/ .
by Kathryn Wallace
As a Physical Therapist at Easter Seals, I work one on one with children. This can lead to power struggles because I am challenging a child to strengthen his/her body in a variety of different ways.
This article is a great reminder that power struggle exists. It is always important to remember that we all need to keep classroom and home environments free of loud/angry voices and intimidating postures. Also, using consistent language and realistic rewards for behavior helps build trust. By gaining trust, we can make positive, lasting changes in the lives of all the children we work with. One of the great ways we are doing that is through Positive Behavior Supports.
by Pat Potalivo
I wanted to share a short story about how effective PBIS is here at Easter Seals. My name is Pat, and I am an Administrative Assistant at the Bucks County division of Easter Seals. One morning recently, a mother who has four boys came in to drop off two of her children at Friendship Academy. The boys were being very animated and were not listening to Mom as they were walking back to the classroom. I walked over to the behavioral expectations poster in the lobby. I got the attention of the children, and specifically showed them “Stay together,” “Quiet Mouth,” and “listen(to Mom)” At once, the boys began walking slowly and quietly through the hallway. The mother turned around to me, as they walked down the hallway, with a happy and astonished look on her face. These expectations are effective and easy to use.
By Adopting the Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Program (PBIS).
What is PBIS?
Positive behavior interventions and supports is a planned way to meet the behavioral needs of students in a school. Parents are important in the success of PBIS, and many choose to use a similar system at home.
What will it look like?
Positive behavior interventions and support is a system that is developed by a school for improving student behavior. It is used:
Parents and staff will continue to work together as we develop PBIS into our program. Our first collaboration was deciding on our positive behavior initiative Mission Statement. Parents voted by email, sending in their paper votes, as well as using our voting poster that was displayed in the lobby for two weeks. Both staff and parents voted and the winner is…
Now that we have chosen our mission statement we can begin the journey of implementing this idea throughout our entire program with the help of parents, students and staff. Stay tuned for more on how we plan to spread the Positive Possibilities, beginning with our four program wide expectations; Be Safe, Be Engaged, Be Responsible, Be a Team Player!
Leah Telliard is an APS Social Worker and PBIS team member