What are some things we need to consider when thinking about students with intensive behavioral needs at the secondary level?

Question: What are some things we need to consider when thinking about students with intensive behavioral needs at the secondary level?

Answer: A significant area of difference between elementary and secondary implementation of DBI and intensive intervention is the behavioral or engagement aspects are inherently intertwined with academics. So you know, many of these students have experienced school failure for multiple years by the time we get them in secondary. And in addition — so because of that, they have really mastered some avoidance techniques, they are really disengaged and in addition to that, now they are moving into adolescents. So this is already a turbulent time for them, and other people’s opinion of them — their peers — are very important. So you know, they are going to start acting out and skipping school and things of that nature. A lot of times in middle schools in high schools, people will tell me they need all the same kids. The kids who need reading also need math, and also need social-emotional supports. And wrap-around is going to be an issue. So when you have those kids, how are you going to serve them in a way that gives them many layers of support all at once?  So some solutions when thinking about what advice to give to people is:  number one, general education teachers, they are content area trained and often they don’t know a lot about social emotional learning. So be prepared to support on that end, when the students go back to their Gen Ed. classes, teachers will need support. The second one is, to make sure in these interventions, well first of all, make sure interventions have time, a separate period, a block during the day. If you can’t structure it into the schedule, it will not happen. And you know that, I am sure. The next piece is to make sure the behavioral and social-emotional pieces are inherently intertwined in all interventions. So for example when I was doing a math intervention, that was at the intensive level, the first training that I gave them was that as the teacher you are a coach, a check and connect model, making sure they were doing all the PBIS best practices in that situation. So even though they are doing math, they are also doing positive behavioral support, motivation, and social emotional. The final piece would be to make sure you are thinking about planning ahead — What am I going to do for those students who need wrap-around?  Are there organizations in my community that I can partner with

Developed By: 
National Center on Intensive Intervention