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Implementing School–Wide PBS in an Institutional Setting. Presented by: Craig Rosen—Principal, Educational Coach [email protected] Why did the Iowa Juvenile Home/Girls State Training School implement PBS?. Philosophy. Gradually moving away from correctional model since 1990.

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implementing school wide pbs in an institutional setting

Implementing School–Wide PBS in an Institutional Setting

Presented by:

Craig Rosen—Principal, Educational Coach

[email protected]

  • Gradually moving away from correctional model since 1990.
  • Strength-based programming & Positive Behavior Supports are the right treatment for our youth.
changing population
Changing Population
  • 92% of students self-report abuse at the time of admission.
  • 70% of admissions are from a mental health setting.
  • Correctional approaches previously utilized were not effective with an increasing population with mental illness factors.
program changes
Program Changes
  • 2000 IJH administration made the commitment to implement the Circle of Courage as it’s strength-based treatment model.
    • Circle of Courage: Native American philosophy for reclaiming youth at risk—youth act out because they are deficit in one or more areas (Belonging, Mastery, Independence, & Generosity)
  • PBS provided the structure and processes to operationalize the Circle of Courage concepts.
restraint and seclusion
Restraint and Seclusion
  • Restraint and seclusion figures were escalating prior to implementation of PBS.

Continuum of


Positive Behavior



Tertiary Prevention:

-Functional Behavior Assessments

-Highest level of supervision and security

-May have little integration into gen ed setting


Primary Prevention:

- Support for all students

- Common expectations

- 5:1 ratio of pos to neg

- Focus is on prevention

- General education interventions




~ 23%

Secondary Prevention

Secondary Prevention:

-Limited integration into general education classes

-Targeted Interventions


Primary Prevention

triangle data
Triangle Data
  • Greater need for specialized and more intensive individualized programming.
  • Most students in the red part of the triangle are operating under attention and escape motivated behaviors…not power and control as many staff believe.
self assessment data
Self-Assessment Data
  • Lack of common behavioral expectations
  • Treatment interventions were not consistently applied across campus
  • Curriculum/instructional strategies not matched to student ability
philosophical changes
Philosophical Changes
  • Consistent consequences, vs. modifications & accommodations for individual students. (53% in the red)
  • Establishing environments that are naturally reinforcing (4:1 pos to neg)
  • Difficult time convincing staff that negative consequences are necessary but do not change behavior (1:4 neg to pos)
philosophical changes cont
Philosophical Changes Cont.
  • Changing the culture where opportunities for success must be earned?
  • Changing the focus from staff reacting to behavior and enforcing rules to staff providing proactive discipline (i.e. recognizing triggers and preventing escalation)
  • Empowering youth--actively involving youth in programming decisions, mentoring, student council, orientation, etc.
fewer behavior referrals
Fewer Behavior Referrals
  • 99-034-year avg. of 11.41
  • 03-047.88
    • 31% reduction in ODR
  • 04-05 5.74 (Aug – Jan)
    • 50% reduction in ODR from 02/03

Defining the Problem Continued…

  • The remaining slides show data from April 1st to June 30th, 2005. The data helped the school pinpoint what issues were causing the increase in behavior referrals after almost 2 years of steady declines.
  • The data supported our theory--we had a large influx of youth with Mental Disabilities (IQs in the 60s and 70s) that were not being successful in classrooms designed for youth with higher academic abilities. Changes needed to be made regarding:

Referrals By Problem Behavior

Non-compliance and Disruption was the most common reason youth were removed from class.


Referrals by Motivation

Avoidance of classroom activities showed significant increases as the population became less able to perform academically.


Referrals By Time

  • Spike at 8:00 am was due to youth having difficulty transitioning from the living units to school (see targeted intervention)
  • Spike at 9:00 was due to a small number of youth avoiding specific classes.

Referrals By Location

Most behavior problems occur in the classroom, which is partly due to how students are interacting with the curriculum. Lower functioning students can not do as much independent seat-work.


Referrals By Student

10 of the top 14 students with 10 or more class removals from April – June had IQs in the 60s and 70s.

targeted interventions to address the problems
Targeted Interventions to Address the Problems
  • Change in Environment
    • Implemented Gender-Specific Floors in school
    • Developed a Self-Contained Classroom
      • More hands-on activities
      • Less stimulus/agitation by other youth
  • Academic Restructuring
    • Curricular Improvements
      • Low-level / high-interest material
    • Instructional Strategies
      • Differentiated instruction—less independent seat-work
      • Lesson plans

Average Referrals/Day/Month

Behavior Referrals are again decreasing as changes to systems and structures were made to accommodate a changing population. (see Feb –Jun 05)

fewer restraints cont
Fewer Restraints Cont.

This data shows:

  • 46% reduction in restraints over the first 12 months
  • 31 % reduction in year two..

What does this mean…

  • Year one reduction represents a time savings of 15 hours per month
    • 30 min average for the restraint and documentation for one staff to be involved in a restraint. (Most restraints involve 2 or more people.)