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Circle of Courage. Based on “Reclaiming Youth At Risk”, by Larry K. Brendtro-Martin Brokenleg-Steve Van Bockern Premise: Youth act out due to unmet needs in four areas: Belonging Mastery Independence Generosity. Circle of Courage.

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circle of courage
Circle of Courage

Based on “Reclaiming Youth At Risk”, by Larry K. Brendtro-Martin Brokenleg-Steve Van Bockern

Premise: Youth act out due to unmet needs in four areas:





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Circle of Courage

Belonging-Within the value of belonging, youth learn to become a respectful part of a group

Belonging is demonstrated by being:

Friendly-caring-cooperative-trusting-respectful-having healthy relationships

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Circle of Courage

Mastery-Within the value of mastery, youth learn how to achieve their goals

Mastery is demonstrated by being:

Creative-persistent-competent-self-motivated-a problem solver-accepting of challenges

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Circle of Courage

Independence-Within the value of independence, youth learn how to demonstrate personal responsibility

Independence is demonstrated by being:

Assertive-confident-showing leadership-using empowerment-demonstrating self-control-a problem solver-demonstrating self-discipline

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Circle of Courage

Generosity-Within the value of generosity, youth learn how to contribute positively to others

Generosity is demonstrated by being:

Caring-sharing with others-supportive –helpful-compassionate-showing social concerns

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Circle of Courage

IJH has adopted this program model as the core values of our program

Using the format and system provided by PBS program efforts, we have been able to operationalize the behaviors expected in all of our major routines for cottage and school around the four core values of the Circle of Courage

These expectations are taught on a routine basis throughout campus









Achieving your goals

>Give your best effort.

>Use time wisely.

>Participate actively.

>Report directly to assigned area in an orderly manner.

> Apply youth’s individualized programs.

>Seek professional growth.

>Use student strengths while improving upon deficits.

>Promote life long learning. >Determine motivation for behavior & act accordingly.

>Monitor hallway movement.


Being a respectful part of a group

>Use courtesy skills with others.

>Work cooperatively within a group/team.

>Keep verbal interactions appropriate.

>Use courtesy skills with others.

>Preserve student dignity.

>Develop traditions within the classroom. >Accommodate special needs.

>Model appropriate social behavior.

>Welcome & greet each student into class.


Contributing positively to others

>Share knowledge & resources.

>Speak kindly of/to others.

>>Respect other’s personal space.

>Acknowledge appropriate behaviors (5:1 pos to neg)

>Share knowledge.

>Be supportive when possible.

>Recognize the efforts of others.

>Acknowledge appropriate behaviors.


Demonstrating personal responsibility

>Take responsibility for your work/learning.

>Follow the classroom rules.

>Be on time to your next area.

>Meet deadlines.

>Be consistent with agreed upon expectations.

>Develop a safe & consistent atmosphere.

>Use the graded system of intervention.

>Follow IJH policies & procedures.

>Ensure safety.


Expectations by Setting

Mastery: achieving your goals.

Belonging: being a respectful part of a group.

Generosity: contributing positively to others.

Independence: demonstrating personal responsibility.

1. Group

Applies skills taught in groups

Listens to others

Gives positive feedback/Takes turns

Is prepared and on time

2. Scheduled Recreation

Displays good sportsmanship

Actively participates

Encourages others

Completes activity

3. Lounge/Leisure

Structures own time well

Shows willingness to compromise with peers

Respectful of others’ space and property

Observes time limits

4. Bedtime Routine

Is in bed and quiet when lights are out

Respects others’ privacy and area

Contributes to a quiet environment

Completes responsibilities before bedtime

5. Meals/Snacks

Demonstrates table manners

Uses good conversation skills, tone and topic

Expresses appreciation for food served

Exercises positive nutritional choices

6. Hygiene/Shower

Maintains good hygiene practices

Respects others’ privacy

Cleans up after themselves

Organizes supplies/Observes time limits

Circle of Courage Behavioral Expectation Matrix


7. Infirmary

Maintains safety for self and others

Works to return to cottage

Respects others and property

Completes expectations

8. Restricted Areas

Accepts and follows limits of restriction

Actively works to rejoin group

Respects time and activities of others

Shows initiative in completing responsibilities

9. Line Ups/ Movement

Goes directly to designated area as instructed

Respect personal boundaries

Be courteous in line

Get in line quickly when called/Remain there

10. Cottage Cleaning

Follows directions/Complete task completely without re-do

Works together cooperatively

Helps others with their chore

Organizes tasks

11. Morning Routine

Cleans up personal space

Is patient, pleasant and respectful

Willingly takes turns getting ready/Picks up after others

Gets out of bed without complaining/Stay on time

12. Special event/

Assembly/Field Trip

Stays focused on event expectations.

Polite and courteous to others.

Helps others at event/activity.

Completes on-campus responsibilities prior to event/activity.

13. Medical Services

Follows medical instructions

Is respectful and considerate to medical personnel

Demonstrates consideration to other’s health needs

Demonstrates responsibility in obtaining medical services

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Circle of Courage

Once behavioral expectations are taught, regular reinforcement is provided to youth who demonstrate the desired behaviors

Reinforcement is provided through the use of “courage slips” as positive acknowledgement of the demonstrated behavior or value

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Circle of Courage


Attempt to provide 4/1 or 5/1 positives to negatives in working with youth

Courage slips are used ONLY as positive reinforcement-slips would not be given as a note of the absence of something, or as a notation of not demonstrating expected behavior

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Circle of Courage

Activities that celebrate achievement and support recognition of desired behaviors are held throughout campus

These include monthly awards assembly, positive week rewards activities, special outings, a COC store where youth may purchase items

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Circle of Courage

Circle of Courage programs should embody a welcoming environment where dignity, respect, and kindness are the values we live by and demonstrate to others, both youth and staff, throughout all levels of the organization

By establishing environments within our milieus that support these values, and provide a culture of support, this goal will be achieved