small steps big rewards north east education center pbis summit january 23 2014
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Small steps = Big Rewards North East Education Center PBIS Summit January 23, 2014

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Small steps = Big Rewards North East Education Center PBIS Summit January 23, 2014. Kristi Bonter , Principal Lisa Cobb, LMSW Angie Jerome, Teacher. North East Education Center. Center Based Program for students with Severe Emotional Impairments Students

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small steps big rewards north east education center pbis summit january 23 2014

Small steps = Big Rewards North East Education CenterPBIS SummitJanuary 23, 2014

Kristi Bonter, Principal

Lisa Cobb, LMSW Angie Jerome, Teacher

north east education center
North East Education Center
  • Center Based Program for students with

Severe Emotional Impairments

  • Students
    • 9/12 Districts in Muskegon County
    • Rural and City
  • Eastern Service Unit
    • 1 Director, 2 Special Education Supervisors
  • North Service Unit
    • 1 Director, 2 Special Education Supervisors
  • 13 Staff Members
    • 1 Principal, 1 Full time Social Worker, 4 Teachers, 6 Paraprofessionals, 1 Secretary
overview of the program
Overview of the program
  • Therapeutic Program
  • Build on Positive Behavior Intervention
  • Supports Operate on a Level System 0-5
  • Clear expectations:
    • 3 Reminders= a sit out
      • A sit out is removing a student from the activity to process with an adult
    • If a behavior issue can’t be resolved in a sit out the student will be in a HUB (Helping yoUBack)
    • There is a space for HUBs, but students may be in a HUB in the hallway…it is a “thing”, not a “place”
    • HUB is utilized for two reasons: Chill or Time Out
mission statement
Mission statement

The mission of the NEEC is to promote optimism, trust, forgiveness, and character development through setting the clear expectations of Respect, Responsibility, having a Good Attitude and being Safe in a therapeutic environment; ultimately increasing academic achievement.





Good Attitude

  • Each staff member gets to know all of the students
  • Our philosophy is that we won’t connect with every student
  • When a student is in crisis we try to free up someone the student connects with
  • Apologize when we are wrong
  • Don’t judge
  • Open, honest communication
  • Show our human side to the students
  • Self Awareness
north east education center foundational beliefs
  • All students have the right to be treated with dignity and respect.  
  • Behavioral interventions focus on the application of positive behavioral supports.
  • Staff interventions teach rather than punish.
  • Behavioral interventions seek to develop alternative and functional skills.
  • Students have the right to be taught in least restrictive environments.
  • LASTING change comes from positive behavior supports and relationships, not punitive consequences.
  • Students start on a clean slate hour by hour, sometimes minute by minute.
  • Staff do not take things personally or hold grudges.
  • Students learn when they feel safe.
it is a team effort
  • Collaboration among working professionals who are involved in the student’s life:
    • Parents
    • Home District
      • Administration, Teaching Staff, Support Staff, Transportation
    • Providing School Building
      • Administration, Teaching Staff, Support Staff
    • Community Mental Health
    • Family Court
    • Department of Human Services
    • Child Protective Services
check in check out
  • Daily Morning Staff Meeting
  • Student Arrival
    • All staff greet
    • Turn in materials and gauge emotions!
    • Check in one on one with kids with red flags
  • Support staff monitor arrival until each student has arrived

Tertiary: Seclusion, Restraint, Police calls, Probation, Juvenile Court

Secondary: In school suspension, out of school suspension, SSW individual and group therapy. Community supports (CMH, Catholic Charities, Webster House, Health Department, Child Abuse Council, DHS etc.), Parenting Class.

Primary: SSW Group therapy, Functional Behavior Assessments, Behavior Intervention Plans, Level System, LSCI, PBIS, Sit-Out, Time-Out, Friday Fun, Store Points, Teacher Caught-Being-Good, Daily/Weekly Parent communication.

key program initiatives
  • Life Space Crisis Intervention
  • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention
  • Mindfulness
  • CHAMPs
  • Readers/Writers Workshop
  • Sensory Integration
  • Brain Gym
  • Parent Groups
the infamous power struggle
  • Students get reinforced for attention given to their
  • negative behavior
  • Staff is reinforced because behaviors stop
  • Student craves attention and acts out again
  • Average 15:1 negative to positive - Goal 5:1 positive to negative - our goal 10 random per hour
  • Gentle reminders are negative: " You need to get back to work!"
how neec avoids the power struggle
How NEEC Avoids the Power Struggle
  • Self awareness
  • Morning meetings
  • Focus on students who are being appropriate
  • Be proactive with students we know need to be prepared…don’t wait until they screw up
  • Collaborate with one another on what works
  • Put each other in check
  • When in doubt Boyne out
  • Three times per year:
  • First week of school
  • Week after Christmas Break
  • After Spring Break
Caught Being Good

Respect Good Attitude

Responsibility Safety




weekly incentives
Student Drawing:




School Wide:


$5 Gift Card

Candy Bar

Staff Drawing:


$5 Gift Card

Candy Bar

monthly and semester incentive
  • Last staff meeting of the marking period the staff votes on an elementary and secondary student of the month
  • Based on who each person feels is making a great effort
  • Not based on point sheets or documentation
  • Semester is based on greatest number of Caught Being Good tickets
    • Larger prizes – Craig’s Cruisers, shopping, Michigan Adventure
these four elements are guided by six important principles
These four elements are guided by six important principles:
  • 1. Develop a continuum of scientifically based behavior and academic interventions and supports
      • LSCI,Read Naturally, Fountas and Pinnell, Reader’s Workshop, CHAMPs
  • 2. Use data to make decisions and solve problems
      • Daily Point sheets, HUB logs, SWIS, AIMSweb, SRSS, Self Assessment Survey
  • 3. Arrange the environment to prevent the development and occurrence of problem behavior
      • PBIS, posted school and classroom expectations throughout building, daily schedule posted, Matrix Lesson plans/role play
  • 4. Teach and encourage pro-social skills and behaviors
      • PBIS, LSCI, The Work, SSW group and individual, Role Play
  • 5. Implement evidence-based behavioral practices with fidelity and accountability
      • CPI/TCI training, LSCI, PBIS, MiBLSi, Mindfulness
  • 6. Screen universally and monitor student performance & progress continuously
      • AIMSweb, SWIS, MEAP, MI-Access, MME, Report Cards, Progress on goals and objectives, daily point sheets
life space crisis intervention lsci
Life space crisis intervention(LSCI)
  • LSCI is a therapeutic skill which enables us to make the best out of a stressful student incident.
  • LSCI is the skill of identifying what type of student we are working with and what triggers, works well with or doesn't’work well with this type of student.
  • LSCI is the skill of processing with a student the events, thoughts, and/or feelings that are upsetting them at that moment.
  • LSCI is a concept anchored in the development of a supporting, caring relationship between the student and the staff.

The “problems” that kids cause are not the cause of their problems.

three possible outcomes during a crisis
  • Staff/student relationship is improved.
  • Staff/student relationship is damaged.
  • Staff/student relationship is unchanged.

Paying attention in a particular way

On purpose

In the present moment

Without judgment

  • Jon Kabat-Zinn
  • Founder: Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR)
  • University of Massachusetts Medical Center
benefits of mindfulness
  • Decrease:
  • Test anxiety
  • Depression
  • Conduct Disorder
  • Anger Problems


  • Attention and concentration
  • Social-emotional awareness
  • Body-awareness and coordination
  • Interpersonal skills
  • Emotional regulation
  • Memory, planning and organization
therapeutic crisis intervention tci
Therapeutic crisis intervention (tci)
  • Developed by Cornell University in the early 1980s.
  • TCI is a research-based, crisis prevention and intervention model.
  • The purpose of the TCI system is to provide a crisis prevention and intervention model that will assist in:
    • Preventing crises from occurring
    • De-escalating potential crises
    • Effectively managing acute crises
    • Reducing potential and actual injury to children and staff
    • Learning constructive ways to handle stressful situations
    • Developing a learning circle within the organization
level system
Level system
  • Observation- Level 5
    • Earn privileges as they move up
    • Gauge for Locals for transition back to home district
    • Black and white expectations for students
  • Clearly defined and posted school-wide
  • Looking at revising or eliminating
    • Weighing pros and cons
  • Defining detailed behavioral expectations for EACH instructional approach that you use:
    • Conversation
    • Help
    • Activity
    • Movement
    • Participation
    • SUCCESS 
ross g reene
Ross Greene
  • Develop a relationship with student by:
    • Identify unsolved problems
    • Develop Plan B: Empathy, Defining the problem, and brainstorming the solution
    • Involve the student in developing the plan!
reading interventions
Reading interventions
  • Fountas- Pinnell (LLI)
  • Zoophonics
  • Read Naturally
  • Words Their Way
  • Making Words
  • AimsWeb:
    • Administered 3 times per year for benchmarking
      • Everyone is tested at their grade level (all high schoolers are tested at the 8th grade level)
    • R-CBM= Fluency Assessment
    • MAZE= Silent reading comprehension
    • Survey level assess students who score below grade level in reading. They are assessed at the grade level they are functioning at. Those are the students we progress monitor every two weeks.
neec reading statistics
NEEC Reading Statistics
  • Year 1 Benchmarking students at NEEC:
    • 4% were at grade level
  • Year 4 Benchmarking students at NEEC:
    • 23% of students are at grade level
  • 77% of our students need reading intervention support
  • Reason for success: Familiar with testing, confidence in reading, created a safe environment and we have implemented reading interventions to boost skills.
behavioral measures
Behavioral measures
  • SWIS:
    • Tracks sit outs as minor referrals
    • Tracks HUBs (Helping yoU Back) as major referrals
    • Similar to Office Discipline Referrals in a General Education Setting (ODRs)
the student risk screening tool srss
The Student Risk Screening Tool (SRSS)
  • (SRSS) is a seven-item mass screening tool used to identify students who are at risk for antisocial behavior patterns
  • Based on teacher and paraprofessional collaboration
  • Not related to statistics but rather how they “feel” a student would rate
  • Transitions:
    • Last school year we had 8 students complete successful transitions back to their home school
    • This school year we have had 3 complete transitions back successfully
      • 4 students in the process
      • 6 more that we are recommending begin before the end of this school year
small steps big rewards
Small Steps = Big Rewards
  • Being self aware
  • Building relationships with the students
  • Celebrate the small successes
  • Focusing on the positive rather than negative
  • Seriously, even the smallest of successes need to be acknowledged or celebrated! And sometimes those celebrations need to be BIG! 
RESOURCES:The Shadow Effectby Deepak Chopra, Debbie Ford, Marianne WilliamsonThe Angry Smile: The Psychology of Passive-Aggressive Behavior in Families, Schools and Workplacesby Nicholas James Long, Jody E. Long, Signe WhitsonLost at Schoolby Dr. Ross GreeneThe Explosive Childby Dr. Ross GreeneLife Space Crisis Intervention: Talking With Students in Conflictby Nicholas James Long, Mary M. Wood, Frank A. FecserPositive Peer Culture (Modern Applications of Social Work)by Larry K. Brendto, Harry H. Vorrath
thank you for your time if you would like further information about our program contact us at
Thank you for your time! If you would like further information about our program contact us at:

Kristi Bonter - [email protected] Cobb – Social [email protected] Jerome - [email protected]