Responsive Behaviour Support: Behaviour Support Plan

Behaviour Support Plans are the ninth of the 10 Key Components to Responsive Behaviour Support.

Collaborative response uses the term Student Support Plans to describe programming plans that are put into place to support the individualized needs of students and have different titles in different schools and districts. Plans are sometimes called Individualized Program Plans (IPPs), Student Support Plans (SSPs), Individual Support Plans (ISPs) or Individual Education Plans (IEPs). Regardless of their name, they are all designed to do the same thing - determine the needs of an individual child and put a plan into place that will support those needs through regular monitoring and review.

Support Plans are:

  • written commitments by the school team to ensure appropriate programming is in place for individual students
  • working documents that are updated regularly to show student progress
  • designed by teams involving teachers, educational assistants, school support personnel, external support personnel, parents and sometimes students
  • developed to address the individual needs of the learner
  • an instructional guide for teachers and educational assistants
  • documents that monitor and evaluate a student's program and the progress they've made
  • a guide for transition plans

Whether you are a parent/guardian, administrator, teacher or educational assistant, working collaboratively with your student's support team to create a plan will help a student make improvements in their behaviour.

Ideally, when specialized planning is required, teachers with educational assistants, parents and the school support team collaborate to design a Student Support Plan. External partners such as occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists, and psychologists may also be some of the providers that are invited to support the development of a Support Plan. This plan is developed to consider a student's strengths and learning preferences as well as their needs as identified through assessments.

A Student Support Plan can be developed to focus on behavioural needs, physical needs, communication needs or academic needs. It is designed to wrap-around students to ensure all their needs are met.

A Student Support Plan is created through a circular collaborative process:

Through the lens of student’s strengths and interests, the process involves:

1. Identifying needs - What does the student need?

2. Determining goals - What are we trying to accomplish to support the student?

3. Creating a plan - What goals, subgoals and actions can we take to support the student?

4. Implementing the plan - Who will do what and when?

5. Reviewing and revising - Did the plan work? Are we progressing toward the goal?

6. Planning for transition - What will the student need in the future (next class, next year, next semester)?

Often running parallel to or as part of the Student Support Plan is the Behaviour Support Plan. Similar to the Student Support Plan, this document outlines supports and strategies based upon the data collected and analyzed and a student's unique strengths and individual qualities. However, there are some unique features of the Behaviour Support Plan including:

  • Key understandings and a hypothesis statement that identifies why student behaviour may be occurring
  • Key target behaviour(s) (Example: hitting, biting)
  • Specific triggers for a student
  • Initial signs of agitation (looks like, sounds like)
  • A description of what acting-out behaviour might look like
  • Specific actions, scripts, incentives and tools to increase positive behaviours and decrease negative behaviours at all stages of the behaviour cycle
  • Behaviour tracking documenting systems and timeline reviews

The behaviour support plan is a living and constantly evolving plan. To ensure a student's progress and success, monitoring progress at an interval of 4 to 6 weeks is essential. This follow-up will ensure that the student, the team and the family can celebrate the successes and make adjustments to the strategies and interventions put in place to support the student's challenges.

In the next post, the last in a series on Responsive Behaviour Support, crisis management will be discussed.

In addition, you may want to explore other samples for Student Support Plans:

Author: Barb Pears