School Based Behavior Supports Guidelines

The School Based Behavior Supports (SBBS) program in the Anchorage School District is designed to provide the highest-quality services for students with a Serious Emotional Disability (SED) that result in clear and measurable outcomes. The SBBS guidelines promote unity in vision and a common language across District staff to ensure consistent best practices at each SBBS site.


Our Students

 

A child with SED has emotional and/or social functioning that may prevent them from benefiting from regular education services without additional behavioral and academic support. This includes:

  • An inability to learn that is not primarily the result of intellectual, sensory, or other health factors.
  • An inability to build or maintain interpersonal relationships, which significantly interfere with the child’s social development.
  • Inappropriate types of behavior or feelings under normal circumstances.
  • A general pervasive mood of unhappiness or depression.
  • A tendency to develop physical symptoms or fears associated with personal or school problems.
Our Mission and Goals
 

Our Mission and Goals

Participation in our program will:

  • Teach students to be aware of their actions and make positive choices for their learning and behavior
  • Teach students to build and maintain positive relationships
  • Increase attendance rates
  • Improve academic outcomes including grades, test scores, project completion, etc.
  • Improve students’ self-awareness and their positive and negative impact on others
  • Improve each student’s ability to positively advocate for themselves
  • Decrease the number of problem behaviors that lead to classroom and school disciplinary actions
  • Provide mental health support and link students to community resources
  • Provide students with the opportunity to access general education classes to the greatest extent possible
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Educator Core Values
 

Educator Core Values

  1. Educators will meet the need of the whole person (emotional, social, and mental) by modeling balance in our lives for ourselves and our students.
  2. As educators, we will comply with IDEA and educational law with integrity throughout the IEP process; which includes IEP documents, meetings, communication, and data collection.
  3. Educators will have high expectations for all students; academically, behaviorally, and socially.
  4. Effective instruction is an important factor for increasing student achievement.
  5. Ongoing collaboration among educators and families promote student achievement and social/emotional growth.
  6. Educators will advocate through the IEP process to ensure student needs are met.
  7. Relationships and feelings of connectedness within the school environment increases student engagement and allows for social and academic growth.
  8. Creating a supportive environment by linking school, home, and community personnel reinforces student learning and achievement and has a direct impact on student outcomes.
  9. Instruction in social and behavioral skills must occur in a systematic, structured, consistent manner that involves instruction, modeling, guided practice, and independent practice in order to foster academic growth and help students become contributing members of society.
  10. Data driven decision making, teacher expertise, high expectations, and consistent delivery improve instructional effectiveness.
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Student Core Values
 

Student Core Values

Students in the SBBS program will:

  1. Access general education content
  2. Utilize social/emotional skills in order to make academic growth and experience post-elementary success
  3. Demonstrate positive behavioral skills to be successful within school and the community
  4. Be engaged in positive relationships that will link school, home, and the community
  5. Make academic and social/emotional growth based upon skills gained through instruction
  6. Advocate for their needs regarding IEP goals, objectives, and accommodations
  7. Respect others and their own emotional, social, and physical need
  8. Comply with building and classroom expectations and norms
  9. Display effective problem solving skills
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What type of student is currently attending Mt. Iliamna?
Students currently attending Mt. Iliamna are diverse in their identified needs and abilities and are provided the fluid level of support they require to make behavioral, academic and social emotional gains. Students require various levels of explicit programming to improve behavioral and academic skills. Initially, assessment and data collection is used to determine the appropriate programming needs for each student.  Individual student data is then analyzed and reviewed biweekly to ensure sufficient behavioral progress is being made.  A plan is put into place to ensure generalization of new behavioral skills across settings and paired with a strategic plan for the gradual fading of supports.
What is the criteria for placement into the SBBS/Mt. Iliamna program?
For placement into the SBBS/Mt. I program, it must be outline on the student’s current Individualized Education Plan. It’s an IEP team decision as to the placement to best meet the needs of each individual student in their least restrictive environment.
Why is this decision being made?
In order to better leverage higher academic, social and emotional outcomes for students, Dr. Bishop and her administration had conversations with the Anchorage School Board about redefining and reorganizing the program currently housed at Mt. Iliamna to better support special needs students.  Evidence-based research supports programs that provide inclusion opportunities and allow special education students to learn alongside their general education peers.
Why is the timeline so fast?
While the timeline may seem fast it is based on district experiences operating our current SBBS classrooms and alternate programs throughout ASD.  This has allowed district staff to quickly move forward from an existing knowledge base.  Evidence-based research supports programs which provide inclusion opportunities and for students to learn alongside their typical peers.
Where is the funding coming from?  Is this more expensive than the current structure?
The funding for the transition comes from the reallocation of existing dollars.  No new money is being requested.  The initial transition will be more than the year-to-year operational amount, but that will decrease once the transition is complete.
 What are the benefits for our school community in absorbing the program at Mt. Iliamna?
In addition to extra staff and the cross pollination of their knowledge and training, the ability to work with students different from themselves, builds collaboration, and empathy.  Best practice is for all students to be provided free and appropriate public education while being exposed to high-quality curriculum along their same-aged peers. Inclusion opportunities provide for social skills and behavior instruction via the use of peer modeling. These opportunities also provide awareness of differences and working in collaborative groups. Families will be exposed to their community and be provided the option to set up play dates within their same neighborhood.
Why not place all of the students currently attending Mt. Iliamna in a single site not located on JBER?
Best practice is for all students to be provided free and appropriate public education while being exposed to high-quality curriculum along their same-aged peers. To move Mt. Iliamna to a location off JBER would continue the problem of non-access to appropriate grade level peers.  This would not allow students to practice and grow their skill sets.  Inclusion opportunities provide for social skills and behavior instruction via the use of peer modeling. These opportunities also provide awareness of differences and working in collaborative groups. All families will be exposed to various types of learners in their communities. 
Why not bring over a few of the students more able to mainstream from Mt. Iliamna?
That model does not allow for all students to practice and grow success in navigating the full educational experience of school life.  Evidence-based research supports programs which provide inclusion opportunities and for students to learn alongside their typical peers. Data-based decisions will be made to determine the amount of time a student will spend in a general education setting.
Can’t we support the SBBS students in their home schools?
Resources to support SBBS/Mt. Iliamna students throughout every ASD school do not exist.
How were the regional sites selected?
Sites were determined by geographic location, enrollment capacity and location of students currently attending the SBBS and Mt. Iliamna programs.
What grades will be at each school?
The grade levels will match those currently found at the regional school sites.
How will this transition affect the current SBBS sites in regards to student numbers?
When totaled between the SBBS and Mt. Iliamna sites there are roughly 100 students.   This means that there’ll roughly be 25 students per regional school site.
How will staff and students be assigned to the schools?
The district hopes to place students and staff by proximity to the regional school sites.  Students and staff will be asked for first, second and third choices.  To ensure balance and equity of access, the district will work with families and staff on an individual basis where needed. 
Will this increase the number of students in a classroom?
The amount of time a student may spend in the general education classroom will be determined through data collection and a systematic inclusion process. This process will include all staff involved with the student and the process will inform all of how a student will generalize the skills taught in the SBBS program into a general education setting. 
What is the pupil to teacher ratio for SBBS classrooms?
SBBS classrooms will be supported with staff based on the students’ percentage of time on task and independent level. Classrooms may have a higher student to staff ratio due to student need than other classrooms. 
Will the day-to-day instructional, lunch, recess, before and afterschool activities/schedules change at the regional school site?
Each year based on enrollment, principals work with their staff to create schedules which build student success.  This will continue to take place as students transition to their building.
Will the SBBS students become permanent students at the regional school site?
The SBBS program is designed as a turnaround program that looks to get students back to their home schools.  For some that is not possible as they’re unable to successfully generalize their behavior across all settings.  In those situations the student will continue on in the SBBS program. Data-based decisions will determine when students have met criteria to exit the SBBS program and return to their home school. 
Will zone exceptions be granted for those wishing to attend other schools?
Any student who wishes to attend a neighborhood school outside of his or her boundary area has the opportunity to complete a zone exemption application for the desired school.  If space is available, a seat to attend will be offered.  If there's no space available for non-neighborhood students, all applicants are placed into a pool until the next lottery date. 
Who works directly with the students in the SBBS programs?  How are they supported in a school setting?
Highly trained staff will support the students in the SBBS programs. Decisions will be based on data collection when determining what activities the students will participate in through the school setting. Training and instruction will occur to set up a successful transition into these activities. Staff will collaborate with support staff in the building and communicate with general education teachers about student progress and need.
Are schools at risk of losing staff when SBBS moves in?
Schools are not expected to give up anything as part of the SBBS transition.
What “extra” staff supports will be provided for our school?
Along with the classroom staff, the district is planning for three intervention coaches, one counselor, a half time social worker, shared school psychologist, shared department chair, and a shared IEP clerical staff member.  There will also be a full time program director working with the regional school sites and their SBBS classrooms.
Will all teachers be trained to handle questions and feelings from students?
Inclusivity training will be provided for all staff members in the spring and prior to school starting in the fall.  Disability awareness training will be provided for students and staff. Instruction will be provided during the student school day with students to discuss how we all have strengths and challenges. Coaching will be provided to general education teachers regarding individual student accommodations.
Will all teachers be required to provide a mainstreaming classroom?  Will there be changes in curriculum for those classrooms that do mainstream students?  
The district is asking for classroom teachers interested in mainstreaming students to inform and work with their principal.   There is no plan requiring all teachers to do so.  Curriculum will not change in those classrooms that mainstream.  Training will be provided to general education staff and students regarding disability awareness and accommodations for students in the SBBS program.
Will there be extra support for the school nurses?
A meeting will be held with the nurses of all the current locations with the Elementary and Special Education departments to determine need and outline support for the upcoming year.
Q- When will we get to meet with the current Mt. Iliamna staff, and the other regional sites?  
As Mt. Iliamna staff identify their site choices for staffing they’ll be provided the opportunity to meet with their receiving schools staff and leadership teams.
How do we ensure safety for all of our students?
Students in the SBBS program have behavior plans which define a safety protocol. Staff are trained in non-violent crisis prevention as well as how to respond to problem behaviors. Communication between the SBBS classrooms and general education will be ongoing to keep all staff up to date on student behavior plans and awareness of unique needs.
 What will you do to maintain the safety of SBBS students during recess?
As with all students, supervision will be catered to student need.  Students who are unable to safely access outdoor recess in large groups would require alternate recess plans.
Will students in the program be allowed to walk to and from school if they live in the area or will they be bused?
Transportation to and from school is a component of the Individualized Education Plan for students in the SBBS program.
How will space usage be determined at each regional school site?
Each principal, in collaboration with ASD’s Capital Planning and Construction Department, has determined which portion of the building to be used.  Site-specific changes also are identified as part of that process.
Will there be refocus and safe rooms for the SBBS students?
Yes, the regional sites will be retrofitted to support that model of room where possible.
Will the new SBBS rooms receive appropriate equipment and materials?
Yes, that’s a component of the budget moving forward, for all regional school sites.
Will current students be placed into relocatables to make room for the incoming SBBS students? 
At this time there are no plans to place grade levels currently in the building outside in relocatable classrooms.

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