School Based Behavior Supports Guidelines

The Anchorage School District (ASD) established the School Based Behavior Supports (SBBS) Program to assist elementary neighborhood schools in developing effective long-term interventions for special education students with challenging behaviors. The SBSS program objective is to meet the unique needs of students between Kindergarten – 6th grade. The program is dedicated to helping these students manage significant emotional reactions, increase positive social interactions, and improve academic progress.

The SBBS Program is located at 4 school-based sites within ASD. Currently, those 4 sites are Baxter Elementary, Lake Hood Elementary, Kasuun Elementary, and Tyson Elementary. In addition to the 4 school-based sites, there is an alternate site for elementary age students who need more intensive interventions and support. Within each school-based site there are 4 SBBS classrooms providing specific instruction tailored to the classroom structure. Staffing for the program is 1 credentialed special education teacher and two teacher assistants assigned to each classroom. Each site also has three behavior coaches, a full time assistant principal, a full time counselor, a full time speech language pathologist, and a part time social worker.

Part of the impetus for this program came from the realization that many children were being assigned a teacher assistant (TA) to allow them to access the general education curriculum. The data collected resulted in dependency between the student and the TA. Recent research, along with a consensus in the field of special education and behavior analysis, demonstrates that the use of TAs in this manner can actually be detrimental to a student’s independence and ultimate success in school.  Another drive for the development of this program is from extensive research that has been conducted regarding inclusion opportunities for special education students. All students have the right to free and appropriate public education alongside their same-aged peers. With the use of effective resources and function-based interventions, the students in this program progress into independent, successful learners.

The mission of the SBBS Program is to provide high quality services for students with challenging behavior that require intensive interventions delivered by specially trained staff in specific environments in order to successfully access their education, while developing the skills to return to a less restrictive environment. 

A student with behavior challenges may prevent them from benefiting from regular education services without additional behavioral and academic support. SBBS intentionally teaches replacement skills and social emotional skills required for the student to navigate school and community environments. Success will be determined by the student returning to a less restrictive environment.

The SBBS Program utilizes a behavior analytic approach along with positive behavior supports, trauma informed care and nonviolent crisis prevention. The program has 3 types of classroom structures and 3 instructional blocks to promote student independence and increased time on task. The program uses all available skills and resources to create an educational and therapeutic community that provides a structured environment for students to increase their self-esteem and academic success . 

In this program:

  • Describing and reshaping observable behaviors of students is the programmatic focus
  • Students are taught to manage frustrations in appropriate ways and learn new ways of responding, thus clearing the way for improved academic learning
  • Interventions that emphasize self-monitoring, self-regulation, and self-management strategies are combined with instruction that teaches social norms and expectations for classroom behavior
  • Staff continuously role-model appropriate ways to deal with feelings
  • Families are an extremely important part of the team and parental support of students and of the program is crucial
  • Individual educational programs are developed to promote students’ social development and academic success
  • Students are referred and transitioned to less restrictive educational placements through successful completion of the program
  • Students may be refereed and transitioned to a setting with more intensive services



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