Title

Therapeutic Behavior Management: Reducing Suspension and Improving Availability to Learning Through Effective Crisis Intervention

Location

Ballroom F

Strand #1

Safety & Violence Prevention

Strand #2

Academic Achievement & School Leadership

Relevance

This workshop is directly relevant to the strand of “Hands: Safety and Violence Prevention,” and indirectly to “Head: Academic Achievement.” It offers a logical, common-sense model for responding safely to serious behavior issues, reducing the likelihood of seclusion, restraint, and unnecessary exclusion from school. Drawing from research on school safety, functional behavior, and childhood trauma, the workshop helps staff make effective decisions in crisis by assessing situations based first on the level of imminent danger, then on the underlying sources of the problem. Given a common vocabulary, line staff, administrators, and parents can communicate needs more clearly and respond to crises more effectively, creating safer and more productive learning and living environments for all youth.

Brief Program Description

School safety depends upon staff who can make good judgment calls during critical situations. To be effective, staff need a therapeutic but practical model to guide behavioral interventions. This workshop offers teachers and support staff a common framework for decisions in crisis. It explores two psychological sources of problem behaviors, then offers specific strategies for preventing and managing each.

Summary

The U.S. Census Bureau (2010) reported over 49 million children and youth attending our nation’s 98,000 public elementary, middle, and high schools. Each of these students deserves a safe, secure and orderly learning environment, without which effective education cannot take place. However, the measures taken by schools and communities in the past 20 years have become increasingly exclusionary. Strict zero-tolerance policies have resulted in out-of-school suspension for more than 3 million students (often for minor behavior problems) in recent years, and the permanent expulsion of more than 100,000 per year. A disproportionate number of these youth were students of color and/or students with disabilities, perpetuating a “school to prison pipeline” with lifelong deleterious effects. Schools and communities have a right to expect safe and orderly behavior, and to remove those who will not comply with reasonable rules. But a unidimensional model oversimplifies behavioral problems, and a strict punitive approach provides only one solution. When staff have a deeper understanding of student misbehavior and more skill in responding to these issues, they are far less likely to overreact with punitive consequence, including exclusion, seclusion, and even restraint. Drawing from research on school safety, positive behavioral supports, functional behavior, and childhood trauma, this workshop helps staff make more effective and informed decisions in crisis. It begins by explaining a practical model for assessing situations based first on the level of imminent danger, then on the underlying sources of the problem. It goes on to offer specific insights into each of these sources, the first deliberate and functional, the other emotional and irrational. Finally, using numerous concrete examples and illustrations, it provides strategies and skills to manage or de-escalate various situations.

Evidence

This workshop draws from decades of research on school safety and discipline (Russell Skiba/American Psychological Association), functional behavior and positive behavioral supports (George Sugai, Robert Horner, William Glasser), and emotional disturbance and trauma informed care (Nicholas Long, Sandra Bloom, Gordon Hodas), this workshop helps staff make more effective and informed decisions in crisis. Their practical application to schools and learning is based on the presenter’s 25 years of experience as a teacher, trainer, author and crisis intervention specialist.

Format

Individual Presentation

Biographical Sketch

Dr. Steve Parese began his career as an educator and counselor, working special needs youth in a variety of therapeutic, community, and correctional settings. Since leaving his teaching position at George Washington University in 1998, Steve has become a well known international speaker and author. He specializes in soft skills training and crisis intervention counseling for challenging populations such as at-risk youth, former offenders, and welfare to workers.

Keyword Descriptors

crisis intervention, zero tolerance, behavior management, de-escalation, emotional counseling

Presentation Year

2015

Start Date

3-4-2015 11:15 AM

End Date

3-4-2015 12:30 PM

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Mar 4th, 11:15 AM Mar 4th, 12:30 PM

Therapeutic Behavior Management: Reducing Suspension and Improving Availability to Learning Through Effective Crisis Intervention

Ballroom F

School safety depends upon staff who can make good judgment calls during critical situations. To be effective, staff need a therapeutic but practical model to guide behavioral interventions. This workshop offers teachers and support staff a common framework for decisions in crisis. It explores two psychological sources of problem behaviors, then offers specific strategies for preventing and managing each.