Young children can present challenging behaviors in the educational setting. Head Start of Lane County is committed to using Positive Behavior Intervention Support (PBIS) to promote social competence and address challenging behaviors. Child guidance and classroom / bus management decisions will promote: (a) positive social skills; (b) emotional literacy; (c) positive self-esteem, and (d) provide a nurturing, safe environment.

  1. Promoting social competence and preventing/addressing challenging behaviors to enhance children’s social success in educational settings involve the components below. See Social Emotional Inventory of Practices in the Document Archive for specific recommendations and examples to achieve the following:
    1. Building Positive Relationships: Supportive, responsive relationships among adults and children are an essential component to promoting healthy social emotional development.
      1. Adults will:
        1. Develop and support meaningful relationships with children and families
        2. Examine their personal, family, and cultural views of child’s challenging behavior
        3. Examine their own attitudes toward challenging behavior
  2. Creating Supportive Environments: High quality environments promote positive outcomes for all children.
    1. Adults will:
      1. Design the physical environment to support social and emotional security
      2. Develop schedules and routines
      3. Ensure smooth transitions
      4. Design activities to promote engagement
      5. Give directions that are clear to each child
      6. Establish and enforce clear rules, limits, and consequences for behavior
      7. Engage in ongoing monitoring and positive attention
      8. Use positive feedback and encouragement
  3. Social Emotional Teaching Strategies: Systematic approaches to teaching social skills can have a preventive and remedial effect.
    1. Adults will:
      1. Interact with children to develop their self-esteem
      2. Show sensitivity to individual children’s needs
      3. Encourage autonomy
      4. Capitalize on the presence of typically developing peers
      5. Utilize effective environmental arrangements to encourage social interactions
      6. Use prompting and reinforcement of interactions effectively
      7. Provide instruction to aid in the development of social skills
      8. Promote identification and labeling of emotions in self and others
      9. Explore the nature feelings and the appropriate ways they can be expressed
      10. Model appropriate expressions and labeling of their own emotions and self-regulation throughout the course of the day
      11. Create a planned approach for problem solving processing within the classroom
      12. Promote children’s individualized emotional regulation that will enhance positive social interactions within the classroom
  4. Individualized, Intensive Interventions: Assessment – based interventions that results in individualized behavior support plans (see Referral for Behavior Support policy)
    1. Adults will:
      1. Team with family to develop support plans
      2. Use Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) provided by Early Childhood CARES as a guide to support the child in the classroom
      3. Implement the behavior support plan
      4. Teach replacement skills
      5. Communicate regularly with the Collaboration Team as well as the Early Childhood CARES Behavior Team regularly
      6. Monitor how well the plan is working and make adjustments as guided by Early Childhood CARES


  1. See Social Emotional Inventory of Practices in the Document Archive for specific recommendations and examples on “how” to achieve the above policy.
    1. Bus Drivers/Monitors:
      1. The Bus Monitor will initially meet with classroom staff/Regional Manager to develop a plan for the bus. If more intensive support is needed, bus staff will follow the same procedure as needed for requesting behavior support in the classroom. See Referral for Behavior Support Policy and procedure for guidance.
      2. The Bus Monitor will be responsible for behavior management on the bus. The Bus Driver may need to assist when children are loading or there is a substitute Monitor. The Bus Monitor will inform DST of behavior problems on the bus and work with classroom staff to ensure that strategies used for behavior management are consistent in the classroom/on the bus.
      3. The Bus Driver, monitor, and parent will be included in the development of the bus behavior plan if possible. If that is not possible, the Bus Driver and Monitor will be informed of the plan by the Regional Manager. A copy of the bus behavior plan will be kept on the bus. If there is a substitute bus monitor, the bus driver will share the plan with him/her.
      4. The Regional Manager will ensure that there is structure (pictures, rules posted, clear expectations, assigned seating) inside the bus environment to communicate to the children what to do and how to behave.
      5. There will be systems, schedules, and routines established by the Regional Manager/Teacher/Bus Monitor to promote predictability and security for children.
      6. Bus Drivers/Monitors will be expected to interact with children in a positive, friendly, and socially supportive manner using positive behavior support strategies and encouraging pro-social interactions among the children.
      7. Monitors will provide developmentally appropriate, individualized, and safe activities for children to engage in while riding on the bus.
    2. Hierarchy on the bus (least intrusive to most intrusive strategies with increasing intensity):
      1. Restate the rules and give positive support to those who are following the rules (sometimes using tangible rewards such as stickers).
      2. Use natural consequences including removing objects, activities, and giving verbal redirection.
      3. Physical touch (such as hand on shoulder), direct eye contact, sitting beside the child, or moving the child to another seat.
      4. Move the child to the front seat of the bus with no other child next to him/her.
  2. Supplementing positive behavior intervention using strategies with intensity. Occasionally, young children present dangerous behaviors in the educational setting, with the potential to injure themselves or others. In such circumstances, children may need strategies with intensity to help them learn appropriate behavior. After consultation (with Regional Manager, Program Consultants, Directions Services and Early Childhood CARES as needed) the direct service team and family may supplement the above strategies with one or more of the following interventions. These examples of such consequences might include but are not limited to:
    1. First Response Strategies (see First Response in the Document Archive)
    2. Responding to unanticipated dangerous behavior. Occasionally, staff may be unaware of a child’s potential for dangerous behavior, which may occur very quickly and with little warning. All DST will have a Site Plan for Dangerous Behaviors in the Document Archive that will include the following:
      1. A safe, quiet place in the classroom for a child to be alone.
      2. A procedure for quickly exiting the children from the classroom so the child with behavior issues is isolated with an adult.
      3. A place outside the classroom to take a child that needs time alone.
      4. Ways of quickly communicating to the rest of the team (including regular parent and community volunteers) with a signal word so that the plan can be quickly implemented without a lot of discussion.
      5. DST will submit their plans to their RM at the beginning of the program year and update it as needed.
      6. The plan will enable staff to take immediate action to ensure the safety of the child and others in the area.
      7. For the safety of the child and staff, the crisis intervention for the child will not exceed gentle but firm physical guidance/direction, holding a child only long enough to get them to a safe space to calm down.
      8. When dangerous behaviors occur on the bus, the Bus Monitor will move the child to the front seat of the bus if possible. The Bus Driver will proceed to the child’s drop off as soon as possible.
      9. When dangerous behaviors occur, staff will contact the child’s parent to debrief the incident. Collaboration Team will look at the Social Emotional Inventory of Practices to work and support DST teams to develop skills, if needed, while ECCARES supports intensive interventions. (see Referral for Behavior Support forms in the Document Archive; Check with RM and Collaboration Team for assistance; or reference the Social Emotional Inventory of Practices in the Document Archive)
  3. Useof physical restraint. Rarely, a child may need use of physicalrestraint if there is imminent danger to self or others. The team willbe required to consult with a member of the Collaboration (CD/DConsultant, MH Consultant, Early Childhood CARES, and Direction Service) Team.Physical restraint is not to be used as a routine procedure nor withoutan approved behavior plan specifying its use. (signed by parent)
    1. Teacher will fill out a First Incident of Dangerous Behavior Checklist in the Document Archive and LEAD form Criteria (See the LEAD steps) (See Behavioral Referral Checklist in the Document Archive)
    2. The use of corporal punishment is strictly forbidden. Use of such methods will result in disciplinary action.
    3. Withholding of food, access to the bathroom, or name calling or any other form of demeaning treatment is strictly forbidden. Use of such methods will result in disciplinary action.
    4. Continual communication with parents and guardians must be maintained concerning the child’s behavior and ongoing documentation and progress reports are required. Staff will be sensitive to different cultural beliefs and values.
    5. Behavior that is chronically dangerous may be an indicator that further support and assessment is needed. The child be will referred t othe Collaboration team as soon as possible (see Referral for Behavior Support policy)
    6. If a child’s behavior requires special support during the time of referral and assessment, the Regional Manager, the CD/D Consultant, and the Collaboration Team will be included in planning the support.
  4. Sending a child home/loss of bus privileges due to a behavior related incident: Rarely, a child may engage in behavior that poses a significant physical and/or mental risk to self or others. Only then, should a team consider sending a child home and/or removing bus privileges due to a behavior related incident.
    1. No child will be sent home or lose bus privileges without prior approval from the Regional Manager in consultation with the Mental Health and/or Child Development & Disabilities Consultant(s) and ECSE service coordinator, if applicable. In the case of loss of bus privileges, the Transportation Manager will be consulted. If the child attends a full day classroom, the Full Day Consultant will be given prior notification in order to address possible financial and childcare concerns/issues.
    2. Each incident will be considered on its own merit and not be generalized with other incidents by the child or other children.
    3. Any incident resulting in approval to send a child home/lose bus privileges will be followed up immediately with:
      1. A staffing (or team meeting in the case of a child on an IFSP) including any outside agency consultants working with the child, focal teacher, family advocate, regional manager, family and program consultants if needed.
      2. Development of a temporary behavior plan or modification of existing plan so the child can return the next day.
      3. The incident, behavior plan, and the team meeting will be documented in WebCAF as soon as possible in the behavior plan table (including notes) in the Education (or Disabilities when applicable) sections.
      4. A referral (or call when there is open case management) will be made to the Collaboration Team to conduct a Functional Behavior Assessment and develop a formal behavior plan to manage the behavior.
      5. Documentation will be maintained on the child’s progress on the behavior plan.
  5. WebCAF Acuity Scale
    1. In order for Regional Managers and program Consultants to monitor challenging behaviors, focal teachers will use the Acuity Scale in the Education section of WebCAF:
      1. Choose the child’s WebCAF file.
      2. Go to the Education section.
      3. Enter date on entry.
      4. Left click on Indicator.
      5. Enter a note
    2. The Focal Teacher will update the Acuity Information (when section is in use) at the same time as the Galileo benchmarks. Behavior indicators will be removed when the behaviors have extinguished.
      1. Indicators are eliminated by un-checking the indicator box and entering a note in Acuity section about why the behavior indicator was removed.
    3. DST will print out the acuity scale scores and send them, with the referral packet, to the Collaboration Team for Behavior Support and/or Mental Health Services (see Referral for Behavior Support or Mental Health Referrals and Tracking).

Thispolicy complies with Head Start Performance Standard 45 CFR1304.21(a)(3)(i)(A) – 1304.21(a)(3)(ii)
It was approved byPolicy Council on December 12, 2000. September 12, 2006. August 14,2007
Updated July 20, 2000. July 10, 2002. August 11, 2005. August22, 2006, June 12, 2007, August 17, 2008. June 2009

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