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Special School District of St. Louis County

Behavior Strategies, Collaboration Support Student Success

Helping students gain the skills necessary to regulate their behaviors at school and at home is something educators and parents can work on together.

Improving behavior involves knowing what to do, when to do it, and how to do it.

SSD’s Planning and Development Department provides support to students and families in schools across St. Louis County.  

“A team is formed to help define and refine the family and youth’s strengths, culture, vision and needs,” said Lisa Powers, SSD administrator for learning and assessment. “We prioritize needs and create a plan. We work on one prioritized need at a time until the formal team is no longer needed because the vision of the family and youth has been achieved.”

A transition plan is then created with the youth as the driving force, and opportunities are developed to help the student achieve the outcomes he or she desires. Goals include completing high school, gaining employment, and planning for post-secondary education.

Tips for Supporting Positive Behavior at Home

Ann Logsdon, a school psychologist who specializes in helping parents and teachers support students with a wide range of educational and developmental disabilities, offers tips on developing and implementing a behavior plan that supports and encourages appropriate behaviors.

Logsdon recommends the following basic elements as keys to good behavioral plans:

  • Use positive reinforcement for appropriate behavior.
  • Try to reward appropriate behavior as soon as it happens and as consistently as possible.
  • Allow natural consequences to become negative reinforcements for poor behavior.
  • Avoid lectures and criticism of the child.
  • Seat the child near peers who model appropriate behavior.
  • Ignore minor inappropriate behaviors and focus on the more important problem behaviors.
  • Communicate between home and school to be sure that the same rules apply in both locations, and share updates about challenges, improvements or strategies that work.
  • Praise other children in the home or classroom when they demonstrate appropriate behaviors.

Implementing these strategies provides the child with specific, consistent rules, positive role models, and the important experience of living with the natural consequences of poor behavior.

Over time, and with help, a child can develop strategies that work – both for him or her and for the people around them.

Published April 2017

parent and student standing in front of behavior chart

Behavior Resources

SSD offers a variety of resources to assist families in supporting their child's positive behavior development.

arrow icon SSD PBIS Compendium:

arrow icon SSD's Family and Community Resource Center: Books, videos and other materials about behavior.
Click here to see a list.

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12110 Clayton Rd, Town & Country, MO 63131  /  314.989.8100  /  314.989.8552 – 711 (Missouri Relay)

Special School District of St. Louis County (SSD) is a leader in providing special education services to students with disabilities and also provides a wide range of career and technical education programs.
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