Behavior Plan in the BUSD

Archived Q&A and Reviews

School considering a behavior plan for kindergartener

March 2010

My daughter is in the Berkeley School system. She is in Kindergarten, and is young compared to her peers (one of the last birthdays, but within a year of all of them). I know the school is considering a behavior plan because of something I overheard, but am honestly a bit scared to ask what that IS. She's a high energy wiggler, doing about average in all areas, and works with us at home on getting skills up in short bursts (30 minute), with time to run in between. She doesn't hurt other kids, has ever rotating friendships, and says most everything that comes into her head which is sometimes not socially appropriate. She's also fun, funny, and always raises her hand for questions, and seems to be engaged.

What's a behavior plan? Is she normal? How can I ask this and deal with the answer? Like all of us, I worry about my kid and want the best for her.

Help? worried parent new to school system

A behavior plan is a written document designed to assist classroom staff in dealing with problem behavior. No, there's nothing wrong with your child, this just means that something is going on that the faculty doesn't feel equipped to deal with. It probably has to do with her high energy wiggling, perhaps the classroom teacher thinks she's being disruptive?

That said, I don't know what school you're at, but I'm sorry, school, you don't get to write one of these without parent input. If you actually overheard school staff talking about this for your child, it blows my mind how incredibly inappropriate that is! Has anybody even had a talk with you about what's going on the classroom?

Don't be scared, there's nothing scary here, your child is fine; particularly since it seems as though you already have some kind of behavior plan at home that's actually working. If they think a plan is necessary, they should just ask you what to do; you know what's best for your child!

Feel free to contact me directly if you have any questions. Good luck! Jill H.

Come straight out and ask. Everyone's goals are the same, to get the best possible education for your kid and all her classmates. You should be a willing, make that eager, participant if you can.

My son was having some issues at school and I ASKED for help once I'd tried all I could think of. Things seem much better now. There is no shame in having a kid that needs a bit of a push in the right direction, it is not a reflection on your parenting. Also, if you can and if you are welcome, try to spend time in the classroom so you can see for yourself what their concerns are.

You sound like a concerned, involved parent, that is great, sometimes you also need collaboration. it really does take a village

Kindergarten classes generally have 4 or 5 wiggly kids, so there's not enough information in your post to know what kind of Behavior Support Plan they'd have in mind. Normally, the process starts with a Student Study Team meeting, which can be quite helpful. The group will discuss her strengths, what you all know about her, areas of concern, questions that need answers, strategies that will help her in school.

Bring someone with you who knows your daughter well, who can support you, add additional perspective to the discussion, and rehash it with you afterward.

Dana L.

Berkeley Public Schools are each at some level of implementing Positive Behavior Support (PBS) and BEST (Building Effective Schools Together), so you might hear staff using these acronyms. Several of the schools are working on setting clear school-wide guidelines for student behavior. The focus is on being positive. You may have seen posters around your child's school about ''be safe, be respectful and be responsible''. This is related to the positive behavior work.

So you may have overheard talk about a school wide or room wide behavior plan. Or you may have hear something specific to your child. Either way, the best way to figure out what is up is to make an appointment to speak to your child's teacher when the two of you can speak alone (no kids around).

If your child's teacher is interested in an Individual Education Plan(?) (IEP?) for your child, then that is a negotiation and agreement between you and the school about what assistance the school district will provide for your child and what the goals are for your child regarding needs identified in an IEP. Lots of kids have IEPs for speech therapy, occupational therapy, and other issues that the school can really help a lot with, or get an outside specialist to help with. So if they'd like your kid to have an IEP, yes, it is pretty normal. If an IEP is what they are talking about, then you can query IEPs on this list serve archives and talk to your friends to get advice on their IEPs with BUSD. I know lots of kids (inlcuding my own) that have benefited hugely from services provided for free under an IEP. Anon