Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


48th Annual Convention; Boston, MA; 2022

Event Details

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Symposium #110
CE Offered: PSY/BACB
Improving the Use of Applied Behavior Analytic Interventions to Improve Prosocial Functioning in a School District
Saturday, May 28, 2022
3:00 PM–3:50 PM
Meeting Level 2; Room 205B
Area: EDC/OBM; Domain: Service Delivery
Chair: Joyce West (Gardner Public Schools)
Discussant: Erik D Maki (May Institute )
CE Instructor: Erik Maki, Ph.D.

Applied behavior analysis principles have been used to improve numerous behavior problems in schools. However, most of these interventions have been focused on the individual student. This symposium will focus on applying applied behavior analysis at the district, school, and classroom levels to improve student functioning. The first session reviews the implementation of MTSS/PBIS at the district and school level, applied behavior analysis at the systems level with treatment integrity. As a result of this implementation, improvements were seen in prosocial outcomes, including increased attendance, improved mental health scores, increased and on-task behavior of students in the classroom, reduction in office discipline referrals. The second session focuses on implementing high leveraged applied behavior analysis classroom practices to improve academic engagement. Academic engagement is highly correlated to academic achievement. These practices include high rates of both praise to error correction teacher-students interactions, student opportunities to respond, and teacher active supervision practices and how this was scaled up across a district. Implementing an empirical classroom observation system in a small, diverse, high-needs city in Massachusetts will be reviewed. Improved student outcomes were also observed in increased academic engagement and reduced reactive discipline practices.

Instruction Level: Intermediate
Target Audience:

Intermediate, Competencies of using applied behavior analytical skills in schools.

Learning Objectives: At the conclusion of the presentation, participants will be able to: 1) Be able to describe leadership behaviors including collaborative, facilitative, adaptive and transformative that are critical to the implementation of applied behavior analytic interventions. 2) Be able to describe how to train multi staff members in leadership behaviors using Behavioral Skills Training (BST) 3) Be able to describe the high leveraged applied behavior analytical teacher skills to improve academic engagement.

Leveraging Building Leaders to Foster Adaptive Change to Implement District-Wide Applied Behavior Analytic Interventions

AMBER CASAVANT (Gardner Public Schools)

One of the critical drivers of school-based systems change initiatives, particularly in the successful adoption of MTSS, is the buy-in and support of the district and school leadership. For example, McCart et al. (2015), in their review of several fidelity instruments related to MTSS, PBIS, and RTI, found that the common elements of a school leadership role were (a) administrator support with a clear vision to drive implementation forward; (b) decisions about resource allocation including staff responsibilities and professional development; and (f) ongoing monitoring and overall MTSS effectiveness with data. This presentation highlights the effectiveness of applied behavior analytic interventions and training procedures including Behavior Skills Training (BST) & Pyramidal Approach, Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), Data-Based Decision Making (DBDM), facilitative, adaptive, and transformative leadership skills and evidence-based classroom practices as outlined in the Classroom Observation System (Putnam & Handler 2020) to improve prosocial functioning across a school district. The data shows improvements in prosocial outcomes including increased attendance, improved mental health scores and on-task behavior of students in the classroom, reduction in office discipline referrals (ODR’s), and improved fidelity.

Implementing Applied Behavior Analytic Classroom Practices to Improve Academic Engagement
FINA ROBERTSON (Gardner Public Schools, Behavioral Concepts Inc. (BCI)), Amber Casavant (Gardner Public Schools), Robert F. Putnam (May Institute)
Abstract: This presentation will provide a review of the research on applied behavior analytical practices in classwide behavior support (Simonsen & Fairbanks, Briesch, Myers, & Sugai, 2008; Simonsen et al., 2015; Reinke, Herman & Sprick, 2011). These practices include: 1) antecedent practices; 2) instructional management practices, 3) reinforcement practices and 4) consequence practices. The presentation will go over the use of classwide functional assessment as a method to systematically evaluate the classroom environment to design and implement effective classroom-wide behavioral support practices. Once the environment is assessed, the model incorporates both indirect and direct instruction leading to how teachers participate in a data-based decision-making process to establish more effective practices, procedures, and interactions with students. Finally, a case study of the implementation of MTSS/PBIS in a small, diverse, high-needs city in Massachusetts utilizing the Classroom Observation System (Putnam & Handler, 2020) will be reviewed. In particular, how buy in was obtained, how staff were systematically trained and how these practices were utilized as a tiered system of response to improve implementation fidelity data across schools and teacher implementation of applied behavior analytic classroom practices will be shown. Improved student outcomes were also observed in reduced reactive discipline practices.



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