ACPS aligns with the Virginia Department of Education’s Model Guidance for Positive and Preventative Code of Student Conduct Policy and Alternatives to Suspension. Becoming familiar with an understanding the various categories of student behaviors can assist administrators and staff with identifying tiered interventions and strategies for addressing unwanted behaviors from a preventative and restorative lens. Per the model guidance, there are three ways administrators can respond to student behavior to include behavioral interventions, disciplinary sanctions and instructional supports. School divisions are asked to acknowledge and understand the following about behavior:
- Behavior is communication and we must understand the message students are communicating through behavior.
- Behavior has a cultural context and what is acceptable or respectful in one culture may not be acceptable or respectful in other cultures.
- Behavior is developmental and the decision-making skills of students is not fully developed.
- Behavior is learned and we must teach the behaviors that we want to see students exhibit.
The following student behavior categories, as defined by the Virginia Department of Education, were designed to assist with recognizing the impact the behavior has on the school learning environment and to encourage responses that promote social-emotional learning competencies.
- Behaviors that Impede Academic Progress (BAP):
These behaviors impede academic progress of the student or of students. They are typically indicative of the student’s lack of self-management or self-awareness. Sometimes, the student may need help in understanding how the behavior impacts others so training in social awareness may also be indicated.
- Behaviors Related to School Operations (BSO):
These behaviors interfere with the daily operation of school procedures. Students exhibiting these behaviors may need to develop self-management, self-awareness, or social awareness skills.
- Relationship Behaviors (RB):
These behaviors create a negative relationship between two or more people that does not result in physical harm. Relationship behaviors affect the whole school community in that the school climate is often a reflection of how people treat one another. Students who exhibit difficulty with relationship behaviors may also have difficulty with the other social-emotional competencies.
- Behaviors that Present a Safety Concern (BSC):
These behaviors create unsafe conditions for students, staff, and visitors to the school. The underlying reasons for this type of behavior may lie in any of the social-emotional competencies so the administrator should investigate the underlying motivation for the student’s behavior. Training in social awareness and decision-making are usually indicated in any behavior that creates a safety concern.
- Behaviors that Endanger Self or Others (BESO):
These behaviors endanger the health, safety, or welfare of either the student or others in the school community. Behaviors that rise to this level of severity are often complex. While they are indicative of poor decision-making skills, students who exhibit these behaviors may also have developmental needs in the other social-emotional competencies.