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Turning over a new Leaf at the QSAC Preschool – PBIS comes to Preschool

September 30, 2013 3:13 pm Published by
During the long cold days of winter, the clinical team at the QSAC Preschool came to a consensus. We wanted to build a stronger foundation in which to develop stronger behavior analytic teaching practices for the 2013-14 school year. During the winter and spring we toiled, scouring and discussing best practice literature, ultimately deciding that PBIS ( Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports) fit perfectly into our behavior analytic program. In September, we launched a campaign called “Turning Over a New Leaf”. Because we pride ourselves in our use of behavior analysis system wide, subscribing to the tenets of PBIS would only serve to highlight this. We are teaching our staff that what we do daily promotes several ideals; the effective and accurate implementation of instructional and behavioral practices and interventions. We are confident that this will only make our program better.

While we are not stating we are a PBIS program, by incorporating these practices we think we can strengthening our teaching. The four integrated elements found in a PBIS program are already aligned with our school practices:

• the use of data for decision making
• measurable outcomes supported and evaluated by data
• practices with evidence that these outcomes are achievable and
• systems that efficiently and effectively support implementation of these practices

PBIS is guided by 6 principals, 2 of which are arranging the environment to prevent the development and occurrence of problem behavior while teaching and encouraging prosocial skills and behaviors. With all of this as our framework we adopted 3 tenets for preschool conduct: Be safe, Be responsible and Be Kind. Each classroom then created a matrix of how each of these should look in the classroom, the hallway, the gym and the bathroom.

By doing this everyone knew what being safe, kind and responsible would look like. We could now look for both staff and student behaviors to be reinforced. Although still in its infancy we have heard teaching staff tact that what they were doing was “being responsible”or “kind”. The data will tell us if “Turning over a New leaf” has lead to an decrease in inappropriate student behavior and an increase in prosocial behaviors. Stay tuned for updates!

Gina Feliciano, PhD, SAS, BCBA-D, Preschool Director


QSAC is a New York City and Long Island based nonprofit that supports children and adults with autism, together with their families, in achieving greater independence, realizing their future potential, and contributing to their communities in a meaningful way by offering person-centered services.

QSAC pursues this mission through direct services that provide a supportive and individualized setting for children and adults with autism to improve their communication, socialization, academic, and functional skills.