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 Behavior Support Process


The Behavior Support process developed pursuant to the Improved Student Learning Environment and Discipline Act of 1999 "shall be designed to create the expectation that the process of disciplining students will include due consideration, as appropriate in light of the severity of the behavioral problem, of student support services that may help the student address behavioral problems and that may be available through the school, the school system, other public entities, or community organizations." [O.C.G.A.§ 20-2-735 (c)]


Students have changed as society has changed. Students today come to school with needs that seemingly are different from the needs of students in the past. Therefore, they need services that exceed what a regular classroom teacher can provide. These services must recognize the need for comprehensive and flexible support that is community-based and available to all children and their families. The behavior support process must recognize and build on strengths that exist in all young people, their families and communities, creating a system of supports and opportunities that promote positive choices and behavior.


A behavior support process is a mechanism for identifying and addressing those behaviors and environmental influences that promote the positive emotional, mental, social, and physical health needs of students.

This process is designed to provide services to the chronic disciplinary problem student (Level III, IV, and V offenses); however, it may be used at any level at the discretion of the school professionals.

Guiding Principles

The delivery model of the Behavior Support Process should be:

  • Student Centered - belief in the ability of the student to effect positive change in behavior.

  • Family Focused - including parents as essential partners in promoting self-discipline of students.

  • Prevention Oriented - being proactive about helping students to avoid negative behaviors initially as well as helping troubled students to avoid future difficulties.

  • Community-Based - utilizing services that are accessible to students and their parents.

  • Goal Oriented - actively working to see that desired behavior occurs by fostering positive school climate.

A student is not required to go through the Student Support Team Process for the development of a Behavior Support Plan. However, the local system may elect to use the SST process for this purpose.

Basic Elements of the Process

  1. Develop a plan based on a multi-strategy approach that seeks to organize the school, school system, parent, and community efforts into a comprehensive and integrated framework that is an integral part of the school's overall mission.

  2. Central to the framework is its ability to encompass existing programs as models. It is important that the plan identify a case management system and an individual that will manage the process for each student.

  3. Provide for support strategies that build on strengths of students rather than those that focus on behavioral deficits.

    • Help students establish individual goals, relevant benchmarks, and a time frame for accomplishment.

    • Focus on youth development, e.g., service learning, problem solving skills development, leadership development, mentoring, peer mentoring, peer mediation, and conflict management.

  4. Customize supports and services for the student.

    • Use assessment methods, both formal and informal, that build on student strengths.

    • Individualize assessments using multiple methods to develop a profile of the whole child.

    • Use an interdisciplinary team approach, such as the Student Support Team (SST) to determine and/or provide supports and services that meet the needs of the student. The composition of the team can vary based on the needs of the referred student. Suggested representation would be the parent, school psychologist, social worker, teacher, counselor, and principal. Other agency representatives should be included as appropriate.

    • Integrate school-based and community-based services.

    • Link support services to the student code of conduct and discipline policies.

    • Consider the discipline and behavioral history.

    • Ensure that supports are developmentally and age appropriate.

    • Ensure that supports and services are congruent with the behavior.

    • Evaluate student's progress and modify the strategies accordingly.

  5. Utilize relevant and effective community resources.

    • Have representatives of youth organizations and services provide input as to availability of resources.

    • Use community organizations and services that are culturally relevant, complete, and responsive to the schools request for assistance.

    • Conduct follow-up with service providers regarding the services delivered and the impact on the student's behavior.