The program’s philosophy lies in the belief that students want to progress, learn and be successful. To assure their success, a supportive, structured setting is provided in which students discover themselves to be valued and capable individuals.
The Behavior Management Program used in Van Cleve incorporates a point system with the well established principle of behavior modification through positive reinforcement. The main thrust of the system is to teach students that they are responsible for their actions, that they can learn to delay gratification and that they are capable of positive change. The point system is consistent throughout the student’s day.
The point system uses the principles of a token economy where the points are awarded for appropriate, expected behavior and are accumulated for rewards. Rewards vary and are both social and tangible in nature. Many rewards are privileges that the students earn which are built into the program such as recreational activities, weekly trips, outings and special activities. Also, teachers may use different age appropriate rewards in their class to motivate students.
NOTE: A student’s Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) and /or changes in State Education Department regulations may change any consequence(s) or reward(s) that are given.
The wide range of rewards used in the point system ensures that every student can find something to work toward. In some instances other techniques can be utilized to motivate a student who finds it difficult to achieve any degree of success with the point system.
Behavior contracts, like bonus points, are an optional incentive that may be used to help modify a student’s behavior. The purpose of a behavioral contract is to use a systematic method for reinforcing the acquisition of a desired goal. It is recommended that no more than two behaviors be addressed in an individual behavior contract. This would mean targeting the most problematic behavior(s) that a student may have. A contract should have a specified time frame. If the desired behavior has not been demonstrated by the end of the contract period, the contract can be revisited. When the desired behavior has been reached, the contract may be ended. Specified behavior(s), rewards and consequences must be clearly defined. The terms of the contract should be such that a student can reasonably attain the desired rewards. The behavior(s) targeted in the contract should be important to the child’s physical, educational, social and management needs. The behavioral contract allows for informed consent by the student and hopefully results in an improved situation for students and staff. The terms of the behavioral contract must contain the following:
What the student is expected to do
What the reward(s) will be if student abides by the terms of the contract
What the consequence(s) will be if the student violates the terms of the contract
Signatures of all parties involved
The school day consists of eight periods which are approximately 40 minutes each. The residential program consists of twelve periods of 45 minutes each. The student can earn up to 10 points each period. Points are allotted in each of 5 areas:
The student can earn up to 2 points in each area above, for a total of 10 points for each period. The points are determined by the teacher for that period (ex. classroom teacher, art, computer, etc.). The points go towards earning privileges, rewards and achieving higher levels within the Level System explained below. Students can earn half of their points in Study Hall if they complete their assigned work.
The student accumulates all earned points and uses them to reach higher levels. The total number of points are entered in the box designated “Grand Total Carryover” on each student’s point sheet. Each week, the student’s new earnings are added to this total.
This total can be greater if the student earns bonus points, up to 100 per week. The student trades in the required number of points in order to purchase the next higher level. They continue to accumulate points in order to achieve higher levels.
Besides the ability to earn points for appropriate behavior, students are also required to respect all of the rules and regulations that are part of any school program as well as those that must be obeyed in society as a whole. If a student violates these rules he/she will lose points. This makes the attainment of rewards more difficult and thus motivates students to obey and respect rules. The rules cover a wide range of areas and are applied throughout the student’s day and in all areas of his/her program.
Points earned as well as points lost are recorded on a weekly point sheet. A brief description of points lost is recorded on the back of the sheet. All point transactions must be initialed by the staff making the recording. Points lost should be recorded in the time period that they occur.
Level 1 Privilege: Students on Level 1 can go to the Point Store.
Point Store Criteria:
- No level drop that week
- No school suspension that week
- Need to earn at least 200 points Monday – Thursday.
- Residential points do not count!
- Bonus points will not count towards point store
- Cannot lose 25 or more points the morning of the Point Store
- The homeroom teacher decides if a child can or cannot go to the Point Store
Level 2 Privilege(s): (Level 1 privileges plus.)
- Can visit other classes with permission
Level 3 Privilege(s): (Level 1 and 2 privileges plus.)
- Can bring radio and/or electronic portable game for dorm use only (residential students)
- May participate in special in-school activities for Level 3 students only
- Can run errands and walk to related service classes in the Van Cleve building, at the teacher’s discretion.
Level 4 Privilege(s): (Level 1, 2 and 3 privileges plus..)
- May be able to walk on campus unescorted
- Can go to Coffee Shop (from class only) if they have their own money, at the teacher's discretion
- Can become a student council representative
- May participate in special in-school activities for Level 4 students only
Level 5 Privilege(s): (Level 1, 2, 3 and 4 privileges plus..)
- Eligible for income earning jobs on campus (aging-out students only)
- Eligible for special Level 5 activities at the end of the school year
- Can earn extra recreational game time (residential students only)
- Can be a peer tutor in younger classes