Launch

Multi-Tiered System of Support

At Launch we believe in creating a proactive prevention framework that arranges organization and program-level resources to accommodate all children via early identification of learning and behavior needs. This early identification allows for timely intervention services for students who are at risk of not meeting developmental targets, and it identifies students in need of advanced services. Our MTSS framework is an integrated, multi-tiered system of teaching, assessment, and intervention designed to meet the socio-emotional development and behavioral needs of all students. If it is identified a child needs additional support services, we may refer them to ChildFind.

Response to Intervention

Launch is committed to helping all children succeed. We have many ways to help children who are struggling to learn and need additional supports to be successful. Response to Intervention (RtI) is one form of support. RtI is a multi-step process of providing educational support and instruction to children who are struggling learners. Individual children’s progress is observed through daily interaction and assessments. We use the results to make decisions about further instruction and intervention.

The RtI process typically has three tiers. Each tier provides differing levels of support:

  • In Tier I, all students receive high quality curriculum and instruction in our program. Our teachers assist all of our children in daily activities and routines.
  • In Tier II, we provide interventions to students who need more support than they are receiving from the general curriculum. This generally occurs by providing a child more individual time during focus or work time.
  • In Tier III, children are given individualized instruction. If we determine a child needs individual instruction, we work with the family to see what resources are available and to determine if we can meet the child’s individual needs.

RULER – Recognizing, Understanding, Labeling, Expressing and Regulating emotions

Launch will be teaching the Social and Emotional Learning curriculum called the RULER Approach to our children in grades PK to 5th starting in the fall of 2016. The curriculum, which aligns with SPS, teaches key emotional management skills such as understanding and regulating emotions.

The RULER Approach teaches 5 key skills:

  • Recognizing emotions in oneself and others
  • Understanding the causes and consequences of emotions
  • Labeling the full range of emotions using a rich vocabulary
  • Expressing emotions appropriately in different contexts
  • Regulating emotions effectively to foster healthy relationships and achieve goals

Second Step

“Second Step” is a curriculum kit designed to reduce impulsive and aggressive behavior in young children and to increase their levels of social competence by teaching skills in empathy, impulse control, and anger management. The kit, which is part of a series that includes curricula for preschool and Leap Ahead, is integrated into our programs and is a companion to the work that we do with the RULER approach. Second Step targets skill deficits that put children at risk for violence, substance abuse, suicide, and dropping out of school, Second Step can be adopted as a basic skills curriculum for prevention education. Each lesson consists of a coded 11″ x 17″ photo card with a story and discussion questions. Role play is encouraged, and tapes and a video are available to reinforce concepts. Empathy training, impulse control, and anger management are fostered through teaching strategies that reduce social bias and promote recognition of the different feelings and needs of others. Implementing the curriculum and handling disclosure and reporting are discussed. Puppet scripts and take-home letters for parents are included.

Conflict Resolution and Behavior Support

Our teachers and leadership teams work closely with children to build relationships which foster trust and mutual respect. A variety of techniques are used to both prevent and correct behavior that can interrupt programming.  These may include role modeling, redirection, positive reinforcement, accommodations such as changes to the environment, and natural or logical consequences.

When conflicts arise in the classroom, Launch teachers offer students comfort and contact in an effective and timely manner. They assist matter-of-factly with unresolved conflicts to encourage problem-solving and conflict resolution skills. Teachers understand that frequent conflicts are developmentally appropriate for children. Our teachers foster the motivational, social and behavioral competence necessary to resolve issues that is supportive of all involved.

Learning to Resolve Conflicts

Helping children manage frustrations and resolve social conflicts is an area of social learning that is often particularly important to Launch. Our teachers use the six-step conflict resolution process in working with children. The six steps summarized below are used to help children settle disputes and conflicts. With time, children can often learn to carry out this sequence on their own.

Conflict resolution steps

  1. Approach calmly, stopping any hurtful actions. Place yourself between the children, on their level; use a calm voice and gentle touch; remain neutral rather than take sides.
  2. Acknowledge children’s feelings. Say something simple such as “You look really upset;” let children know you need to hold any object in question.
  3. Gather information. Ask “What’s the problem?” Do not ask “why” questions as young children focus on what the problem is rather than understanding the reasons behind it.
  4. Restate the problem: “So the problem is…” Use and extend the children’s vocabulary, substituting neutral words for hurtful or judgmental ones (such as “stupid”) if needed.
  5. Ask for solutions and choose one together. Ask “What can we do to solve this problem?” Encourage children to think of a solution but offer options if the children are unable to at first.
  6. Be prepared to give follow-up support. Acknowledge children’s accomplishments, e.g., “You solved the problem!” Stay nearby in case anyone is not happy with the solution and the process needs repeating.

Adults respect children’s ideas for solving problems, even if the options they offer don’t seem fair to adults. What’s important is that children agree on the solution and see themselves as competent problem-solvers.

CHALLENGING BEHAVIORS

Young children can present challenging behaviors in the educational setting. Occasionally, young children present dangerous behaviors in the educational setting with the potential to injure themselves or others. In such circumstances, children may need more intensive interventions to help them learn appropriate behavior.

Procedures

  • The teacher will have a designated safe and appropriate place in the classroom and outside the classroom where an adult can take a child to be away from peers for the purpose of assisting the child to calm and self-regulate.
  • A staff member will remain with the child at all times.
  • When dangerous behaviors occur, staff will contact the child’s parent to debrief the incident. The child’s teacher, Program Director or Program Specialist and an Operations Manager will meet to discuss how we will handle future incidents and potential referrals for additional services.
  • The incident will be documented and kept in the child’s file at the school.
  • Staff will implement positive behavioral interventions and supports to prevent challenging behavior and to teach empathy, friendship skills, self-calming skills, and problem-solving skills.
  • Behavior Support may include a Behavior Plan. A Behavior Plan is an individualized, intensive intervention based on information collected by the family and teaching staff. Behavior Plan will include:
    • Description of behavior of concern including triggering events and maintaining consequences.
    • Prevention Strategies
    • Replacement Skills that will be taught
    • Strategies for when the challenging behavior occurs
    • Staff will implement behavior plan and meet with the family regularly to discuss progress and modify plan as needed.

Withholding of food, access to the bathroom, or name calling or any other form of demeaning treatment is strictly forbidden. Use of such methods will result in disciplinary action. Continual communication with parents and guardians must be maintained concerning the child’s behavior and ongoing documentation and progress reports are required. Staff will be sensitive to different cultural beliefs and values. Our policy aligns with the Seattle Preschool Program’s philosophy of Zero Expulsion.

Non-violent Intervention Strategies

Launch works to prevent difficult to manage behaviors by providing the staff with non-aversive techniques to reduce and eliminate behavioral difficulties. There may be times when a child’s behavior is an immediate physical risk to themselves or others in the classroom. To ensure the safety of the child, a staff person may need to physically intervene to stop the child from causing harm. Launch staff use a limited restraint method that is developmentally appropriate and does not cause harm to the child.  All Launch staff members will be trained in limited restraint techniques.