Positive Action recognizes the unique value of each person; provides academic, physical, social, and emotional guidance in a safe, supportive environment; and promotes partnerships between school, home, and community. It works for students with special needs of all types, including autism, ADD/ADHD, learning disabilities, emotional disturbance, physical disabilities, and mentally retardation.
It strengthens core academic programs by teaching learning skills, incorporating state standards, developing intrinsic motivation, and reducing classroom disruptions. It helps special needs students integrate into mainstream classrooms, and gives them the essential skills and motivation to achieve academically and in life.
Positive Action can help schools assess special education students’ needs and plan how to meet them with Individualized Education Plans. The “Lessons for Life” surveys assess whether students have the skills, or positive actions, that they need to be good learners and productive citizens.
A Positive Action Committee provides the school’s leadership with the forum and tools to create a plan to meet the needs of special education students. The tools include a Committee Handbook, surveys, calendars, templates for meeting logs and agendas, behavior management forms, and “Dear Parents” letters.
Positive Action also promotes partnerships between school, home, and community. The program increases parental involvement through the school curriculum, site-wide climate activities, and classes designed to teach families how to use the Family Kit at home. For more intensive help, community involvement and counselor tools are also available. All components share the same core concepts, which create a coherent strategy.
Classroom lessons, with all the materials to teach them, are fun, engaging, and focus on building students’ skills and motivation in the physical, intellectual, social, and emotional domains. The program builds on itself, providing incremental improvements in students and building blocks for sweeping systemic change in schools.
Positive Action uses the same Kits to teach special needs and regular students. To support IDEA’s requirements of inclusion, Positive Action would ideally be taught in mainstream classrooms to all students. Teachers don’t need additional training to teach Positive Action to special needs students.
Combining these two options by teaching Positive Action in special education and regular classrooms allows special education students to receive instruction and reinforcement of the Positive Action concepts in both settings. Using the Climate Development Kits to reinforce Positive Action concepts school-wide, the Family Kit to help parents reinforce the concepts with their special needs students at home, and the Community Kit to involve members of the community, further strengthens the positive effects of Positive Action.
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