Behavior Intervention Plans (BIP) for Your Students

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A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) takes the observations made in a Functional Behavioral Assessment and turns them into a concrete plan of action for managing a student's behavior. A BIP may include ways to change the environment to help prevent the behavior from starting in the first place, provide positive reinforcement to promote good behavior, employ planned ignoring to avoid reinforcing bad behavior, and provide support needed so that the student will not be driven to act out due to frustration or fatigue.

Also Known As: Behavior Management Plan, Behavior Support Plan, Positive Behavior Support Plan 

Parts of a Behavior Intervention Plan

When creating a BIP, the first step is fact-finding to describe the problem behavior in measurable terms, with examples. It takes a look at the setting and events in the student's life that may be associated with the behavior. It examines the likely precipitating events for the behavior, likely consequences, and also the contexts in which the behavior doesn't occur. These are then validated with the functional assessment. Replacement behaviors are chosen.

Then the data is used to create the BIP document. It should include:

  • Target behaviors
  • Specific goals that are measurable
  • Intervention description of how it will be done
  • When the intervention starts and how often it will be done
  • Method of evaluation
  • Persons responsible for each part of the intervention and evaluation
  • Data from evaluation 

The document is approved by the student's Individual Education Program (IEP) team, which includes the parents and school administrator as well as any of the staff who will be involved in implementing it. Parents should be involved in each step in developing the plan. Then the plan is implemented.

You may want to propose a behavior plan of your own for your child—particularly if you have a good relationship with your child's teachers and IEP team.

Sample Behavior Intervention Plans

Using a Behavior Intervention Plan

When a behavior plan is agreed to, the school and staff are legally obligated to follow it. If the school and staff do not follow it, the consequences of the behavior should not be inflicted on the student. Behavior plans fall under the Individuals with Disabilities Act (IDEA), but it still may take some vigilance and advocacy from parents to ensure that everyone involved follows protocol and takes the interventions into account. Remember, the BIP is a legally binding document that must be implemented at your child's school.

Any time a complaint is made about your child's disability-related behavior, ask whether the BIP was implemented and why it wasn't effective in this situation.

Don't always assume that the plan has been explained to every teacher and staff member at your child's school. Confirm your child's BIP with your IEP team or take it upon yourself to distribute copies.

As your child grows, develops, and changes classrooms and schools, the BIP will need to adjust, too. It's not a "set it and forget it" kind of thing. Even small changes like a new classmate that riles up your child may require some new behavioral strategizing as they get older.

2 Sources
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  1. U.S. Department of Education. Individuals with Disabilities Education Act Section 1415 (k).

  2. Zirkel PA. National Association of School Psychologists. State Laws for Functional Behavioral Assessments and Behavior Intervention Plans. Communiqué. 2016;45:3. 

By Terri Mauro
Terri Mauro is the author of "50 Ways to Support Your Child's Special Education" and contributor to the Parenting Roundabout podcast.