Positive behavior support is integrated into all of DCPS schools to create an environment where students are comfortable and ready to learn. For some students, their emotional/behavioral needs require more support than offered to all students and may lead to consideration of eligibility for Exceptional Student Education (ESE) services under the Emotional/Behavioral Disability (EBD) category.
A student with an emotional/behavior disability has persistent and consistent emotional or behavioral responses that adversely affect performance in the educational environment that cannot be attributed to age, culture, gender, or ethnicity. These demonstrated behaviors may be internally or externally based. Internal factors may be characterized by feelings of sadness, restlessness, or a loss of interest. Students may demonstrate behaviors that are the result of thoughts and feelings more so than from actual events. Behaviors which are externally based may include an inability to build or maintain relationships with adults or peers, or chronic and disruptive behaviors such as noncompliance, verbal and/or physical aggression, and/or poorly developed social skills.
Prior to evaluation, eligibility, and/or placement decisions, schools provide additional levels or tiers of support and/or intervention to a student struggling with emotions or behavior. The student’s response to these interventions will be reviewed as part of the specific eligibility criteria to receive direct services from the Emotional Behavioral Disabilities Program.
Once eligibility for ESE services has been determined, students with EBD receive different levels of services and support according to individual need. Many students with an emotional/behavioral disability are successfully educated in general education classes with the addition of services from an exceptional education teacher. Others may need a setting that infuses behavioral support and goal setting into all aspects of the educational day.
Duval County Public Schools offers two special programs for students who need more support than is available at a comprehensive school in a general education classroom. The Behavior Support Setting is available for students in elementary school who need moderate emotional/behavioral support throughout the academic portion of the day with some inclusion opportunities available. The P.R.I.D.E. Academy offers different levels of support for students in pre-kindergarten through high school at various school sites across the district. The levels range from moderate support with some inclusion in general education to a high level of support, including therapy, counseling, and medication management if needed.
For more information about determining eligibility for services as a student with emotional/behavioral disability, contact Jamie Brennan, Supervisor of Psychology, 904.858.6150.