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Using Ripple Effects in ISS and Detention Settings
Ripple Effects is an ideal intervention for in-school suspension (ISS) and detention settings. It provides a graduated system of logically related, skill building consequences that are positive, specific, fair, and tailored to each student’s underlying need.
Ripple Effects provides skill training in core social emotional competencies that are more correlated with school success than IQ or specific risk factors.
Specifically addresses more than 95% of discipline infractions
Ripple Effects software provides therapeutic, skill-building tutorials for more than 95% of school based infractions: from talking back, or disrupting class, to lying, cheating, fighting, bullying, theft, graffiti, hate crimes, etc. (See right side for list)
Positive, Supportive, Specific Discipline
Take 5 simple steps to personalized intervention for problem behavior and its causes
- Identify a student strength
With Ripple Effects strength, not weakness, becomes the foundation for growth. The simplest way is to have each student complete the self-profile under the ”learning style” topic. Understanding how they learn most easily is a first step in recognizing how to become successful learners. Students can also complete the tutorial entitled “strengths,” including its self-profile.
- Direct student to the issue that prompted referral
The topic list includes dozens of behavioral infractions cited in schools. (See side bars) The multimedia tutorial for each topic automatically leads students to training in cognitive-behavioral strategies that are correlated with changing the specific problematic behavior.
- Have them seek out an underlying reason
Students exhibit the same problem behavior for a variety of different reasons. Don’t guess or interrogate them about what those reasons are. Instead, ask students to scroll down the topic list to find something that they think could be connected to their behavior. The software addresses health and mental health issues and risk factors in multiple domains. Trust their instincts to find what they need. Respect their privacy, don’t hover or over direct. In many cases, after using the program in private, students will disclose the underlying problem to a trusting adult.
- End with building another strength
Present this as a process of empowerment, not punishment. The program organizes key abilities into seven categories: self-understanding, assertiveness, empathy, connection to community, impulse control, management of feelings, and decision-making. Either you or the student may choose where to start. Direct students to the “Keys” button to find the topic.
- Check student tracking system for completion
Check the student scorecard to confirm completion of assigned task. Continue to respect student privacy. If you see records of private exploration, do NOT ask the student about that exploration. If you do, they will cease to trust the program.
Address underlying risk factors in multiple domains
Ripple Effects tutorials include training and guidance to address not only specific behavior problems, but also hundreds of underlying reasons for those problems. It provides culturally relevant, emotional and behavioral supports in a mode students won’t reject.
Addresses causes of disproportionate discipline referrals
- Structural unfairness: Ripple Effects for Staff provides training in how to form policies that minimize discretion; standardizes interventions to avoid charges of unfairness.
- Unconscious bias: Ripple Effects provides students with culturally responsive interventions; to change the teacher side of behavioral equation, it provides staff with a way to explore their own attitudes and behavior without blame or shame.
- Discriminatory treatment: Ripple Effects provides students with training in how to confront apparent discrimination by teachers in a constructive, non-aggressive way, and provides staff with training in how to respond when charges of prejudice arise.
- True behavior differences: Ripple Effects provides specific, remedial skill training and personal guidance to address underlying risk factors that propel behavior problems.
Provides personalized guidance and results in changed behavior
Evaluations have consistently shown 98% of students who are exposed to Ripple Effects for any reason, will go on to privately use the software for personal guidance, often on trauma related issues; both behavior and grades will improve significantly.
Specific, repeatable training in basic social skills, such as making eye contact and starting and stopping conversations, makes Ripple Effects a good choice for students with mild autism or Asperger’s Syndrome. Students can have a personalized regimen of specific training, without requiring an individual instructor for each student.
Ripple Effects provides specific information on student rights to reasonable accommodation, as well as practical tips for reducing the impact of dyslexia on academic achievement, and techniques for dealing with the feelings and frustration that often come with dyslexia.
Besides the obvious advantage of being physically accessible for students with mobility impairments, Ripple Effects also offers: images of disabled students throughout, a specific tutorial on wheelchairs (for classmates as well as the disabled), and skill building to promote resilience and manage feelings that arise as a result of their disability.
Emotional and behavioral disorders
These may be rooted in family dynamics, or a variety of other risk factors, from racism to abuse. Hundreds of tutorials address both skill deficits and underlying risk factors. There are many reports of students disclosing their personal problems to counselors and nurses, after using Ripple Effects privately to explore personal concerns.
An interactive profiler provides broad screening to separate the medical condition of ADHD from other causes of attention deficit, such as learning style differences, preoccupation with personal problems, and substance use. The program provides impulse control training as well as information about Ritalin.
English language learners
Simple vocabulary, comic book style illustrations, narration by peers from diverse cultural groups, and topics that reflect immediate concerns, like making friends, and dealing with discrimination, have made this program a big hit among English language learners.