BIST

Fostering Responsibility and Accountability

                                 at Bess Truman Primary Center


The purpose of Behavior Intervention Support Team (B.I.S.T.) strategy is to help bring about lasting changes in student’s attitudes towards themselves and others around them so that they can be productive students in the classroom, in control of their own behavior, and find acceptable solutions to their problems because …

It’s never okay to be disruptive.

It’s never okay to be hurtful.


We believe in helping children accept responsibility for their behavior by making them aware of what THEY can change:

  • Attitude

  • Behavior

  • Work habits

  • Empathy for others

  • Sense of responsibility

  • Inaccurate Beliefs

Our goal is that the B.I.S.T. strategy will continue to keep an environment where values, communication, and structure help promote a safe environment for all students while teaching these important life goals:

  1. I can make good choices even if I am mad.

  2. I can be okay even if others are not okay.

  3. I can do something even if it is hard or I don’t want to.

What does B.I.S.T. look like?

Bess Truman will provide safe classrooms, develop personal relationships with all students, and partner with parents.  A student will be asked one time per activity to stop a behavior that is disruptive or hurtful.  Adults will intervene quickly to help if a student cannot meet this expectation.

When a problem arises, the teacher will help the students identify the problem in a caring, kind manner.  A safe seat in the classroom or in another location will be provided until the student is able to “own the problem,” and find an acceptable plan.  The plan may include an apology, a contract for improvement, and “target behavior” chart (behaviors the student needs to work on) or a number of other creative solutions.  We encourage parents to discuss the plan with their child and keep in touch with the teacher.  Talk about how you feel the plan is working.  This process opens up communication between teacher and student, teacher and parent, and parent and child.  This partnership assists students in becoming responsible and successful problem solvers.

What does B.I.S.T. sound like?

When students are having a problem, they may hear some of the following questions and statements from their teacher:

** I see………  Can you……., even though (it’s hard, you are mad, you

don’t want to).

** What is the problem?  How do you feel about it?

** Was that a good choice?

** How can you take care of yourself and not be in trouble?

** It’s okay to have a problem, but it’s not okay to be stuck with it.

** How are you going to fix this problem?

** If you choose to let me help you, WE can solve the problem.

** What can you do next time?

** Can you do it by yourself or do you need some help?

When a student has accepted responsibility for an inappropriate decision, he or she will be able to say:

  • I did it.

  • I’m sorry.

  • It’s a part of a problem in my life.

  • I accept consequences.

  • I accept that I need help.


The specific apology language we will use is:

“I’m sorry for (state the life skill struggle)”   

“Next time I will (better alternative using the life skill)”  

 “Will you accept my apology?”


Parent support

When a teacher calls to discuss a student’s plan, it is simply to inform the parent.  There will be no need to be angry with your child or to punish him or her.  Simply encourage your child to be accountable and to follow the plan that he or she made to be more successful at school.  Feel free to begin using the common language statements bolded throughout this letter in order to build a strong connection between home and school.