Using Class Pass As a Tier II Intervention

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The “Class Pass” is a Tier II intervention designed for students who use disruptive classroom behavior to get out of doing academic work. The students that this intervention is suitable for are lower achieving students who tend to act inappropriately and cause a disruption so that they can escape (at least for a time) the difficult or frustrating task they are facing. Needless to say, their behavior gets in the way of their own learning, and that of their peers.

How Class Pass Works

  • Once it is agreed that Class Pass is the appropriate intervention, a student is given “X” number of Class Passes to use (and taught how to appropriately request a break) when they need an “escape”.
  • The student can choose to use the passes when needed, OR to hold on to them in order to exchange them for an item, activity, or special privilege.
  • If they still have passes left at the end of an agreed upon period of time, (i.e., they’ve exhibited self-control and have showed positive behavior changes), they are rewarded.
  • Over time, the student gradually learns how to self-regulate their behavior and the intervention may be tapered off.

Why Does Class Pass Work?

It works because students:

  • can exercise choice by requesting their own break
  • learn to increase their tolerance for academic work 
  • are able to earn access to desired reward/activity based on staying in the presence of the difficult, boring, or frustrating academic task

Best Candidates for Class Pass

The Class Pass works well for students who:

  • have low academic skills
  • are likely to engage in escape-motivated disruptive classroom behaviors
  • have a low tolerance for engaging in academic work
  • appear to become frustrated when working on academic tasks

Active Ingredients of the Class Pass

Follow these steps to set up your own Class Pass intervention effectively:

  1. Decide on the number of passes and length of time for which you will allow the student to take a break.
  2. Choose a location for the break (a designated desk, special area in the classroom, neighbor teacher’s room, etc.).
  3. Identify the items, privileges, or activities that can be earned and the number of class passes needed for each one (better incentives can “cost” more!).
  4. Create the design of the pass itself and run off several to have on hand.

Instructions for Students

The front of the pass can just be a basic design, but the back side of the pass should include clear directions for the student. It’s especially important to be clear on how long you are going to allow the student to be on his/her “break” and how to behave when he/she rejoins the class.

Your instructions can include something like the following:

  1. Choose a time when you need to step out of the class.
  2. Fill out one of your passes.
  3. Show the pass to the teacher.
  4. Walk to ________ (designated area/room)
  5. Have an adult sign your pass on your way back to class.
  6. Re-enter class quietly and join the activity.
  7. If you save the pass by ____ (date), earn a reward!

If you have a student that is able to only work for small periods of time before engaging in off-task behaviors, trying the Class Pass intervention may help!

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