Maricopa Unified School District Adds SKILLS® Program to Help Teachers Build Behavior Intervention Plans for Special Education Students

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Teachers will use the Skills® BIP Builder with about 60 students in the self-contained special education population as a resource to develop behavior intervention plans for challenging behaviors.

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“Our teachers are very excited to utilize the Skills® BIP Builder because it offers solutions to address challenging behaviors that might not have been thought of before,” said Maria Sapelli at Maricopa Unified School District.

Maricopa Unified School District today announced the implementation of the Skills® Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) Builder which will offer teachers a resource to address challenging behaviors of their special education students. These behaviors include repeated and unusual vocalizations, aggression toward others, property destruction, leaving the supervision of a teacher without permission, and repeated and unusual body movements. The Skills® BIP Builder is designed to address challenging behaviors commonly displayed by individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and other developmental and behavioral disorders. It decreases challenging behaviors using evidence-based practices and emphasizing least-intrusive procedures. The system may also be used for general education students who require behavior modification plans.

“Our teachers are very excited to utilize the Skills® BIP Builder because it offers solutions to address challenging behaviors that might not have been thought of before,” said the director of exceptional student services at Maricopa Unified School District, Maria Sapelli. “It is a convenient, web-based tool that teachers can access from anywhere.”

The BIP Builder is based on the principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), which assumes that challenging behavior is not a part of an individual’s diagnosis but, rather, a result of that individual’s environment. Clinicians and educators implement BIPs to outline the procedures that will be used to manage challenging behavior and identify replacement behaviors that should be taught. The BIP Builder serves as the means by which the treatment team ensures consistency while safeguarding the individual and those who work with the individual.

“We are pleased to offer Maricopa Unified School District a cohesive, easy-to-use tool that teachers can utilize in designing plans for positive behavior interventions. The BIP Builder increases the effectiveness of the teacher-student interaction, which makes students feel successful while giving teachers more time to focus on their classrooms as a whole,” said Eliana Ferreira, managing director of SKILLS®.

In the study “Symptom Severity and Challenging Behavior in Children with ASD,” published in the November 2010 peer-reviewed journal Research in Autism Spectrum Disorders, 94 percent of the children with ASD who participated in the study exhibited some form of challenging behavior, which is why a tool such as the BIP Builder is so important to those professionals who work with individuals with ASD.

Skills® BIP Builder is comprised of the following four steps: 1) answer a series of core questions about the challenging behavior; 2) design your BIP by selecting antecedent modifications, replacement behaviors, and consequence manipulations; 3) customize and store the BIP for easy access and update as needed, and 4) graph and analyze your data to evaluate the effectiveness of the BIP.

For more information, visit or call 877-975-4559.

Maricopa Unified School District: The Maricopa Unified School District in Maricopa, Ariz., is located near Phoenix and serves students in Maricopa and the surrounding areas. The district is proud of its dedicated and high-quality teachers and its outstanding facilities. For more information, visit

About SKILLS®: With two patents pending, SKILLS® is the worldwide leading provider of software as a service solution for behavior health, attending to the needs of four key segments: mental health clinicians, educators, managed care organizations, and families. The SKILLS® portfolio of web-based and mobile application tools is based on the evidence-based principles of applied behavior analysis (ABA), with several studies published in peer-reviewed journals on its solid psychometric properties and clinical effectiveness. Founded in 2010, SKILLS® products are used in school districts and managed care organizations nationwide and by families and autism treatment providers worldwide. For more information, visit

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