What is a behavior intervention plan?

By Amanda Morin

Expert reviewed by Timothy King, EdD

At a glance

  • Kids who misbehave in school have a harder time learning.

  • Behavior intervention plans (or BIPs) aim to prevent behavior that gets in the way of learning.

  • A BIP is a formal, written plan that teaches and rewards good behavior.

Most kids get in trouble now and then at school. But when they act out over and over again, it can be hard for them (and their classmates) to learn. To help a student behave, a school may put in place a behavior intervention plan. (You may also hear it called a positive behavior intervention plan.)

A behavior intervention plan (or BIP) is a formal, written plan that teaches and rewards good behavior. The purpose is to prevent or stop misbehavior.

A BIP can be a single page or many pages. It has three key parts. The plan:

  • Lists the problem behavior
  • Describes why it’s happening
  • Puts in place strategies or supports to help

To make a BIP, the school puts together a school team to look into the behavior. The team may interview the student, the teacher, and other staff. They should also observe the student and talk to the family to figure out what’s happening. Testing might be used, too, as well as a review of past report cards or incidents.

Since kids change over time, the school should review the BIP every so often. If there’s new information or if the student needs a change, the school should adjust the plan as needed.

Dive deeper

About the author

About the author

Amanda Morin is the author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education” and the former director of thought leadership at Understood. As an expert and writer, she helped build Understood from its earliest days. 

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Timothy King, EdD is the statewide program director for the Multiagency Network for Students with Emotional/Behavioral Disabilities, University of South Florida St. Petersburg.


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