Collaborative & Proactive Solutions

At HWDSB We Believe…Kids Do Well If They Can

  • All students who experience behavioural difficulties are not the same
  • Students with challenging behaviours are not challenging all of the time. We can gather helpful information during times when the child is doing well
  • Genuine, positive relationships are powerful promoters for behaviour change
  • The emphasis should be on solving problems, rather than modifying behaviours
  • Incidents of conflict are highly predictable. If they are not yet predictable, we need to gather more information
  • Understanding comes before helping. A full understanding cannot be reached without seeking the student’s perspective
  • Problem-solving must happen with the student and not just by the adults alone
  • If we put children in impossible situations, we might make it impossible for them to do well


school yard

In January of 2015, HWDSB introduced Collaborative and Proactive Solutions (CPS) in order to better support students with challenging behaviour and the staff who are working with them. Dr. Ross Greene describes his approach as one that “provides a compassionate, accurate understanding of kids’ behavioral challenges and a non-adversarial, effective approach for reducing challenging behavior, improving communication, and repairing relationships.”

In a CPS framework, challenging behaviour is something that reflects lagging skills in key areas of cognitive functioning, not poor parenting or willful opposition. Instead of the conventional approach that relies on a system of rewards and consequences, a CPS process involves the identification of “Unsolved Problems” that the student and staff member work on collaboratively to resolve.

CPS is the underpinning of our Board’s overall Mental Health and Well-Being Strategy. It is used at all levels of need and response. It provides a framework for establishing, building and maintaining healthy, positive relationships between all our students, staff, caregivers and community partners.

By embedding the philosophy, beliefs and principles of CPS into the Board’s culture, we hope to achieve not just improved mental health and well-being of our students with challenging behavior (and the staff who work most closely with them), but also a paradigmatic and cultural shift in how we understand and engage with one another.

CPS Implementation Guide

(under construction)