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Happenings in BIS

Fall 2020 Newsletter -> BIS News

What are our Registered Behavior Technicians (RBTs) up to?

RBTs in Berkeley USD have taken on many roles as they have worked with teachers and families to individualize student distance learning plans. Some have been attending Zoom classes and working with their students and classmates in breakout rooms, in support of BUSD’s inclusion model. They’ve used this time to implement behavior plan strategies and accommodations, such as check-in and check-out systems or self-monitoring procedures.


Other RBTs are working closely with families and students in individualized sessions. It’s amazing to see the initiative and professionalism from our RBTs as they use available resources such as Google Slides, Boom Learning Cards, Digital Books, and other individually created materials. The Berkeley team holds a weekly meeting where RBTs share strategies and materials with each other for continued collaboration.


In Oakland USD, our RBTs and BTs are providing services in-home as well as via distance learning. RBTs attend classes with their students to support their engagement and access, conduct 1:1 sessions, as well as assist case managers and teachers with preparing materials for the school day. RBTs have created a lot of amazing and valuable content that teachers use daily!

Please extend warm welcomes to some of
the newest additions to our behavior team:

Working in Oakland:

Andrina Padilla, Behavior Technician

Briley Garcia, Behavior Technician

Alexis Pearson, Behavior Technician

Lianna Reich, Behavior Technician

Maria Ramirez, Behavior Technician

Linda Ngo, Behavior Technician


Working in Pleasanton:

Mohamed Kamara, RBT


Working in Moraga:

Jesennie Sieg, BT

Pets, Plants and Employees  (PPE) Corner

We all know about masks, gloves, and sanitizer, but here at SPG, we like to celebrate a different kind of PPE – Pets, Plants and Employees.


Please send your own recommendations our way, as it looks like PPE won’t be going away anytime soon.


Meet the newest furry addition to BIS! This PET is Pancake, but our behavior team lovingly calls him Short Stack. New pawrent Paul says Short Stack loves to nip at his big sis, Sugar, and she is so patient with him! We all adore him already and can’t wait to see him on our next video call!


Behold Lucy’s plant wall. She’s really set the bar high for all our SPG plant lovers.


These green friends seem to be faring well despite this challenging year – not a wilted leaf in sight!


Lucy’s looking for more vining varieties to add to her bottom row, so we’ll check back in the next edition to see how this impressive plant art has evolved.


Please extend a warm welcome to one of our new employee, Mohamed Kamara, RBT.


1. What’s your favorite part about being an RBT?

My favorite part of being an RBT is the appreciation and gratification you get when you see a plan that you either helped write or implemented to help change a child’s behavior positively.


2. What is your favorite food/movie/place you’ve traveled to?

My favorite movies are SlumDog millionaire and All Quentin Tarantino movies. Last year I went to Madagascar to visit a family member who works out there. It’s one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been.


3. What’s a boring fact about you?

A boring fact about me is that I am a really good coder. I code with Java, and C++

Looking for entertainment, or something educational?
Check out these Behavioral Observations Podcasts

Behavioral Observations Podcast:  Getting Fit During the Pandemic: Session 132 with Nick Green

This podcast covers:

  • How he responded to being furloughed for a few months.
  • His contributions to Covid-19 research at the University of Florida.
  • Nick’s general principles on how he helps clients develop and accomplish fitness goals.
  • How to overcome barriers to fitness, especially when gyms are closed.
  • Some basic movement patterns that people should train.
  • Some of the great results his fitness clients are seeing.
  • His advice on wearable tech and other methods for collecting fitness analytics.
  • How to think about time allocation so busy people can still meet their fitness goals.
  • How to incorporate health and fitness into a comprehensive ABA program.
  • What steps Behavior Analysts can take to begin work in the health and fitness industry.

What’s the craziest thing that has happened to you on a video call?

“Midway through a Zoom call with a student’s case manager and teachers, my puppy Herbert returns from his daily off-leash hiking excursion. He runs to where I’m sitting at my dining room table, gives me one of his goofy grins, and then goes straight to his water bowl. To say that Herbert is obsessed with water would be an understatement…


As I’m continuing on this Zoom call, I’m listening to Herbert rhythmically lapping up water from his bowl. When he’s done, he turns around, looks at me from the kitchen, and then proceeds to vomit all of the water he just ingested. I’m desperately motioning for him to come over to me so he doesn’t walk through his vomit and track his stomach acid all over the house, while also attempting to appear engaged and nonplussed on the Zoom call. I suppose the silver lining is that cleaning up his mess forced me to take a break from screen time.”
– From Kathryn Germer, Clinical Supervisor


“I have two dogs, Omar is a big 55lb mix that looks like a wolf (we call him Wolf Dog) and Cuppie is a 6lb Yorkie. At this time they had both settled down and were sleeping. I was in an important meeting for one of my students.  I was sitting in my rolling office chair at my kitchen table which is situated right next to the sliding glass door that goes into the backyard.  In order to keep distractions at a minimum, I opened the slider so the dogs could go in and out as they pleased.  It was my turn to present in the meeting. I’m about halfway through my presentation when Wolf Dog’s head snaps up from a dead sleep. I follow his gaze as I continue presenting and see a white cat at the far end of the backyard. I think to myself “Oh man… this isn’t good.  He’s going to bark like crazy and I’m not muted in the meeting.”  It turns out Omar did bark… while he was running FULL FORCE to try to get outside to try to catch the cat. As he came through the kitchen he rammed into my chair and took me spinning out of the camera frame WHILE I WAS MID-SENTENCE! Everyone attending the meeting just heard a bunch of barking then saw me spinning and getting pushed out of frame.”
-From Jen Price, Clinical Supervisor