The Success Plan provides a framework for gathering and summarizing important information about each student in the class. The process for developing the Success Plan is divided into several tasks or activities that can be arranged in various ways depending upon the needs of the students and the desires of the instructional team. The tasks to be accomplished include the following:
• Get to know each student.
• Identify each student’s strengths and interests.
• Identify family concerns that may impact on each student’s ability to participate in school activities.
• Identify collaborative skills and other priority skills for each student to learn or practice.
• Identify supports for helping the student succeed.

Understanding each student’s strengths and interests provides teachers with a wealth of information for developing motivating learning activities and themes. The public recognition and regard for each student’s strengths and interests communicates to them that they are cared for and valued. In addition, information on strengths and interests can be used to facilitate students developing positive relationships with each other and learning to respect similarities and differences among people.
The use of a strengths-based approach to planning is essential for developing effective student support plans. Often students, especially those who present learning or behavioral challenges, are primarily described in terms of their needs, what they cannot do, and their inappropriate behaviors. A narrow focus on students’ needs provides little information on how they can be academically, socially and emotionally supported. For example, describing a student as hyperactive, severely emotionally disturbed and engaging in such behaviors as being loud and disruptive in class, refusing to do school work and throwing tantrums, does not provide information upon which to build a positive support plan. If we can arrange class activities so that each student has daily opportunities to highlight their strengths and interests as well as work on learning new skills in areas that may be challenging, we can create an atmosphere in which each student can be successful.