A Day in the Life with Kristine McCourt HASA Behavior Analyst
What is a day in the life of a HASA Behavior Analyst like? Read on to learn more about our Gateway School’s Kristine McCourt!
As a Board Certified Behavior Analyst at HASA’s Gateway School, Kristine works 1:1 with students to build social skills, helps with student testing, and so much more.
“Hands down, the absolute best part about working at Gateway is the kids. The children at Gateway are extraordinary. They are kind and funny, playful, and resilient. Each and every one of them is so unique and has their own special path that we (the staff) get to be a part of just for a little while.”
I arrive at Gateway by 8:00 a.m. There are times when I’ll get there as early as 7 or 7:30 to get a jump on paperwork, or if I have an early meeting. I head straight to my office to check my email and then chat with the other Behavior Analysts to see what they have planned for the day and how we can collaborate.
I spend the largest part of my day in classrooms with students and their teachers. The behavior team (that’s what the other BCBA’s and I call ourselves), get many “behavior support calls” throughout the school day. Sometimes I’m called in to support a student if they are having a difficult time transitioning or if they are upset. Other times, I’m just going into the classroom proactively to see students, say hi, and hang out with them; we call this pairing or building rapport.
The most fulfilling days at Gateway for me are when I am working directly with a student. Being with a student when they finally do something that you have been working with them on, is one of the greatest moments. Like the first time they ask for something independently, when they spontaneously make a comment to a peer, or when they are finally able to do something completely independently for themselves. Getting to see that firsthand is just pure joy.
Today I’m also helping with student assessments (academic and behavior). Then I move onto collecting data and writing behavior intervention plans. I wrap up with supporting 1:1 aides and teachers, and teaching social skills directly to students.
I also log any consult time that is in a student’s IEP as a supplementary aid. Consultation for a student can be anything from having an interdisciplinary team meeting, directly assessing a student, or training their 1:1 aide on the student’s behavior intervention plan. On Wednesday afternoons, the behavior team goes around and collects all data for students that are on their caseload. We aggregate, scan and enter their data on their individual student graph so we can analyze the behaviors that we are tracking.
…And a Bit About Me
I earned my bachelor’s degree from the University of Hawai’i at Manoa. I went on to earn my Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Special Education, Severe-Profound Disabilities and Autism, in 2011. After becoming a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, I joined HASA in 2020. Outside of my time at HASA, I’m an avid knitter who spins her own yarn. Plus, I have coached Special Olympics soccer. On the weekends, you’ll find me hiking with my husband and dog, Poco. I dream about starting an adult community where people with disabilities can live, learn, thrive and be employed.