SYNC - Students and Youth with Needs that are Complex

What is SYNC?

SYNC originated within Oregon’s Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities System, originally called Oregon Intervention System (OIS). Educators found that OIS closely aligned with the values within the school setting and requested to use OIS within the school setting. Since that time, the prevalence of OIS in schools has gradually grown over the years. In 2011, the implementation of OIS in the schools was separated from the DHS I/DD system. A formal School Steering Committee was established to advise the OIS-Schools Project Manager. The Oregon Department of Education first approved OIS in 2012. In 2018, OIS for schools made the final separation and was re-branded as SYNC.

Click the link below for a list of SYNC Instructors:


Philosophical Foundation

SYNC embraces the principles of Positive Behavior Support (PBS), which was developed and researched at the University of Oregon and other institutions of higher learning. PBS emphasizes fully assessing a behavior to identify the function or functions the behavior serves for the individual, and then developing supports, which will eventually render the behavior inefficient, ineffective, and irrelevant. These supports include making changes to the environment, which will reduce stress and uncertainty for the individual; teaching the individual more efficient and effective skills; and changing the way staff respond to the individual and the challenging behavior. PBS focuses on a proactive (preventative) approach, reinforcing desired behaviors, without the use of punishment, intimidation, or any aversive intervention.

The SYNC curriculum is revised when necessary to reflect evidenced based practices within the field of I/DD and education, integrating new research related to human behavior and support. The current SYNC curriculum represents the most advanced integration of the principles of PBS, Person-Centered Practices, Self-Determination, and community participation to date. The core principles in the SYNC curriculum continue to emphasize proactive and preventative measures, which enhance a student’s life; adherence to sound and proven behavioral theory and practices; and as a last resort, the use of safe and effective crisis strategies and techniques, which maintain the student’s dignity.

  • - School Master/Mentor Co-Train/Observation Opportunity
  • - OIS School Workshop
  • - Closed to Co-Train
  • - School One Day Recertification
  • - School Administration Workshop
  • - OIS School Instructor Workshop
  • - School Annual Rectification
  • - School Transportation Workshop
  • - School Philosophy Workshop
  • - School Oversight Workshop

april, 2021

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Becoming an Instructor

Becoming a SYNC Certified Instructor involves instruction and co-training components. The process begins with a four-day intensive workshop held in Tigard, Oregon.

After the Instructor Candidate Workshop, Candidates must conduct a minimum of two, 2-day co-trainings with qualified instructors. These typically occur outside of the Candidate’s School District.

The final step in becoming a Certified Instructor is engaging in a solo evaluation. Solo evaluations are 2-day OIS workshops in which the Candidate holds within their district. Solo evaluators are Mentor level Instructors or Instructors of whom OIS-SC approves. The Candidates are evaluated based upon their presentation of the workshop curriculum and their ability to teach the physical skills.

The cost of going through the Instructor Candidate Workshop is $1500. This includes the four-day workshop and the solo evaluation.

The process must be completed within the school year. However, Instructor Candidates are able to complete the process as quickly as they choose. If Instructors need more than the school year to complete their candidacy, they are able to request an extension from the Steering Committee.

Interested in becoming an Instructor? Complete this application and send to [email protected]

SYNC Instructor Application

Already an Instructor Candidate? Here are some important forms to help you through your candidacy.

SYNC Candidate Solo Evaluation 2018

SYNC Physical Skills Evaluation 2018

SYNC Instructor Candidate Passport 2018

SYNC Instructor Candidate Agreement


SYNC offers a variety of Workshop Levels to meet the needs of your district and support staff.

The General Level workshop includes basic information necessary to support individuals who may exhibit challenging behavior. The workshop covers prevention, intervention, and crisis strategies. It requires a minimum of 12 training hours to complete. Certification is valid for up to two (2) years.

SYNC Instructors conduct an Individual Focus level (IF) workshop when there is a Behavior Support Plan (BSP) or Treatment Plan, which includes restraints. This workshop requires a minimum of 14 training hours to complete. Certification is valid for up to two (2) years.

The Oversight level workshop is designed to prepare support staff, as designated by the SYNC Instructor, to assist the SYNC Instructor in monitoring and application of the SYNC system within their District or Education Service District. The Oversight level workshop is an additional eight (8) hours for support staff that are currently certified to the G and IF level. An Oversight level certification is valid for up to one (1) year.

The Re-certification level workshop is designed for school personnel that have an excellent working knowledge of the SYNC concepts. It is a minimum of eight (8) hours in length. Participants must be currently certified with an SYNC 2-day workshop OR the 2-day certification is no more than 60 days out of date prior to completing the one-day re-certification workshop.

The Philosophy curriculum is designed for school personnel that are not likely to physically intervene with students but need/want an overview of the SYNC curriculum. This curriculum does not include any of the physical skills. Therefore no certification offered for this workshop.

The Transportation level workshop is designed for school personnel who provide supports to students during transport. This may include bus drivers and transportation aides. It is a 6-8 hour curriculum and does not require any prerequisite SYNC course. This workshop focuses on the application of the SYNC curriculum in a school bus. Certification is valid for up to two (2) years.

The Administration curriculum is designed exclusively for school personnel in administrative roles. This 6-8 hour curriculum can be completed in one day or over multiple days (at the discretion of the Instructor). There are no pre-requisites for this course. Participants will receive an SYNC certification upon successful completion. Certification is valid for up to two (2) years.

Maintaining Instructor Certification

Instructors are required to meet certain requirements every year to maintain their certification. Certification is renewed every April. The cost is $50.

April recertification includes a two – four hour webinar and a 4-hour physical skills practice. The physical skills practice is conducted in regions throughout the state to minimize the amount of traveling required.

Instructors are also required to teach two (2) workshops each year coordinating with the certification process in April. Instructors may use one of their co-trainings in the year they meet the requirement of co-training.

Instructors are required to co-train (train at least half of a SYNC workshop with another Instructor) once every two years.

It is highly recommended, if possible, that the co-trainings occur outside the District/ESD where the certified SYNC Instructor is employed.

Steering Committee

The Steering Committee is comprised of SYNC Instructors from Districts around Oregon. The purpose of the Steering Committee is to advise the Project Manager and provide guidance to SYNC Instructors. The Steering Committee can make exceptions to the written guidance on a case-by-case basis.

The Steering Committee meets on the second Thursday of every odd month (September, November, January, March, and May).

For a list of the Steering Committee Members, click the link below.


Steering Committee Minutes: