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NICOLE COBB, ED.D. OFFICE OF SAFE & SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Grant.

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Presentation on theme: "NICOLE COBB, ED.D. OFFICE OF SAFE & SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Grant."— Presentation transcript:


2 NICOLE COBB, ED.D. OFFICE OF SAFE & SUPPORTIVE SCHOOLS Safe and Supportive Schools (S3) Grant


4 TDOE First to the Top Goals School Readiness  Early grades Reading proficiency: 3 rd grade TCAP; 4 th NAEP College and Career Readiness  Middle grades Math proficiency: 7 th grade TCAP; 8 th NAEP  2014-2015 90% Graduation Rate Postsecondary Access and Success  Increase ACT scores  Increase college-going rate  Increase college completion rate

5 Increasing Academic Achievement A positive and sustained school climate promotes students’ academic achievement and healthy development (Zins, Weissberg, Wang, & Walberg, 2004)

6 What is the S3 grant? Competitive Federal grant to states to measure school climate (i.e., conditions for learning) Tennessee is 1 of 11 states to receive federal grant 4 year grant, 3.3 million dollars per year to build a measurement system, assess school climate at the building level and provide supports to schools with the most challenged climates

7 Tennessee’s S3 Project Launch the Center for School Climate Develop and pilot a valid and reliable psychometric survey instrument Develop a formula for the school climate profile that includes multiple data sources (e.g., climate survey data, attendance data, incident reports) Development of School Climate Academies Support schools with the most challenged climates Establishment of working partnerships with key school and community stakeholders

8 Defining School Climate School climate refers to the quality and character of school life. School climate is based on patterns of students', parents' and school personnel's experience of school life and reflects norms, goals, values, interpersonal relationships, teaching and learning practices, and organizational structures. National School Climate Council (2007)

9 What does it look like in schools? Norms, values and expectations that support students, teachers, and parents/families feeling socially, emotionally and physically safe. Students, teachers, and parent/families are engaged and respected. Students, teachers and parents/families work together to develop, live and contribute to a shared school vision. Administrators and teachers model and nurture an attitude that emphasizes the benefits and satisfaction from learning. All stakeholders contributes to the operations of the school and the care of the physical environment. Retrieved from

10 Constructs and Potential Content for Survey Development Purposes Relationships I feel very close to at least one of my teachers. Respect for Diversity Many cultures and sub-groups of students blend together and feel close to one another. School Participation I enjoy participating in school activities such as clubs, sports, or special events. Engagement Social & Emotional Safety I sometimes do not feel safe on or around school property in these specific areas… Physical Safety Some students at my school threaten to hurt other students. Substance Use During the last six months, how many times have you used or tried the following substances (without doctor’s orders) while at school, going to or from school, or at a school-sponsored event? Safety Physical Environment Some students damage or destroy school property. Academic Environment My teachers notice if I have trouble learning something. Wellness My school offers referral services (e.g., presence of a school psychologist, suggestions for an outside therapist) for students needing help because of emotional difficulties, learning disabilities, substance use, or other problems. Disciplinary Environment Adults in this school apply the same rules to all students equally. Environment

11 Pilot Districts Anderson County Campbell County Claiborne County Dickson County Dyersburg City Franklin County Gibson County Giles County Greene County Hamilton County Hawkins County Haywood County Henry County Knox County Lawrence County Lincoln County Maury County Meigs County Metro-Nashville Putnam County Roane County Sumner County Trenton Special Warren County White County York Institute

12 Center for Dropout Prevention Mission: The driving mission of the Center for Dropout Prevention is to serve schools, districts, and other stakeholders in their efforts to ensure that all students access a quality education and successfully complete high school college and career ready. Purpose: The purpose of the Center for Dropout Prevention is to provide training and technical assistance, as well as disseminate information and research on prevention, intervention, and recovery strategies to promote high school completion. Website:


14 The Facts… ONE out of every FIVE ninth-grade students in Tennessee never completes high school.

15 The Facts… By 2018, 54% (1.8 million) of the jobs in Tennessee will require postsecondary education and beyond. Between 2008 and 2018, Tennessee will create 967,000 job vacancies from new jobs and job openings due to retirement. Of those jobs, 516,000 will require post secondary credentials, 336,000 will require a high school diploma, and 115,000 will remain for high school dropouts. (See Projections of Jobs and Education Requirements Through 2018)

16 Early Warning Indicators (ABCs)

17 Early Warning Indicators Tennessee Specific Indicators: Attendance under 85% Suspended two or more times Failed two or more courses Almost 90 percent of the students with none of the indicators succeeded in graduating on time. However, for students who at least one early warning indicator, the chances of graduating on time plummeted to roughly 40 percent. For students who had two or more indicators, the graduation rate was less than 25 percent. See Early Warning Indicator Analysis: Tennessee ingIndicatorAnalysis.PDF

18 A A ttendance (Group Activity) What are the various reasons students do not attend school in your community? What are your school district’s attendance policies? What attendance patterns have you observed and what can be done to ensure optimal attendance? How does your school or district monitor attendance? If attendance is not monitored, how can this be done and who should do it? What agencies, organizations, or people in your community can help improve student attendance?

19 A A ttendance (Best Practices) At-risk Cohort Procedures Attendance Call Home Program Attendance Incentives College Visits Driver's License/ Permit Early Admission Program/Dual Credit/Enrollment in College Credit Early Graduation for Third Year Students Student clubs and organizations Extended Learning Extra-Curricular Sports Lottery Scholarship Perfect/ Excellent Attendance Problem-Based Learning (PBL) Promote Self-Discipline and Self-Direction Responsiveness to Student Tardies and Absences Service Learning

20 B B ehavior (Group Activity) What types of school behaviors lead to students getting suspended or expelled? Is support available to help students improve their in- school behavior patterns? What alternatives are available for suspended and expelled learners? If the student’s behavior problems are rooted outside of school, how should the school or community intercede? What can each of the following subgroups do to improve student behavior: Students? Parents? Schools? Community?

21 B B ehavior Best Practices Alternative Education Programs and Schools Co-Curricular and Extra- Curricular Activities Effective Classroom Management Extended Learning Friday and Saturday School Positive Behavior Support Promote Self-Discipline and Self-Direction Relationship Building Student Code of Ethics Student Government Student Social Events In-School Suspension (ISS) No Tolerance for Interference/ Disruption of Learning

22 C C ourse Credit Attainment (Group Activity) In addition to poor attendance and behavior problems, what factors affect student academic performance? What can be done to help students succeed academically? What roles should each of the following subgroups play in improving student course performance: Students? Parents? Schools? Community?

23 C Course Credit Attainment Best Practices Academic Saturday School Academic Summer School Access to Community Resources Adaptive Education Career and Technical Education (CTE) Check and Connect Instruction on Academic Skills Cooperative Learning Comprehensive School Counseling Development of Multiple Pathways Distance Learning and E- Learning Extended Learning Incentive Privileges Individualized Learning Plans

24 General Discussion Questions Is there a process that your school district uses to assess why students drop out? Do your schools offer any interventions before a students drops out? In your school or district, are alternative pathways available for students re-entering the educational system? What is your school districts policy for students that drop back in? Does this process work effectively for learners old and close, old and far, young and close, and young and far?

25 Dropout Prevention Toolkit DOE website---Center for Dropout Prevention Training Workshop  Jackson: September 28-29

26 Tennessee Schools PREPARE: Helping Schools Effectively Respond After a Crisis

27 Tennessee Schools PREPARE P roviding Support R eaching E ducators P arents/Students A nd R estoring community with E ffective interventions Cobb and Love, 2011 26

28 Twelve school shootings since Sept. 1995 March 2005 – Cumberland City, Tennessee- 14 year old shot and killed school bus driver as she was carrying a bus of approximately 24 students August 2005- Maury Middle School in Jefferson County- student is accidentally shot and wounded by a gun brought to school November 2005- Campbell County Comprehensive High School in Jacksboro, Tennessee- a freshman student shot the school principal and two assistant principals- one of the assistant principal’s died as a result The Project Beginning 27 Cobb and Love, 2011

29 Support for this project provided in part with funding from the USDOE, Safe and Drug-Free Schools and Communities Program Collaboration for this project occurs between the Vanderbilt Community Mental Health Center and the Tennessee Department of Education Partnerships Cobb and Love, 2011 28

30 Develop and disseminate information to school districts that will assist all schools in advancing and maturing the response and recovery portion of their emergency management plan TSP is an ongoing dialogue with all stakeholders, an ecological process enabling Tennessee schools to respond to crises with effective, best practice interventions. Cobb and Love, 2011 Mission 29

31 Tennessee schools will be prepared to offer students, staff, educators and parents immediate and effective assistance in the aftermath of a school crisis, with the goal of mitigating long term emotional suffering of survivors Crisis response plans will be realistic, useful, and accessible at the time of the emergency Tennessee school personnel will be empowered to train and develop crisis response team. (In house expertise ) Program Goals Cobb and Love, 2011 30

32 An exhaustive review of literature concerning ◦ Consequences of traumatic incidents on children/adolescents and adults ◦ Perception of school personnel’s ability to address incidents effectively ◦ Research and/or best practices utilized in postvention responses in schools A needs assessment evaluated through three focus groups ◦ Tennessee schools that have experienced school shootings ◦ Urban schools in Tennessee ◦ Potential stakeholders in program Cobb and Love, 2011 31

33  Four hour training  District Consultation  All day training/consultation  Abbreviated training to target audience  Telephone Consultation  Facilitate development of postvention plan  Develop scope of postvention response after a traumatic incident  Emergency Assistance  In person  By telephone Program Design Cobb and Love, 2011 32

34 Leadership before a crisis What is in a Postvention crisis plan? Best Practice ideas in the Postvention plan Restoring Community – first day back to school Skills for Postvention Team Members  Group skills  Cultural competence  Identifying children in need of referral Building Resilience  Individual counseling skills for traumatized children School Crisis Postvention Manual 33 Cobb and Love, 2011

35 34

36 Cobb and Love, 2011 35

37 PREPARE Website

38 Leadership BEFORE A crisis The district develops a district Postvention team Each school selects and trains it’s own Postvention team  Principal  Vice Principal  Safety Officer  Counselors, social workers, psychologists  School nurse  School Secretary  Other faculty or staff (teachers, janitor, security guard etc.)

39 Working with community professionals Identify licensed professionals in the community that you may allow into the school post emergency Have the postvention team establish a relationship with these community professionals If the professionals are trained in mental health postvention, and willing to work with your team, try to meet annually together.

40 What is in a Postvention Plan? Identification of postvention team members. Identification of regional or district postvention team.  Major crises may traumatize the “in house” postvention team – district personnel should be available to help with such emergencies. Identification of a Media Liaison Person

41 Identification of a Family Liaison Person  To offer support to the effected family or families  To liaison regarding funeral and memorial activities  To help the family gather student’s personal belongings in the event of a death  To offer referrals as requested Crisis Manual

42 Postvention Leadership BEFORE a crisis A “live” contact list must be kept bedside and in their car at all times!  Complete after hours telephone chain including numbers of district personnel and community support agencies.

43 Postvention Plan Suggestions for informing students of unexpected loss of life (fellow students, faculty, or staff) Suggestions for how to handle classroom discussions regarding the tragedy. Identification of a crisis center location with a telephone, manned all day by a member of the crisis team

44 Identification of rooms to be set aside for individual and group counseling A plan for calling in substitute teachers, and/or a plan to relieve teachers who will need additional time to grieve/debrief. In the event of a student death, a plan to have counselors follow the students schedule to provide extra support in those classrooms.

45 In the event of a student death, suggestions for how staff can best deal with the “empty desk, empty locker” phenomenon. Designate a postvention team member to bring:  individual flower stems to school  Materials for students to make paper flowers for a locker wreath, memory book, cards, etc. Students can have an in class “ritual” later the items can be shared with family.

46  Funeral Attendance  School Memorial  moment of silence,  planting a tree,  dedicating a game or event in the person’s memory Have consistency across situations where there is loss of life so as to not hurt or offend families School Policies

47 Postvention Plans Some Postvention plans will include sample letters that can be sent out to parents, other principals will prefer to run all communication through the media liaison and the district media consultant. Evaluation  Daily during crisis  Overall -several weeks following the crisis.

48 Mandatory Before and After School Meetings  Daily plan and Evaluation  Identification of traumatized staff/students Designation of location and personnel to debrief teachers and staff closest to the tragedy

49 Communication of Crisis School Staff Students Parents Community Members Media, Media, Media

50 Parent/Community meeting Facilitator  Director of Schools/ principal,  Mental Health Professional Agenda  Facts  School Response  Psychoeducation of typical trauma reactions  Mental Health Referrals

51 Best Practices Additional support for groups close to tragedy  a students best friends,  sports team,  family members at school. In addition a crisis team member will need to check with teachers for several days, helping teachers identify students who may need “extra” assistance.

52 Restoring Community – a typical first day back to school Postvention team plans determines scope and dissemination of information Mandatory staff meetings Small group debriefings as indicated In the event of a student/teacher death, counselors follow the student/teacher schedule, and offer debriefing to classes

53 Restoring Community continued…. Students are identified who may need individual or group counseling and are offered such by school or community professionals A counseling room is set up and manned all day so that students can “self refer” themselves to counseling Food and drinks are brought to the teachers lounge, and a crisis team member is available there for supporting teachers. Parents can be involved by bringing food for the teacher’s lounge A simple mourning ritual may be put in place for the “empty desk” or locker.

54 Restoring Community continued…. Teachers receive training in the morning preparing them to work with their students Students may be offered appropriate activities to combat “learned helplessness” (making wreaths, cards etc.) A mandatory staff meeting is also held at the end of the day, to debrief how the day went, identify areas that need further attention, and begin to evaluate the Postvention.

55 Counseling and Support skills for Postvention Team Members Psycho-education Psychological first aid Cultural Sensitivity Crisis Debriefing Identification and referral of students/faculty who need mental health assistance Short-term crisis and/or bereavement counseling techniques

56 Psycho-education Psychological effects of trauma exposure:  Recurrent dreams/nightmares  Intrusive thoughts or flashbacks  Sleep and/or appetite disturbance  Diminished interest in activities  Exaggerated startle response  Memory and concentration difficulties  Avoidance of activities which recall the event  Disturbing images or memories of the event  Feelings of detachment  A pattern of re-enactment in behavior or play

57 Exposure to violence leads to the following consequences: Decreased IQ and reading ability (Delaney-Black et al., 2003) Lower grade point average (Hurt et al., 2001) Higher absenteeism (Beers and DeBelis, 2002) Decreased rates of high school graduation (Grogger 1997) Significant deficits in attention, abstract reasoning, long-term memory for verbal information, decreased IQ, and decreased reading ability (Beers and DeBelis, 2002)

58 Psychological First Aid for Students and Teachers Listen, Protect, Connect – Model & Teach

59 Listen and Pay Attention Behavior and/or mood School performance Interactions with schoolmates and teachers Participation in school based activities Behaviors at home that parents discuss with you

60 Protect Answer questions simply and honestly Let students know they are not alone in their reactions Provide opportunities to talk, draw, play Talk with students about what is being done by school and community to keep everyone safe Watch for anything in the environment that could re-traumatize students

61 Protect Keep eyes and ears open for bullying behaviors Make adjustment to assignments to be sensitive to students current level of functioning Limit access to TV and internet that might show disturbing scenes of the event

62 Connect Check in with students on a regular basis Find resources that can offer support to students and classroom Open communication with others involved in students lives Restore interactive school activities Encourage student activates with friends including class projects

63 Model How you cope and behave after an event will influence how your students respond Acknowledge difficult of the situation but demonstrate how people can come together to cope after such an event Monitor conversations that students may hear

64 Teach Encourage students to identify and use positive coping strategies to help Help students set small “doable” goals and share in these achievements as “wins” for the students and classroom

65 Critical Incident Stress Management Seven Phases of Debriefing (Mitchell model) Post Crisis 1- 10 days; 3-4 wks for mass disasters Introduction: development of group format, exploring the limits of confidentiality, and expected outcomes. Fact Phase: clarify the facts, each member’s role, and discuss personal understanding of the event. Thought Phase: reflect on the immediate thoughts as group members experienced or learned about the event. Reaction Phase: members identify the most traumatic aspects of the event for them while voluntary discussion of emotions, validation, and support is provided.

66 Critical Incident Stress Management Seven Phases of Debriefing Symptom Phase: return members to cognitive processing of event while identifying possible symptoms and reactions. Teaching Phase: Normalize members reaction to traumatic event while emphasizing members symptoms should gradually get better and exposure will assist the process. Closure/Re-Entry: summarize event and review main reactions, develop coping plan and identify members support systems.

67 Ethnic Differences in Mental Health (McGoldrick 1996) Many studies have shown that people differ in the following:  Their experience of pain  What they label as a symptom  How they communicate about their pain or symptoms  Their beliefs about its cause  Their attitudes toward helpers  The treatment they desire or expect

68 Identification and referral of students who need mental health assistance Counselors/psychologists/social workers will want to assess whether he student was directly or indirectly exposed to a perceived or real traumatic event Assess symptoms including re-experiencing the traumatic event, avoidance, emotional numbing, increased arousal, sleep and appetite disturbance etc. Are the symptoms interfering with the student’s functioning?

69 Identification and referral of students who need mental health assistance Is there any evidence of suicidality? (thoughts, threats, actions) Have intense symptoms lasted over a month? Over 3 months? Is the child “at risk” due to other environmental factors or previous trauma? Has the student exhibited significant behavior changes?

70 Student exhibits a high level of emotionality after the majority of peers return to more typical behavior Students who are intentionally hurting themselves, or have an increase in other self harming behaviors including abusing alcohol/drugs Students who do not improve with the individual and group interventions school personnel are able to provide Identification and referral of students who need mental health assistance

71 STRESS INOCULATION THERAPY (SIT)  Encourages the use of optimal coping skills  Can help protect children from some of the negative effects of stress  Is taught before exposure strategies are utilized  Stress inoculation therapy has 3 components RELAXATION, THOUGHT STOPPING, and COGNITIVE COPING

72 Relaxation Helps treat PTSD symptoms of hyper-vigilance, increased startle response, agitation, difficulty sleeping Deep Breathing i.e. “belly breathing”. Teach child to breathe in deeply so that the lower abdomen protrudes during inhalation, and recedes during exhalation.  Younger children can lay on the floor and put a book or stuffed animal on their lower abdomen  After the child masters this have the child count to 5 slowly while breathing through the nose, and count to 5 while slowly exhaling through the mouth

73 Stress Inoculation Therapy Relaxation cont. Progressive muscle relaxation  Demonstrate to child the difference between stiff and relaxed muscles (can use spaghetti before and after cooked, tin soldier vs. raggedy Ann doll etc)  Instruct children to first tense and then relax muscles, starting with the toes, then the foot, ankle etc. all the way up to the head, until every muscle has been relaxed. (best done lying down)  Children can be instructed to use this technique when trying to go to sleep, or when bothered by intrusive recollections of the trauma

74 Stress Inoculation Training Thought Stopping Designed to “short circuit” the cycle of negative thinking which can be problematic for traumatized children Teaches children that they can have control over their thoughts

75 HOW TO TEACH THOUGHT STOPPING 1.Talk to children about telling their mind to stop (say “go away” or “snap out of it” or “stop”) 2. Replace that unwanted thought with a welcomed one. It is useful to have children prepare for thought stopping by having a positive thought or mental image ready –such as thinking about a special happy event, place, or experience. It may be helpful for children to visualize a “perfect moment” such as hitting a home run.

76 HOW TO TEACH THOUGHT STOPPING 3. The mental picture can be drawn and taken home as a prompt to use in thought stopping at home. Also, the more details in this image (smell,sound,taste,sight etc) the more useful the image is likely to be for the child.

77 Stress Inoculation Training Cognitive Coping Skills Cognitive Coping refers to “learned optimism” Help child practice the skill of focusing on the positive instead of the negative aspects of a given situation Is there anything positive in a trauma? Child might be “stronger”, more compassionate towards others, more thankful for family members, etc. Help child recognize that in spite of the trauma they “are coping” and often quite well. Eat well acceptance rest positive thinking exercise

78 The Chinese use two brush strokes to write the word ‘crisis.’ One brush stands for danger; the other for opportunity. In a crisis, be aware of the danger. But recognize the opportunity.

79 Questions Nicole Cobb, Ed.D. Director of the Center for School Climate 615-532-4774

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