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Tiers and Tears: Lessons Learned

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1 Tiers and Tears: Lessons Learned
Braiding RtI/PBIS in Burke County Public Schools Vivian Haithcock, Staff Psychologist John Gann, School Psychologist

2 About Burke County Western NC 17,000 students
17 Elementary Schools (one K-2, one 3-5) 5 Middle Schools 4 High Schools High percentage of free & reduced lunch Primarily working class families

3 Braiding Initiatives Currently Burke County Public Schools has braided the training and implementation for Responsiveness to Instruction and Positive Behavior Intervention & Support into one training. Additionally, a school-based mental health initiative had been added as a Tier 2-4 support for students needing mental health services.

4 Where we started One of the Five Pilot Sites for RtI beginning in Spring 2004 Mull Elementary WA Young Elementary Additional six schools trained in the School Year PBIS sites WA Young Elementary in Three additional elementary schools (Drexel, Hildebran, Oak Hill Elementary) in Began Blending the Initiatives in Training in the Summer of All Elementary Schools have been trained on the blended initiative as of Summer 2008.

5 Building Capacity/Enhancing Services
School Based Mental Health Services Spring 2005 – Burke County Public Schools partnered with local mental health authority (Foothills LME) to acquire grants to launch Integration of Mental Health Services in Schools initiative: Department of Education (18 months) Kate B. Reynolds Charitable Trust (3 years)

6 Building Capacity/Enhancing Services
School Based Mental Health Services Highlighted Goals: Build awareness of concept of behavioral health services in schools including stigma reduction (General Awareness PP) Conduct comprehensive training (school-wide & team trainings) Establish behavioral screening & referral process in schools (Student Success Teams) Build behavioral treatment capacity within schools Build infrastructure necessary to successfully deliver behavioral health services in schools

7 Building Capacity/Enhancing Services
School Based Mental Health Services 07/08 School Year School-based Therapy Services: contracted therapists from community agencies provide individual and group therapy during and/or after school hours. 17 schools with therapists delivering services on site 362 students referred for services 340 students served 80% Medicaid or state funded

8 Building Capacity/Enhancing Services
School Based Mental Health Services 07/08 School Year Community Support Services: school employees with mental health credentials deliver Medicaid reimbursable service in school, community and home of students with mental health diagnosis and proven medical necessity – case management and skill building components. Available system-wide 56 students referred for services (non EC) 19 students served 100% Medicaid or state funded

9 Why integration? Doing what’s good for students
Working in response to student needs Gives overall picture of student (problems are often multi-faceted) Recognizes academic performance may be influenced by behavioral/mental health needs and addresses those needs as a part of the problem-solving process Reduces splintering of services

10 If This is the Philosophy of RtI
Proactive instruction should be provided within general education setting Prevention is more cost effective than remediation Teachers and parents deserve the resources necessary to meet the educational needs of all children Is it not applicable for social skills development/behavior? What about emotional needs?

11 Intensive Intervention 5%
School-Wide system of support for student achievement should look like this: (Key is to develop a system. Achievement success is based on more than just academics.) Intensive Intervention 5% Strategic Interventions 15% 80% of students should have their needs met within the regular classroom through general or, when necessary, supplemental instruction Core Curriculum 80%

12 John Herner, Counterpoint (1998, p.2)
WHY DEVELOP A BEHAVIOR CURRICULUM? “If a child doesn’t know how to read, we teach.” “If a child doesn’t know how to swim, we teach.” “If a child doesn’t know how to multiply, we teach.” “If a child doesn’t know how to drive, we teach.” “If a child doesn’t know how to behave, we…… ……….teach? ………punish?” “Why can’t we finish the last sentence as automatically as we do the others?” John Herner, Counterpoint (1998, p.2)

13 Behavior-Instruction Connection Infrequent Errors
Procedures for Behavior Problems Assume student is not trying Assume the error was deliberate Provide a negative consequence Practice not required Assume student will make the right choice and behave in the future as a result of the consequence Procedures for Academic Behaviors Assume student is trying to make the correct response Assume the error was accidental Provide assistance (model-lead-test) Provide practice Assume student has learned the skill and will perform it correctly

14 Behavior-Instruction Connection Frequent Errors
Procedures for Academic Behaviors Assume student has learned the wrong way Assume the student has been taught the wrong way (inadvertently) Diagnose the problem Adjust presentation, use effective instructional strategies, provide feedback, practice & review practice Assume student has learned the skill Procedures for Behavior Problems Assume student is refusing to cooperate Assume the student has been taught right from wrong and has been told often enough Provide negative consequences & remove student from setting Provide more negative consequences & continue to remove from the normal context Assume student has learned a lesson

15 RTI/Behavior It is important for each child to know and understand what behaviors are expected from him/her in each setting of the school, the rewards in place and the consequences for inappropriate behavior. Furthermore, it is important that we, as teaching staff, actively teach expectations in each setting and that we do not assume (by a student’s age, etc.) that he/she knows what is expected in each setting.

16 Problem-Solving Umbrella Total Integration of RtI and PBIS
Academic Behavioral Intensive, Individual Interventions Tutoring Academic Remediation Plans Intensive, Individual Interventions Individual Positive Behavior Support Plans (could include SBMH) Data Driven Decisions 5% 5% Targeted Group Interventions Small group instruction Focused academic help sessions Targeted Group Interventions Social Skills instruction Reinforcement of specific skills Data Driven Decisions School-based Mental Health Services 15% 15% Universal Interventions School-wide rules and procedures Systematic reinforcement Recognition of accomplishments Universal Interventions Effective instructional practices Recognition of academic achievement 80% 80%

17 Behavior Academic Systems (How things are done)
Team-based problem solving Data-based decision making Long term sustainability Data (How decisions are made) Continuous data collection & use based on Tier (e.g., Benchmark, Strategic, Frequent Progress Monitoring) CBM (or members of the CBM “family” like DIBELS) as the critical outcomes for basic skills Performance discrepancy (Educational Need) and Benefit (Rate of Improvement) Practices (How staff interact with students) Scientifically based curriculum (good tools) Scientifically based instruction (good training) Consultation when students aren’t benefiting (support) Systems (How things are done) Team based problem solving Data-based decision making Long term sustainability Data (How decisions are made) Behavior Screening On going data collection & use based on Tier ODR’s (# per day per month, location, behavior, student) Suspension/expulsion, attendance, tardies Practices (How staff interact with students) Direct teaching of behavioral expectations On-going reinforcement of expected behaviors Functional behavioral assessment

18 Tiers I-II: Academic & Behavior
Universal level, all students Scientifically-based, right content and direct instruction Greater intensity and increased measurement precision for students below benchmark trajectories Criterion for success? 80% to 85% are at or above benchmarks Assess classrooms, schools, districts Identify students needing additional assistance “PBIS is an example of how the RtI model is applied to behavior.” George Sugai, NC 58th Annual EC Conference. November 18th, 2008

19 Tier I & Tier II Behavior Data- Take from classroom behavior plans. Can compare how student looks compared to other classroom peers or other students across the grade level.

20 Behavior Screening Screening for Preschool and Kindergarten students using the ABLE Screening for first grade students using the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders

21 And Yet, We Still Progress Monitor Behavior & Academics
Basic Principle #8 of PSM Progress monitoring an essential aspect of the intervention phase Basic Principle #9 of PSM Decision making in regards to the effectiveness of an intervention is based on analysis of progress monitoring data in relation of goal

22 Progress Monitoring There is no guarantee that interventions will be successful, thus the intervention must be “tested” to evaluate effectiveness Increased emphasis of specific outcomes for students, data base must be generated to guide intervention decision making Pre/post testing has be shown to be unreliable (small amount of data) and provides too little data to allow for Essential for four reasons Instructional decision making – progress monitoring allows for evaluation of level of performance and rate of learning Research has shown that progress monitoring is associated with improved educational outcomes It is needed for academic and behavior. So why train as different initiatives?

23 Progress Monitoring A well-defined target behavior
Essential components that must be in place for successful progress monitoring A well-defined target behavior A measurement strategy Identification of student’s current level of performance (baseline) Intervention Goal Graph Decision-making plan

24 Progress Monitoring How do you progress monitor academics? What types of tools do you use? How does progress monitoring look different?

25 Sounds Great, Huh? But it didn’t come without bumps, bruises and lots of tears…………. And they continue as we realign to do what is best to serve all students.

26 But Our Past Shows….. Initially introduced as two separate initiatives. One pilot school included both RtI and PBIS. Therefore trained as two separate teams (with common members on both teams). Did not work to create “buy-in” (wished we had know that one earlier) as extensively as we should have. Approached initial training aiming at individual students, not targeting core curriculum.

27 But Our Past Shows….. Some building administrators still see it as a “hoop-jumping” process to get to special education. Did not bring in enough general education folks from central office at the beginning. Did not establish district-level team to guide training. Attempted to train schools in the afternoons.

28 Lessons Learned…… Definitely take time for staff “buy-in”.
Have central office key players at the table. General Education involvement. Work differently to change mind-set. Assess the core curriculum, then instruction, then specialized assessments (CBM’s, etc.) Establish district-level team. Please be kind, we were an initial pilot site in ’04-’05.

29 Lesson Learned…. Trained separately but speaking the same language and running together in the same circles. Teachers thought a behavior student could not be brought to the SST committee because they thought only academic concerns go to SST. Created confusion Learned that we needed improved communication and emphasis it is a problem-solving process and has application for both areas.

30 Lessons Learned….. Never train after school.
Never train everything at once. Pace training on data (implementation rubrics). Be purposeful about the data you want to collect along the way and how you will use it to drive your decisions. Make sure you have baseline! Use a coaching model/not train the trainer. Once trained, actively work through Tiers within classrooms, grade levels and support teams

31 In Other Words… …focus on overall curriculum needs before looking at specific/targeted interventions. …focus on interventions rather than on what is wrong with the student …focus on the solution rather than the problem …focus on addressing the needs of ALL students having difficulty, not just those with labels …focus on ALL educators being responsible for ALL students

32 More Lessons Learned…. Summer 2007…..
Trained RtI and Module 1 of PBIS in same week. 5 days total training. (County offers staff development in reading academy, etc.) Days 1-3, introduction of RtI, progress monitoring, and one day of interventions. Days 4-5, PBIS Module 1 training begins.

33 Results….. Were not truly integrated. Still separated PBIS and RtI though both use the same problem-solving process. Over-focused on Tier III when implementing at the schools Still had communication breakdown in having staff understand that the same approach is used for academics and behavior. What to do? Work on training module for better integration.

34 Summer 2008….. Created new training series that truly looked at side-by-side how academics and behavior relate. Have 5 days of training with RtI and PBIS working together with presentation (with heavy concentration on curriculum) Addition of personnel who have been trained in PBIS, RtI, Reading and Math Foundations. (Thank you Susan Griffin).

35 Results…… Still coming in but we know we need to tweak training module. Presentation as one initiative for training gave way to better understanding that behavior and academics are tied together. You can have a copy for $10,000,000 (or a tank of gas, whichever is more).

36 Where we think we would go if we could start over……..
Train an overview of the problem-solving process and then work on buy-in. Use that time (at least a year) to look at curriculum (Reading Foundations and Math Foundations), collect baseline data and determine what continuum of services are available at the school and what may be needed.

37 If we started over…… Next blend Tier I and II Module training of RtI with Module I training of PBIS. Train Tier III of RtI with Modules Two and Three of PBIS Set up coaching model at each school participating.

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