Shifting The Work of the PBIS Team to Improve Implementation and Sustainability #pbislc19On October 15, 2019 by Raul Dinwiddie
[Music] You say “yeah”! Leadership!
– [audience] Yeah! – Leadership!
– [audience] Yeah! – One more time. Leadership!
– [audience] Yeah! – What I’d like to quickly do
before we jump in, I would like five words that describe your
learning from this morning so far. Okay? Five words.
And we’re just going to ask for five volunteers to give me a one-word –
a phrase or one word that describes your learning. Let’s just do
five of them. Popcorn it out. – Motivating.
– Motivating. – Excited.
Excited. – [inaudible]
– Positive. – [inaudible]
– Hopeful. – [inaudible]
– Challenging. And with that challenging
comes the need for constant continuous improvement.
So I want to thank you all for being here at this year’s 2019 PBIS Leadership
Conference on behalf of the Wisconsin RtI Center and our school teams that
are with us today presenting as well as all of you in the room.
We are so glad that we can be here collectively as educators and
leaders in the field of education. So thank you for your time and
your support and for filling this room with your hearts and your brains
and your willingness to continue that journey of
implementation. You are at the session of Shifting the
Work of the PBIS Team to Improve Implementation and Sustainability.
We are live at our CESAs that are hosting, so welcome to our CESAs.
We are thrilled that you are joining us as well this afternoon after lunch.
And we hope that you’re going to get as much out of the session
off-site as what everybody is going to get
on-site in this room. What I would like to introduce
to you is where you are going to get one of your
resources for today. We need you to access this bitly.
So I’m going to give you a minute to go ahead and access that
bitly that’s on the screen. Give you a little bit of
wait time here to get that done. We’re going to be reviewing
this document in about six slides, so don’t start using it yet.
We’re going to start right in with it in about
six slides from now. [Silence] Does anybody need more time
out there? Hands up. Yep. Perfect. [Silence] It is case-sensitive.
Just letting you know. Try it again.
See if we get that same error message. We got one error message.
Hopefully it’s just a typo. Are some of you on?
Can I get head nods? Yes?
Lots of head nods. I got a thumbs-up in the back
of the room. That’s awesome. [Silence] Anybody need more time?
Okay? [Silence] How about now? We doing good?
Thumbs-up from everybody? Let’s go – see thumbs-up.
Just going to kind of take a read. We’re doing good, Liz. So my name is Sarah Nelson.
I’m the north regional technical assistance coordinator
for the Wisconsin RtI Center. I actually live about 20 minutes
east of Superior way up north. My nickname is Canada
here with the center. And I also have
my teammate. – I’m Liz Ponto.
I work in the exact opposite region as Sarah.
I’m in the south. I am a regional technical assistance
coordinator, and I am in Madison. – And we are so thrilled that we have a
couple school teams joining us today. Do you want to introduce them now,
or would you like to introduce them as we get going, and they
can introduce themselves? Totally up to you.
The second one? Okay. Perfect. We are going to start today really
diving into where are we focusing. And we are going to be focusing on
our purpose and vision of the team. And I want you to notice what’s
in the heart of this graphic. This Equitable Multi-Level System
of Support graphic. In the heart of this graphic,
we find equity. And we have a state
definition for equity. Equity means that every student has
access to the educational resources and rigor they need at the right moment
in their education, across race, gender, ethnicity, language, disability,
sexual orientation, family background, and/or family income.
We are constantly working on continuous improvement to
change the outcomes that historically we have seen for our underserved
populations of students. It pounds our heart.
It’s what helps our heart keep beating knowing that we are still underserving
populations of students that we serve every day in our schools.
So, as we work on creating strong leadership teams, implementing
PBIS in academics in our schools, we need to remember that equity
is at the heart of all that we do in all of our continuous
improvement efforts. We’re going to start today by really
focusing on strong shared leadership. You’re going to hear from some
schools, their connections to implementation, and the role
of the team and strong shared – and how strong shared leadership has
been a role in that implementation. We define strong shared leadership as
representative teams with responsibility to lead and oversee implementation
of an equitable multi-level system of support at the school
and at the district level. Whether you’re here with a school lens
or a district lens, we hope that you’re going to be able to take pieces of
learning back from our teams that are sharing today on – from their
journey to help you continue the implementation of your own.
Knowing that not any school or any district is identical and that there’s
different needs within those schools and districts, but we learn from each other.
And that networking and learning from each other is how
we continue on our journey. Want to go ahead, Liz? We have one slide that we’d like you
to just focus on as we think about what we mean by systemic implementation.
And the role of the team in supporting systemic implementation
through strong shared leadership. The slide that’s on the screen right now
helps us think about how we move – change from the district all the way
down through the classroom level. Where your role as a leader
in implementing PBIS or academic RtI may be on this screen.
Where you fit in. Where you support implementation.
From the district vision, school vision, in a grade level or a course-area team,
down to the classroom, ultimately really changing the outcomes
for each and every student. We think about district vision,
we think about district non-negotiables, and we think about district action plans
and continuous improvement efforts. How that impacts what we do
in our schools within a district. How that looks within our course levels
and our grade-level teams and what that looks like in each and
every one of our classrooms. When we define strong shared
leadership and systemic implementation, and we really
know what those key features are, we can better work together in
changing those student outcomes. Just a reminder for you, as you’re
on your journey, when we talk about the shared style of leadership,
we know that it’s collaborative. We know that it starts with building
really strong relationships within our teams – within our PBIS leadership
team at the school and the district level. We focus on shared vision, values,
beliefs, and commitments and how our practices really are impacted
by what we believe around serving all kids in our schools
and our districts. Strong shared leadership and a shared
style of leadership asks instead of tells. They support.
They coach. Okay? We’re going to talk
a little bit about team-train-support, and what that means.
And we start to understand as a team what we mean by the systems change
process and moving change through a district through stages
of implementation. And I think we’re going to
hear a little bit about that from our schools that are
going to be sharing up next. – Okay, so the team-train-support.
And this is a slightly different slide than you saw this morning from
our director Kathy Ryder. She had questions by her slide.
We have placed statements here. But it is the same idea. The team,
the train, and the support piece. So we have done a lot of work thinking
about the role of the team and looking at where teams have been and what they’ve
worked on what’s worked and what hasn’t and what leads to sustainability.
And one of the things that was very clear is, teams are busy doing a lot
of things. And there were – there was turnover in districts and in buildings,
and there was a lot of start-over. And what we realized is, we didn’t
focus enough on the role of the team to really build capacity of staff so this
becomes part of what everyone does. It’s just what we do.
So if one person leaves, it doesn’t disrupt everything and we’re
starting over and we’re at a loss. We’re able to keep
moving forward because they’re supporting
this way of work. So with that in mind, we have created
the document I’m going to have you look at in one moment to really think
about, what are those key pieces for the role of the team?
And this will look different from what you’ve seen before because it’s
very focused on building capacity and making sure conditions
are ripe for implementation. We have – you see it says “draft.”
We are just in the stages of finalizing the draft. We have had a lot of people
look at it and give us feedback. We’ve had district people look at it,
school staff look at it, provide feedback. We’ve gone through
multiple iterations of it. So I do want you to know that.
So there is a team piece, and you’re going to see that in the document.
Because we’re really focused on building capacity of people in schools,
there is also a section around training. So obviously providing really
high-quality professional learning. Then being very
intentional about support. Because what we know is, a professional
learning experience isn’t going to mean we’re able to go out and do that thing
in practice to fidelity all the time. That just doesn’t happen, right?
So we need to be very intentional about professional learning
and ongoing support. So we made this slide before we realized
we weren’t allowed to print anything. So you all have access to
this document electronically. It might be very hard to put a star,
but that document Sarah had you access, we’re going to give you a little bit
of time to look at that document. It’s a three-page document.
There is a section for team, train, and support.
So all within the role of the school team. And I realize the star might be
challenging, but maybe take note. You could write them down,
highlight, bold – hold them in your head if you’re
really good at that. Note three, maybe four,
items that really stand out to you or have some particular
meaning to you. So that’s the first thing
that we’re going to do. We’re going to give you
a little bit of time for that. And then I’ll talk about the second
piece when we come back. So just take a couple minutes.
Maybe we’ll start with three. And we’ll check back in
to review that document. [Silence] – Okay. Some of you are finishing up.
You can do that. I will introduce our first speaker.
And also, today what we’re – whoa. Sarah, you got ahead of me.
Can you go back a slide? Thank you. I didn’t even realize you
had the clicker. All right. Perfect. So, as two presenters –
we do have two presenters here. Our first presenter, Stephanie Polzar,
is from the Mequon-Thiensville School District. She is going to
present from a district lens. And then, after that,
Abigail Thomas – stand up there – she is from Waunakee
from Arboretum Elementary. And she is going to present
from a school lens. So you get to see a little bit of both.
But what we are offering as something to do might be to take note of some of
the examples or practices that they’ve used as they’re starting to rethink
the role of their team as it aligns with some of those ideas in the document.
So, Stephanie? – All right. Good afternoon, everyone.
Let me get my notes here. All right. Like Liz introduced me,
my name is Stephanie Polzar. I’m from the Mequon-Thiensville
School District. I am going to talk a little bit about
how I, as our MLSS coordinator in the district, worked with our district
leadership team through some of the team-train-support model based on
our self-assessment data and how that led us to some
actionable practices for our building leaders to take back
and implement in their buildings. So I did just want to format an
essential question for the 20 or so minutes I have with you today.
I’m going to focus on how we use the work of that leadership team to
strengthen our implementation, focusing on our universal instructional
practices, to really focus on allowing our buildings and teams to have
a common structure and really sustain their implementation. I’ll talk a
little bit about how we got to this space. But this is what I’m hoping
to tackle with you today. I did just want to put these up here.
I see we had some folks from the center come up and put posters around
the room of some of the norms that they use. These are the norms we use
in our district. They are from Learning Forward by way of AVID.
We are an AVID-implementing district. I use these for all of
the teams I facilitate. They’re always on our agenda,
and I always ask teammates or anybody coming to a professional
learning that I’m facilitating to review them and kind of hold on
to one for their learning today. What’s going to be
most important to you. So they’re the vowel norms, right –
the A-E-I-O-U norms. So I put them up there for your review.
And I would just ask that you kind of pick one to hold in the front of
your learning. I always pick Integrate New Information.
I always like to know, how am I going to take back what
I learn and put it into practice? So a little about me.
I’m about to go into my eighth year as a school psychologist.
That’s my training. But this will be my second year
as the multi-level systems of support specialist, which is quite
a title [laughs] in Mequon. I’ve been in Mequon since
The ’15-16 school year. And last year, we had
Robyn Jackson come. I don’t know if any of you know her.
She’s a common speaker on educational leadership.
And she worked with some of our district administrators through
developing what are our core values in our different systems.
And I took that back to my leadership team, and we developed what
are our MLSS core values. And I have them up there for you.
And a quote that has always stuck out to me from Robyn Jackson is what
I have on the bottom, that we want to be stubborn on the vision and
give autonomy on the details. We are a district of six schools who
love to have autonomy on the details. They really want to implement things to
their own climate and their own culture. Which can be a challenge when
you’re trying to put systems in place. So I often come back to this quote
to remind myself, as long as we are being stubborn on the vision,
how they implement the details is really up to them. So I like to
ground myself in that quote regularly. So, like Liz introduced, I’m going to talk
about the district leadership team, how our district vision and non-negotiables
really have influenced the work that we’ve done, and how that’s led to our
own action plan and action items. Little about our district.
You can see I put our most recent school report card up there.
We’re a suburban district just north of Milwaukee.
We are a K4-12. You can see our students
and staff up there. We have one high school, two middles,
and three elementaries. A unique thing about our district
as it is boundaried right now is, one of our elementary schools
is actually the second-biggest school in the district after our high school.
So that poses some unique challenges in terms of systems as well when
we have one elementary school just over 300 and one that’s
just over 600 students. That causes some unique opportunities
for us to work through. You can see I put our student
demographics up there also. As well as some of our
academic scoring down there. I put that there to really center you
on that our district has always been very academically focused.
We have a very academically rigorous curriculum, K4-12.
And that’s really where the focus has been lying the past couple years.
It’s just been, I’d say, in the past three years or so that we’ve really put a focus
on PBIS and social emotional learning. And so that kind of grounds us
for the work that we’ve been doing. This is our – oh, I’m going to
go back for a second. It doesn’t really look green up there,
but anything that’s underlined like that is a hyperlink.
So if you have electronic access to the PowerPoint, you’ll see throughout
I have a couple of resources, and they’re hyperlinked for you, so I
wanted to draw your attention to that. Our mission and vision. I won’t read
them to you, but you can see they’re up there. And I really want to focus on the
equity non-negotiables for our district. We are a district that works through
the Integrated Comprehensive Systems framework and receive
some coaching around that. And that really is a framework that
asks schools to really, really put equity at the center, similar to the circle
that we saw earlier from Liz. It really asks us to look at our
systems and find all of the spaces for marginalization for our students
and really address them head-on. And a part of that was having
some equity non-negotiables. Our district has 10.
I put three of them up there for you. I pulled these three because they are
the ones that I think really focus us on our work of social
emotional learning and PBIS. And they really helped guide our
team through our work as well. A little bit more grounding information
is our instructional framework. So I touched on that we are a very
academically rigorous district. We are an AVID district K-12, which
really sets our instructional practices. In addition, our high school
is Kagan-trained. Those are hyperlinked if you’re
not sure what AVID or Kagan are for you to explore.
But they really set the collaborative practices that exist in our classroom
as well as the instructional framework that our teachers follow. And you can see that, included in
our instructional framework is a positive learner-focused culture, which was
really the entry point that I was able to use in terms of talking to teachers
about why social emotional learning and PBIS in their
classrooms was important. So our PBIS journey. A couple of
things that are important for us to ground on. First is, who are the
staff that we have to do this work? So two years ago,
we made a staffing shift. And we went from having one
counselor for all of the elementary schools and social workers that were
split between buildings to a full-time social-emotional coach in each building.
This is the person who is grounded at the work of the building level.
They are also the people that make up my leaders on my district
implementation team. Historically, all six of my buildings
are at least Tier 1 trained. However, they have been independent
contractors in how they are doing PBIS. So some have gone to CESA.
Some have had folks come into their buildings.
All implementing PBIS, but in their own special flavor
and their own special way. Our district leadership team
really began regular meetings in the ’17-18 school year,
and that’s really when we started talking about what
this work would look like. So what did our work
look like this year? Really started in September.
We made a conscious decision that, while social emotional learning was
becoming important to our district, we couldn’t make it one more thing.
We needed to talk about social emotional learning in terms
of our existing PBIS framework. We moved to some
common self-assessments. We had been doing a hodgepodge of
some on the BoQ, and some on the TFI, and some on the SET,
and some not doing anything. This year, we all moved to the TFI
and the SAS, which really had a significant impact on the way
we were able to look at data from a district-wide level and
set some greatest areas of need. And we started in the fall by
identifying our common practices. I’ve hyperlinked in the activity we use.
It’s a McIntosh activity – the Aligning and Integrating Initiatives.
It was really meaningful for our staff – our leaders to engage in that and
see, while there certainly were commonalities, we were
doing things very differently. And I don’t think we as a team
recognized that until we really sat down and said, what are
all the practices we’re engaging in in terms of teaching,
looking at data, and collaborating? So that activity was very
meaningful and was the basis of the work that we
did moving forward. In December, by the time everybody
had taken the TFI, we were able to look at our district-wide data
through self-assessment. So while our buildings had been
action-planning, this was really the first time that, as a district team,
we were able to look at that data. We used a Notice/Wonder protocol,
which helped us look at our data in a really clear and concrete way
without bringing in a lot of emotions into it and identify what was our
greatest area of need across buildings. And then we worked with our TAC –
thank you to Emilie [laughs] – to determine what really should be
our next steps in action planning. And those next steps –
oh, this was our greatest area of need. So if you know the TFI, it was
line item 7. It’s really around providing professional development
to our staff in a common way. But, as kind of introduced before,
Emilie brought us to the team-train-support model, which
really helped our team recognize that, while train was really the area that
we had identified as our greatest area of need, our practice alignment activity
had shown us that we had to back up to team.
We weren’t talking the same language. We weren’t talking about
the same structures. And we weren’t talking
about them in the same way. So while our GAN was providing
that professional development, we had to go about four steps back
to align ourselves before we could talk about, what does professional
development really look like. So the work around that really
led us to Practice Profiles, which is a tool out of the National
Implementation Research Network. Those are hyperlinked in there for you
if you’re curious about what that looks like, and I’ll show you an
example of ours in just a minute. But Practice Profiles are really intended
to help make a practice teachable, learnable, and doable.
It really helped our team define, what are the practices we’re
talking about, and what do they mean to us, in common
language in a common way. Again, our aim was really
that integrated system. So we really took into account
all of those different initiatives that were coming at our
staff and our teachers. So I’m going to pop
ahead in just a minute. We really considered a lot of things.
We had just gone through all of that trauma-informed training that
I’m sure many of you who are from Wisconsin have
also taken part in. We considered all of the SEL practices
we were already engaging in in our buildings, talked about culturally
responsive and restorative practices, which is also important
to our schools, as well as our academic enablers
and our focus on equity. We were taking into account all of these
initiatives when talking about our practices so that, when we were
going back to our buildings and going back to our teachers,
we were framing them as one thing and not 17 different things, which
sometimes is what it can feel like. So the Practice Profiles really
asked us to define, what must be in place in our systems?
In order for us to be confident in saying we were at full implementation in our
universal systems, what must we see? It was really those big buckets of
learning – the vision – going back to my Robyn Jackson quote, it helps
define the vision that then allows the buildings to go back and
implement it in their own – their own way that’s unique
to their own climate and culture. So, again, down to the bottom,
when we talk about the team-train- support model in our district, it’s that
we can’t train what we can’t define. And the Practice Profile
is really the tool that we used to define what
our practices were. So our work then led us
to some prioritizing. So we intended [laughs] to develop
Practice Profiles around those features of universal implementation.
So you can see on the left, that language is probably familiar to you as kind of
the four areas of PBIS instruction at the universal level –
teaching expectations, correcting errors, requesting
assistance, and acknowledgement. Recognizing that we wanted to
integrate our social emotional system, we changed our vocabulary a little bit.
So our Practice Profiles are around the blue text.
That’s what we’re calling them. We also recognized that we were not
going to be able to write four in-depth, well-thought-out Practice
Profiles in a year. [laughs] So we prioritized teaching
schoolwide expectations as the one that we were going to focus on most.
We thought it was the one that was going to have the greatest
impact in our buildings to start with and the one that we had
the most buy-in for. We have started talked about next year.
Discipline is a big discussion in our district right now. We just had
some new board policy come out about it. So I suspect that
behavior response is going to be the one we work on
coming up. So this is an example of what
our Practice Profile looks like. I wanted to give you some
visual to put towards it. So you can see I talk about
the outcomes on the top. Why are we doing PBIS
as a framework? I tied it back to our
district non-negotiables. That’s something I try to do with
all of the resources that come out of our team is, how does this tie back
to our district non-negotiables and our district
strategic plan. Key features are defined
on the left side of the form. I put in schoolwide matrix because
it’s the most concrete example of a key feature. And then what the
practice profile really asks you to do is talk about, why is this a key feature?
How does this contribute to the outcome? And then define, what
does this look like in ideal state? What does it mean to say
we are doing this proficiently? What is acceptable variation?
Right, again, going back to building climate and culture.
What are we okay with seeing different across buildings?
And then, what is unacceptable variation? What are the practices that
we are not going to be okay seeing and that we want to start moving
away from as soon as possible? So our key features. I gave you
an example of schoolwide matrix, but I wanted to show you what
all of our workgroups came up with in terms of the key features
for the Practice Profile. So you can see we broke up into
workgroups – K-5 and 6-8. I do have a high school slide
coming up for you high school folks. But that really helped us individualize
the Practice Profiles by level. And these are the key features, again,
based on our practice alignment activity and then asking ourselves, are there
things we can stop doing? And then, what are the things
we need to add to our key features? I did want to show you – just in case
it’s also your entry point because it was certainly mine – our last line
item on all Practice Profiles is designing high-quality
academic instruction. Like I said, in our district,
we’re very academically focused. And it’s very hard to break into
the classroom when you’re not speaking in
academic language. So one of the things that I did around
the Practice Profile was I worked really closely with our AVID district director,
who is probably similar to your curriculum and instruction director,
around how are we going to take our instructional practices for
SEL and behavior and integrate it into our academic instruction? How are we going to make sure we’re
speaking that same language to teachers so that they don’t just kind of
block us out when we start talking about something
that’s non-academic? So we used CASEL’s
3 Signature Practices. Show of hands. Anybody familiar
with CASEL’s 3 Signature Practices? Okay, a smattering.
That is hyperlinked in there for you. But what we found when we sat down
and looked at them is that CASEL’s practices aligned directly with
our instructional framework. They are really AVID practices.
And so, by talking to teachers and talking to our staff about the things
that they were already doing in the classroom, and how we could look at them
from a behavior standpoint rather than just a purely academic standpoint
was a really great entry point for us in engaging
in this work. So the high school – I promised
I would do a high school. High school was
a little different. So we did not write the practice profile
in the same way as we did for K-8. So my high school had already
identified school belonging as an important area for them to focus on.
We are a district that does School Perceptions on an annual basis.
They had looked at their School Perceptions data and saw that
school belonging was not where they wanted it to be. So they had
already identified that. What they didn’t know is that school belonging
is also a high school PBIS feature. And so, again, that was
a really nice entry point for me. I don’t know if any of you are
high school people, but PBIS is kind of a dirty word at our high school.
It envisions pushing a prize cart around the hallways [laughs]
and giving them little trinkets. So really being able to talk to them
about school belonging instead of PBIS was really helpful.
We then looked at all the good high school PBIS researchers.
We pulled from AVID. We pulled from Kagan. We were able to develop a menu of
teacher practices in order – that teachers could engage in in order to develop
school belonging in their students. That is then going to be a PPG for
all staff next year at the high school. So staff will be able to pick at least
one of the practices on the menu and engage their students at the
end of each trimester in just a simple survey question to
see if they had shown growth in implementing that
practice in their classrooms. So that was a really
helpful entry point for that. I do have linked over there the
high school monograph. If you are a high school person
and haven’t seen the monograph yet, I really recommend it.
It was a really helpful tool for me in entering a world that
isn’t my comfort zone. I’m an elementary person [laughs],
so going into the high school was a little out of
my comfort zone. So our work in feedback
of communication. This was kind of the timeline
from the end of last year. Moving forward – actually,
just yesterday, I presented this work to all of our district BLTs,
and they engaged in some work time in prioritizing and action planning,
so that was a really cool day to see. But you can see, moving forward,
we are writing our new school growth plans coming up this year.
And the practice profiles are really going to be a helpful tool for us.
Because now we have action steps already written out.
We know what we need to do to get to our goal. It’s just aligning
them now with the building level to see what that implementation looks like.
I’m running a little long on time, so I’m going to just show you this
and shamelessly plug my colleague, who is presenting tomorrow in
the check-in/check-out session. We did take a detour into Tier 2
and also developed a Practice Profile for check-in/check-out.
So if that’s something you’re curious about, you can attend
the check-in/check-out session tomorrow and listen to it. So our next steps. We have
a lot of work left to do. We had a really good start at the
district level, but, as I said, we have three more Practice
Profiles that we need to write, three more systems that we
need to define before our buildings can really be asked to
engage deeply in them. We need to move on to the training part
[laughs] of team-train-support model. Now that we’re speaking the same
language, we need to talk about, how are we going to provide that
professional development to our staff. We’re also making some
teaming shifts moving into next year, which will – which will
impact that work. And then just kind of our questions
still to be answered in terms of what does that PD plan look like
when we don’t have dedicated professional development time?
That’s going to be a barrier for us to overcome. We’re working on a communication
and feedback loop to ensure that our buildings have a little bit more
voice than they’ve historically had. And next steps for the high school
level is always a question for us. So back to our essential question.
We really used that Practice Profile as an outcome from our
team-train-support work to help us identify those universal
practices that our buildings can take then and implement within
their own climate and culture. And that’s it for me at a district level.
I know we’re going to have time, I think, at the end for questions,
but I do have a little survey there if you have any feedback for me,
but Abby is up next. [Silence] – Well, let’s scoot ahead.
I am here to kind of give you – well, let me just go the next
slide here and get myself started. My name is Abigail Thomas.
And I come to you from the Waunakee Community School District.
I have two primary roles in our district. The first of which,
I am a general music teacher. So you probably can tell from
my enthusiasm about things. And the second is that I am the
internal coach for my main school, which is Arboretum Elementary.
Just to direct your attention to the bottom of my first slide,
if you would like to contact me with any questions or like to
visit my school’s PBIS website, you are more than
welcome to do so. So my experience with PBIS
has been quite a journey over my career in education.
The first stop in my journey started with my very first teaching job
13 years ago in a school in Illinois. And typical of that first back-to-school
routine, we had our staff training days, and they included PBIS. And I walked
into the training a complete newbie. And I learned about PBIS.
I was trained. I felt very good about what I was doing.
And at the end of the training, I came out with my stack of shiny
new PBIS materials, and I of course had my laminated matrix,
which I was really proud of. But then, there I was at
the end of my training. I had my shiny stack of stuff.
But I didn’t have continued support in my classroom.
It was a feeling of being very alone in what I was doing, and it was
very hard for me in that first year being in that situation. So take a
fast forward here to a different role, a different place. I’m now in
Wisconsin. I’m at Arboretum. I’m also the internal coach
starting my third year. And with that shift in role, there’s
become a kind of a shift in thinking about the way I see PBIS and how I’m
trying to drive my team to see PBIS. We’ve worked really hard on trying
to establish the vision of our team being a supportive resource that
both guides our teachers and our students to develop essential skills
that will create extended learning and positive interactions with one another.
And to do this, we’ve had to use the team-train-support model.
It’s been our source of inspiration, both positive – the things we’ve
done well, and of course, kind of the common pitfalls
that we’ve fallen into. We are certainly on the journey.
We are not exactly where we want to be right now.
We still are doing a lot of the doing that our presenters were talking about.
We output an SEL standalone lesson at the end of each month.
We are the assembly committee. We’re doing all of it. But we’re trying to shift that role
in thinking about our team and about how our team’s role is going to
be in the future of our school. So these are kind of the guiding pillars
that we’ve taken from the team-train- support model that is helping to drive
the work that we’re doing right now. The first of which is that we honor
the idea that we need to rethink the role of our team.
We want to be a sustainable team. We want to be able to keep
our practices something that we can do no matter who
comes in and comes out. We also understand that,
to make effective changes, we really have to support our staff.
We can’t just stop at training them, but going that next step of helping
them feel like they’re not that first-year teacher I was in my classroom
with my shiny stack of materials. And then finally, for successful
implementation and sustainability, there are certain best practices that
leadership teams can use to be able to keep that sustainability, including
using that team-train-support model. So just a couple demographics.
The Village of Waunakee is located 12 miles north of the capital.
We’re on the opposite side of the lake to the north.
And it has – the city has its roots in farm town, but we’re quickly
becoming a Madison suburb, where many of our professionals
in the community are working directly in Madison or
the surrounding communities. The school district itself services
kindergarten through 12th grade. We also a 4K partnership
with the surrounding daycares. We currently, as of 2017,
had 4,252 students in our school, and that has – or, in our district –
and that has grown significantly each year that I’ve been in the district.
We are split over five physical schools. We have three elementary schools,
including mine. We funnel into one intermediate school, one middle school,
and then into our high school. Finally, Arboretum is starting
its fourth year of PBIS. So in terms of some of the other schools
in our district, we’re relatively kind of a new school at what we’re doing.
We do have 450 students. We service those into four
sections at each grade level. We are a predominantly white school.
We do have about 7% of our students with disabilities. We have a low
economic disadvantage population. But what that means for us is we
do have a lot of parent involvement, and I think that probably is one of
the things that has helped us a lot. So if you ever hear me talk about
PBIS at my school, I’m going to tell you that the strongest thing
that helps our work is my team. It’s the makeup of my team
and the people who are on it. I actually was not involved in
the selection process of our team. I came in after the team was made.
My principal, although, did a very good job of picking people from across
a variety of places in our school. We currently have 15 members.
Some of those are new each year that we’ve been on our team,
but we’ve managed to retain most of our members as we’ve gone through
this process over the last four years. And if you look at the yellow box,
you’re going to see that our roles and responsibilities are really varied.
We are extremely lucky to have our administrative representation.
We have district representation that comes to our meetings.
We also have specialist representation. I get to play a double role as being a
music teacher and the internal coach. And then we also have a grade level
rep from every single grade level. And that allows us to have those
eyes and ears and mouth to be able to communicate to staff very
effectively and efficiently without having to always send
emails out about everything. So I’m sure you’ve all heard of that
idea – or, not – I shouldn’t say “idea,” but the – a person say, uh, I have
to go to my after-school meeting. And there’s always kind of
a grump that happens with that. And I have to admit, when
I first started as the internal coach, I was that after-school meeting.
I stood at the front of the room, and I facilitated, and we went through
our checklist of items, and we did everything all together at the same time.
And that was just how it was done. But soon we were really bogged
down in the mud, and we weren’t accomplishing the work
that our team needed to do. So the first thing, when I think about
shifting roles and responsibilities of the team was making sure that
our meeting format served what we were trying to accomplish.
We sat down as a team. We thought about that vision.
We thought about what we wanted to have happen.
And we shifted our format. We wanted to make sure that
we really had shared leadership. We became a collaborative team.
And there was nice balance between, yes, having the doing, but also having
those discussions about data and all the different things that
need to happen in the school. We have bi-weekly meetings.
We’re extremely lucky to be able to do that.
And our first meeting of the month is usually administrative, where
we do talk those data discussions. And sometimes that’s a little more
heavily facilitated type of meeting. But then the second meeting
of the month is very flexible. That’s kind of our work time.
We divide into subcommittees based on the different work that we need to do,
whether it is – because, like I said, we’re still doing a lot of the doing –
whether it is implementing some sort of SEL lesson or doing the assembly
committee, we can make that happen while some other
quality work is going on. My teachers’ buy-in on my team
has really increased immensely since we shifted
to this structure. Because now it’s not my
PBIS team. It’s our team. So this is the point in time that I want
to shift kind of my talking points to talking about the logistics of my team
and then kind of going into the idea of how our team has used that
team-train-support model to work through the practices we do in
our school district – or, in our school. So I’m going to kind of overview a case
study of how our school implemented our data system called eduCLIMBER.
And, you know, at first, when I started to do this speech, I was going to list
all the different successes that we had and everything we did that was great.
But after talking to my regional coordinator, Liz Ponto, she said,
you know, you got to let them know all the bumps and bruises
that you’ve had along the way. Because that’s going to be the
most impactful for the people who are listening.
And hopefully be able to send you a message that maybe you can
take and not make those mistakes in your own school.
So our little case study starts with us deciding that we needed to
integrate the eduCLIMBER system. It started in the school
year of 2017 and ’18. We knew we had to do it
because there was some need. First of all, it is our district-wide
data system, and it’s something that we were required to implement.
But it also was kind of the next logical step in the work we were doing.
Our team had covered all of those kind of procedural basics, and we were
ready to collect data at a higher level. And honestly, although we had some
data resources because our team knew that data could be taken in many
different ways, we needed a little bit more formal structure.
So we made a goal, which was to train our certified staff to use the data
collection system and figure out how it was going to be used in the classroom.
And the first step for doing that was that we had to define our practice.
So if you look at your handout, the idea of making sure that you know
exactly what it is that needs to happen. And we immediately got some
district feedback and suggestions. Our school at the beginning of my
time as the internal coach was kind of slow in its enthusiasm towards PBIS.
And so we wanted to make sure that we didn’t overwhelm our staff,
and we wanted to make sure that everything we did was very
intentional and thought out. So we defined – well, one of the
suggestions the district representatives had given us was to try doing a pilot
with our smaller Tier 1 team before bringing it to the larger school.
On your handout, that’s one of those type of things where you
define your practice before you bring it to
your larger staff. And that was transformational for us.
So we defined the scope of our pilot as a three-week pilot with
just our Tier 1 team. We said we said we were going to
focus only on the minor disruptions – using loud or excessive noise.
And we set a threshold of kind of a three-strike guideline.
Not to say we put strikes against students, but the idea that we redirected
students three times, and then, if they persisted beyond that, then we had
to put an incident into the system. Well, at that point, we then got to
pilot the practice that we were doing. And the first step of the pilot was that
our school psychologist was able to give us a training on how to use the system.
And she presented the training in the same way that she was going to
present it to our larger staff. And it was an amazing experience for
all of us, not only for us as a Tier 1 team to experience what it was like to
go through the training and kind of the positive and negative emotions
that went along with that, but also, we could give her feedback so when
she presented that training to our larger staff, then she was able to refine it.
There was one little thing. Like, she thought of the idea of all of
the regular general classroom teachers. But us, as specialists, we were able
to give her some ideas on how that training needed to
apply to everyone. So just little things like
that made a huge difference. When we did the pilot,
we definitely just made some discoveries through our experiences.
We realized we were inexperienced data trackers.
We didn’t have systems for trying to tackle all those
small behaviors. We didn’t realize that tracking
so much meant that we had to have a lot of stamina.
And we didn’t really understand what we needed to track.
The idea of tallying versus tracking teachable moments when we had
to reteach something, and so on. We had so many things that came up
during our pilot, and we did troubleshoot those at all of
our bi-weekly meetings when our team got together.
And we tried to solve all those different problems and different things.
And I have to say that, for every one problem that came up, it seemed
like five more popped up after that. And so we decided to extend our pilot
another two weeks just to make sure we really ironed out everything
before we brought it to the larger staff. And, as you can see from our slide
on the bottom, we revised our pilot to include things that
we found were troublesome. Like the fact that we shouldn’t
necessarily be focusing on the negative behavior, but we would
need to be thinking about, what is that ideal behavior,
and what are the social emotional skills that go along with it,
and so on. Finally, we were at the point,
after five weeks, that we were able to bring that pilot to our larger staff,
and we unrolled it out. To do that, we did train our teachers.
We made sure that we set the training in a computer lab in a contextual
setting where a teacher would be if they were going to
implement it into the system. Our school psychologist
led the training. She made sure that she included
all those changes that we had given when she presented the first time to us.
And we also included an interactive portion of the training, where teachers
were able to do mock entries. And while they were doing the
mock entries, we were able to give them feedback and support
while they were doing that. And certainly, by doing all of
these steps in our pilot, we anticipated a lot of the questions that
came up, but not all of them. And those became kind of an issue for
us later on as we unrolled it to the staff. As course – as all good teams do,
we did have data collection after we did our initial training.
And our data collection took many forms, but our biggest form was those
PLC teams and the grade-level teams that all of our representatives
from our Tier 1 team were on. And they were able to bring
the word-in-the-street kind of data back to us to see
how things were doing. And so, during our Phase 1,
I have to say that we tried to address as many of the challenges
beforehand as possible. Before we ever started,
we intentionally had classroom observation with feedback
situations set up with teachers. We modeled. We used two-way
feedback. We did check-in emails. I have a whole website of instructional
materials for my teachers to access. But we noticed that
problems still arose. We lovingly divided these
categories of people into five areas. We first had our resistors who
wanted to know why we had to data-track in the first place.
We had our worriers and our rule-followers.
Should I put it in? Should I not put it in?
I just don’t know. And we had our get-er done-ers
who wanted to track everything – every single thing, whether they
dropped their pencil or whatever. They wanted to track it. We had our paper-and-pencil
brigade who were our teachers – thank you – that wanted to
just use paper and pencil. They didn’t want to go near a computer.
That eduCLIMBER scared them. Why couldn’t we just keep
doing it the way we did before? And then we had
our silent type. The ones that just didn’t
say anything at all. And normally, we would
assume that things were okay. But, as we worked through this pilot,
we realized that, just because they were silent didn’t meant
that everything was all right. So, after much support and the best of
intentionality, we took a step back as a team, and we realized that the
unrolling that we did with our staff wasn’t as effective
as we wanted it to be. So, at that point,
we decided to adjust our practice. And when we adjusted our practice,
we decided to pilot our Phase 2 with just our Tier 1 team,
as we did our Phase 1. And to do that, we completely
stepped back, and we redefined what we were doing with our –
with our unrolling. We tried to make sure that we didn’t just
do support with our staff, that when we did our second phase, we wanted to
give them professional development. Because, if you look on your handout,
professional development shouldn’t be in lieu of support, which we really
had made that mistake in the beginning. So we went into Phase 2 with
a rewording of what our goal was to kind of make it feel different
for our staff and to make them feel good about the
work they were doing. We retrained them using a
professional development approach. And we really tried to make sure
that we used differentiation with all the different teachers we had.
We tried to paint the purpose, paint the big picture, model examples
of data-tracking moments following all those different
five types I identified before. Afterwards, our Tier 1 team
did a fidelity check. And we were able to see how
effective we were with our practice. Our Phase 2 was certainly more
effective than our Phase 1. And, as we talked about it,
we wished that we could have just started with Phase 2
before we did Phase 1. But, had we not gone through that
whole process of everything we had done, we wouldn’t have
learned what we needed to change to implement and sustain
initiatives like this in the future. So, now, in 2018-19 –
last year’s school year – we took the information we had
gotten through that process, and we decided to take a softer approach to
how we were doing our eduCLIMBER. We understood that one of the
things we learned that teachers needed to understand the smaller
components before the whole. So we really encouraged teachers
to do data tracking of any sort, whether it was sticky notes,
notes to themselves, whatnot – anything that would help them
be experienced data trackers. We created a PLC feedback form
that our PLCs use as a communication tool for us, and we review
this at each one of our meetings. And we also made some other things.
We planned for abandonment, trying to take our supports away
slowly – all of that type of thing. I noticed that my time is starting
to come down to a close. So I’m just going to skip ahead
and talk a little bit about what the impact of this
pilot was for us. Basically, what happened for us
is that we were able to experience the team-train-support model. We experienced all the positive things
that could happen from following it, but we also fell into some of the pitfalls.
And, by doing that, we feel like we have a better perspective on how we’re
going to implement new initiatives into the future, including, one of the
things that we’re going to do this next school year is work
with our paras on recess school. And so we’re now able to ask
some of those important questions like, how are we going to train them?
How are we going to make sure they’re supported? How are we
going to address these things? So I want to thank you for your time
and attention listening to me and my story of how my school used
our eduCLIMBER initiative and how we’ve shifted the thinking
of all the work that we have done with the team-train-support model. I do want to leave you
with three final thoughts. And the first is, is we really
do need to embrace that thinking of how we can shift
the role of our team. And it shouldn’t be something
that’s explicit, but something that definitely isn’t – or, shouldn’t
be something that is unintentional, but something that’s explicitly intentional.
Something that we do purposefully. And whatever you can do, try to
take a portion of that team-train-support model back with you as something
that you can work on with your staff. It really will make a big difference.
Thank you so much. [Applause] Oh. So here we go.
If you have any questions for either of us, this would be the
time that you can do so and ask anything that
you would like to know. And of – oh.
And of our leaders as well. [Silence] We’re also looking on our livestream
to see if there’s any questions. [Silence] Oh, very good. Yes, sir. – [inaudible question] – That’s a good question.
Our school – because it was about two years ago when we started
this whole thing, and we’ve only had one year of full implementation
of using the eduCLIMBER system, we’re just at that point where
we’re starting to get valid data to use for data tracking.
And that was one reason why it was so important for us to
implement that PLC feedback form. Because one of the questions on
there was, what do you see as a behavior in your classroom
that you would find having a impact if we worked on
for our PBIS team. [Silence] – Thank you so much
to both of you. We’re going to go ahead
and conclude the session. But what we’d like you to do,
take some time and to fill out the evaluation for this session that
you can find on your conference app. I want to let you know that we really
take your evaluations seriously. We look for that feedback as we
create next year’s 2020 PBIS Leadership Conference.
And we are really looking for as close to 100% participation in filling out
those evaluations as possible. Because we do value
that feedback so much. We appreciate your time and the space
this afternoon – your willingness to listen with your eyes, your ears, and
your heart to these school stories. And please reach out to both of
these schools and districts as well as to Liz or myself if you have any
questions over any of the content that you heard today or how we can
support you at the Wisconsin RtI Center in moving forward with
your implementation. With that, please take a few minutes
and fill out that evaluation, and we really, truly hope that you
have a great rest of your experience here today and then a great
rest of your conference tomorrow. Looking forward to
seeing you again tomorrow. Thank you so much.
And we hope to see all of you soon. [Applause] [Silence] [Music]