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Grant Listing

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports - State Contract

We are proposing a five-year scope of services to equip and support Middle Tennessee schools to implement Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS). This promising framework for prevention and intervention involves school teams planning and carrying out research-based behavioral interventions within an integrated, multi-tiered approach that enhances the social and behavioral outcomes for all students. We are committing to supporting schools already trained in PBIS (approximately 50+ in Middle Tennessee), recruiting another 200+ schools to implement this framework with fidelity, and preparing all schools to sustain their efforts in advance of the end of our funding. We have organized our work into six key areas: • Recruitment Activities. We propose a multi-faceted approach for encouraging schools (and entire districts) to explore and adopt PBIS. Far too many educators have never heard about PBIS, hold misconceptions about this approach, or have insufficient support from school and district administrators to pursue this pathway. We will (a) hold recurring regional “PBIS 101” trainings throughout our division, (b) meet individually with leadership in every district in Middle Tennessee, (c) hold orientation meetings with interested school-level administrators and faculty, (d) organize sessions or strands at state conferences (e.g., PIE, TN-CEC, TN Disability MegaConference), (e) review State Report Card data to identify schools in our division struggling on selected metrics (e.g., attendance, suspensions, expulsions, dropout), and (f) review findings from surveys of schools and teachers. • Training to Equip Schools and Districts. We will offer multiple training pathways to equip schools to implement PBIS with high fidelity and strong contextual fit. We plan (a) trainings for district leadership teams to ensure local commitment and expertise is established, (b) trainings for individual school teams who will be leading efforts within their schools, (c) “refresher” or “short course” trainings for new team members or staff joining schools after the initial training, and (d) on-demand (“just in time”) trainings addressing the schoolwide, secondary, and tertiary training needs that emerge within or across schools. While some of these will be delivered in-person, we plan to invest most heavily in packaging resources/trainings that district leaders and school teams can provide to schools or that individual staff can access whenever needed. • Support for Implementation and Sustainability. We have initially structured our work with schools to include a heavier investment from our team when schools are initially getting started. However, we also will undertake concurrent efforts to train district coaches to be a local support to their schools. As we fade back our direct support, we will instead support coaches in providing assistance to schools and we will develop a network of schools who can be a resource to one another. For each cohort of the cohorts of schools with which we work, we will (a) provide initial training primarily by our project team, (b) shift to ongoing support from district coaches, (c) connect schools to a community of practice comprised of other schools that are further along, (d) offering “as needed” support to schools trained under the current contract, and (e) delivering any on-site behavioral consultation requested by schools in our division. • Development and Dissemination of Resources. To adequately resource schools to implement all aspects of the PBIS framework, it is important that school and district staff have access to practitioner-friendly information and guidance that can be accessed without waiting for the next conference or training. Throughout the project, we plan to develop (and compile from existing resources) a constellation of print and online resources that address the needs of implementing schools. These include (a) promotional materials and videos that highlight the benefits of PBIS and the success of Tennessee schools in implementing this framework, (b) online training modules and videos that show staff how to implement evidence-based practices outlined in their plans, (c) recurring webinars and e-newsletters that provide critical information on new developments in the state and the field, and (d) “good practice” guides that illustrate for staff how to carry out different aspects of their plan. We will adopt a data-driven approach to selecting these resources (e.g., statewide surveys of staff, review of implementation data), as we have done successfully in our current contract. • Evaluation of Implementation and Outcomes. Our experience partnering with schools confirms the importance of collecting ongoing data related to the quality of the training we provide as a project as well as the implementation of PBIS in local schools. Moreover, schools typically need assistance analyzing and reflecting upon available student data to make decisions about the effectiveness of their efforts. We will (a) continuously monitor the quality of the training we provide and the impact of our coaching through careful data collection, (b) regularly monitor the extent to which participating schools are implementing PBIS in effective ways, and (c) support individual schools in using data to inform their work. • Collaboration with Partners. We recognize this is contract is a collaborative endeavor. In all five of the above areas, we plan to work in close collaboration with the other two grantees to develop awareness materials, trainings, resources, and evaluation materials. Our scope of work and budget are designed to enable us to (a) meet quarterly with our TDOE contact, (b) collaborate with the State PBIS Task Force, (c) meet at least monthly with the two other grantees, and (d) help schools access the excellent resources available through other state contracts and leverage these investments for the good of schools.

Grantor: Tennessee Department of Education

Expected completion date: 06/30/2020

Project or Grant: Grant
Date Span: July 01, 2015 to June 30, 2021
Principal Investigators: Erik Carter
Academic Department: Special Education