Secondary Schools Panel Discussion 5: Monitoring

The last thing we’re going to talked about
today is this whole idea of monitoring this is. I think is really fun and exciting in
a positive way to build expectations at your school teach them in a way that is motivating
to not only kids but parents but we really need to know if this is working the whole
idea behind this is that you will. By preventing problem behaviors from occurring you will
gain instructional time. So if you look at what teachers have to deal with in the course
of the day most of us went into teaching because he wanted to teach we wanted to inspire, you
want to do great things for kids but where a lot of people struggle is going into a classroom
having a great lesson plan but you can’t get to it because it interfering problem behaviors
so the premise behind the behavior framework is that if I can teach what I expect and kids
can get attention or escape what they want to escape for meeting my expectations I can
actually gain more instructional time to be able to teach my social skills curriculum
on my academic curriculum because that’s the business of teaching is to produce these kids
that are going to be wonderful citizens for our country though as we’re looking at this
we need to know if it’s working and essential to this model just like carries that earlier
is that this will not work for every single child there will be some students that need
secondary and tertiary support and the key is accurate detection my biggest fear in life
is missing a kid who needed more I really don’t ever want to be able to say to a parent
know your kid didn’t need any extra support come to find out later that there really struggling.
So we want to have accurate detection of who needs secondary or tertiary support and if
I won the lottery I would make sure that everything had every secondary and tertiary support that
they could possibly need but that’s not a reality. So we have to be cautious with their
resources to all the schools that you see today have adopted a primary prevention screening
tool systematic approach to evaluating kid’s behavior. As teachers we do it all the time
like with curriculum based measurement progress monitoring for report cards that type of things.
We’re skilled in looking at how kids are doing academically but are there interviewing
behavior problems are there acting out behaviors, are there internalizing issues like anxiety
or depression that might be influenced and whether or not a child can access your curriculum.
So what we’re going to talk about right now is how they monitor behavior performance in
their school because truthfully office disciplinary referrals. unless you are implementing with
this system that ensures consistency of documentation it’s not a very reliable measure of determining
who needs more and it can be done there are systems likes SESSS which allows you to accurately
detect who needs an office disciplinary referral but unless you’re monitoring the fidelity
of those plans the data are still in my opinion questionable. So we’re going to talk about
these behaviors screeners how they’ve been used either in isolation to monitor like snapshots
in time of how their school is doing like looking at fall risk over the course of the
year and how they’ve been using these data either by themselves or like Julius done in
conjunction with other data to figure out which kids need more on that more might be
remediation or that more might be enrichment. Well our first few years we did two screeners
we did the SRSS which just a teacher ranks a whole class they can in about 30 minutes
and we also there you have to me the initial something SDQ took it was a whole page on
one student. It was took a lot more time and we did both of those for several years but
as we got into it we really found out that SRSS was very predictive of the problems that
we were looking for. In the beginning, I think we used our screeners more to show our program
was working. So we could look and say we did a screener in the fall and we had you know
are many percentage of students at risk for a medium risk of risk and then at the end
of the year I was presented as had improved as we got further into it we’ve really started
using this to know in the beginning who the students are that are going to have problems
and to go ahead and get those secondary interventions in place and we found that SRSS like I said
it’s very predictive there’s a high validity . The students that show up on SRSS are the
ones that have the most discipline referrals, the ones that failed, the most classes, that
have the most problems with attendance and and all those things instead of waiting for
the year and say “you’re right that did all happen” we tried to implement things for those
kids at the beginning and then over the past few years I’ve also I start with the SRSS
but then we also take and actually minus spreadsheet and what we do is we include a case that we
know that show that students might be at risk. So if we know the students involved in the
core and we’ve got that on the spreadsheet if they have an IP, or have a 504, if we know
that there’s some type of emotional problems, attendance, grades, if we know that there’s
family problems. So we include all those things with SRSS just to find the kids. So that we
can get them the help they need. We have taken the disciplinary referrals from the last several
years as our first point of comparison and our discipline referrals and this year of
implementation are down about 20 minutes per child for disciplinary far away have regained
four hundred and sixty-seven class period with us kids which translates to academic
achievement. I wish we had our TCAP scores to share. I do know that in eighth grade,
our TCAP writing is up from an average score 3.9% to 4.23%. I had 90% of students who were
able to pass the TCAP writing with a proficient or advanced core which is new for us. I had
all but one student in our schools up to take the four days of TCAP testing and in a low-income
school that’s not a right that you see very often. I had 81 students who were not on academically
promoted last school year who became academic promotes this school year and I feel like
all of the evidence leads to better academic performance which ultimately is why we get
up in the morning. It’s pretty exciting to see something work so quickly and so effectively
and I think for us we can say we have a really bright future the students who we were able
to screen with the SRSS and determined that they had needs beyond the primary support
we have given what we have available this year which was counseling for guidance department
it was referral to an in-house center stemmed counselor. It was rudimentary check-in check-out
program but we’ve spent the summer planning for very detailed check-in check-out program
in beginning to train teachers in that process. So that the students we see coming back to
us we can be prepared to intervene with them on the first day of school. This is our first
year also of using screeners with our kids and we decided that we want to make sure that
all of the kids were screened by an academic teacher in our building because our related
art switches periodically in and the PE department. They have massive amounts of children and
they’re the same time so we want to make sure their screens were coming from teachers who
had those kids every day in class and knew them and it it’s kind of a point of view so
that two teachers to about doing a good job of making sure that this is correct is remember
when you would hear about kids and their academics may be ok but you but the kid would end up
in trouble eventually and you say “well I knew that a long time ago”, I could have told
you that. Well this is their opportunity for them to tell us that there is different. It’s
not just an academic screening. It’s a huge level and I completely encourage you to take
a look at those is very quick easy simple anybody can do it doesn’t take a huge amount
of time on the teachers but it is very telling and so when we look at those kids we get that
in which is instantaneous for us because we do it online we can look at that information
immediately and the other guidance counselor in our school we sit down and we look at it
and we say “ok this kid is at the top of that screener is the highest need support needs
kid in 114 00:09:01,180 –>00:09:04,740 our building. What are we doing? And” often times
its kids that we have already started some intervention for but there’s other kids that
maybe we wouldn’t see or hear of because of different situations. So the way that you
look at kids, it’s sort of those unheard unspoken things but you know that that kid is in trouble
when I was teaching I used to call it phantom kids. Kids that would show up every day but
there really was a lot of contact with but teachers knew and so we took that information
and we built a program we pulled the kids and we talked to them we’re doing a lot more
pulling the kids in and actually talking to them as they are our biggest stakeholders
in there so that we’re trying to help them and so we pulled him in as groups and we said
look your teachers think you’re great kids we went over some information and just talked
about kids who are great kids in our building that we don’t get to spend enough time with
and you guys are the kids that showed up and it’s amazing what that crowd of kids look
like when you get them all in the same place because it’s not necessarily the kids that
you see in your building every day. So you get those kids in there you start talking
with him you have the conversations and what we decided to do is we decided because it’s
our first year to invite those kids to a program that center stone comes in and does with it
is a preventive it isn’t a place where the hardcore kids and it’s a place where kids
to our secondary who totally have a good shot at making it in this world and we have a very
good person that comes in from center stone and works with those kids on all different
kinds of really cool things conflict resolution, they do team building. She comes in reports
back to the guidance counselors about how that’s going in which kids are doing a great
job and which kids had a great day which kids didn’t have a great day and so we have a great
communication with what we do with our last screener for the year is that we took those
names from our sixth and seventh grade which will be our seventh and eighth grades do this
next year and we’re going to invite them to a program in the fall because we take our
data in the fall so we want to get started day one early look at those kids invite them
into the program set them up and get them started on the right foot but the screeners
are an excellent tool and when you talk to parents about this if they call their have
a question they say hey you invited my kid to this program. Why? What’s my kids doing
in the class? And we say “hey we looked at every kid the building. you know, it wasn’t
just your kid” and the same story we decided that your child is a great kid that may be
in a school of enough time with and so that’s a real easy sell to a parent and a student
that were not just picking on you or we’ve picked you out to label you. It’s that we
have this great thing and we think you’re going to be fantastic at it and when we want
to invite you and the other thing is making sure that the administration and guidance
counselors the people who they see as leaders in their building are visible in those programs
and just to make sure how we care about you and we want to see how this is going and we
just have great support from center stone for this very lucky but the screeners have
been excellent and we hope to use those in the future to do to do many more things. Since
I’m a P.E. teacher Gary and them handle all the screeners and all that stuff but I do
want to take to time about what we did for those kids me and Allison and drew that it
was 4-5 teacher that took a secondary class. Which Vanderbilt which had about actually
provided the material and everything we placed kids in a study skills class that we’re struggling.
We placed students in my life skills class that just needed some social help and we had
really good results and we as a group of teachers came up to try to make it cool for them because
they knew they were going to singled out. We did Phi Beta Sigma which was PBS but we
had a little fraternity and we made a little pledge and everything and that year we did
that when you’re now every year it was different but the year we did that I think we’re still
so close to that group of seven to eight kids. They still come and see me and I know the
same with the other teachers. So that’s a a just one of the ideas you can use for these
trainers but I found it very interesting how we get the teachers buy in because as administrators
I thought they did a great job of old days that we had work days that you had to be in
the building after lunch they would make an announcement when you turn in your SRSS as
you may go home man they all got done that day. It’s amazing it’s amazing the techniques
they use which I kind of knew what was going on but those are just some tips to help you.
Sometimes they have us in the library and you could leave once you fill out this form
but and we had rewards and we even put candy bars in their mailboxes there’s lots of things
to do but dealing with the kids that are screened is where you have to find some real passionate
teachers even at the tertiary those one-on-one mentors are a huge part to get to that extra
15% The secondary and tertiary areas were very hard for us. We’re big high school we
have over 1,800 students and we felt like putting these things in place we’re going
to was no matter how we did it was going to create more work for somebody and that was
a challenge because we had initially said to our faculty there wasn’t going to be more
work we were going to work really hard to not be adding something to their plate. So
we don’t have center stone, I’m so jealous outside agencies to be in schools and I think
that would be that would be a fundamental piece of opportunity for us. So we have to
find all of our resources in the building and what that meant for us was that we really
had to narrow down exactly who of that 15 percent needed us the most in terms of resources.
So we didn’t just do the SRSS. We combined GPA we combine office referrals, we combined
attendance, and no other schools are doing that but that was a critical piece for us
that we couldn’t just say here’s the highlight of this kid another huge piece of that was
we didn’t always have teachers doing it we would do all the same things that we are teachers
who just felt like they didn’t have time Once we were able to display the data and that
took us a little longer as a school because of a couple glitches and in our systems and
the way we were keeping track of data but once we were able to show teachers that the
SRSS created the kids they knew. I could tell you the faculty meeting that happened in the
light bulb went off and that was just last year that we were able to show teachers that
when you do this little form that takes you know more than twenty minutes. We know who
those kids are in its instance connected to these things and then we were able to say
in these are the things that we feel like we need to do so examples of those things
in our building where an ACT Prep. So we weren’t just focusing on mental health issues, we
weren’t just focusing on being there moms. We were focusing on how we are graded as a
school and how we are looked at as a school. So we do an ACT prep, we do some mental health
thing’s for sure we do mentor programs and we do them by grade level. So I can say to
teachers I need senior mentors if you only want to work with those kids who might not
make it out of the building and really tap into those reasons we get up out of bed as
was said earlier than you can nail that. An important component that I found was structuring
what those things looked like so in the beginning we just said hey you know let’s have some
mentors and then I found what a mentor over here looked like wasn’t necessarily a mentor
over here and so I structured if you’re going to be a mentor these are the five things
that you have to do these are the minimum expectations and teachers were really appreciative
of a cause they could go down there checklist and say oh I only need to write to handwritten
notes a semester I can do that, I need to meet with them three times, I need to call
home and say something positive, whatever those things were. So we were able to connect
that. Another component and I think it was said earlier that was very important to us
was making sure that the SRSS as was done by two teachers. So we wanted to make sure
that they were different people who saw them. So we do it in the morning, a morning class
as well as an afternoon class and we found that sometimes we saw different risk at that
point and so it allowed us to hone in on what that issue was in the afternoon and sometimes
it was really easy with the teacher and the kid and we said that’s not a second or third
level kid and we could weed that child out even though the SRSS said there was something
important. So that was a huge piece to us something that we’d really like to work on
and I think we’ll be able to do this year is incorporating this process with our feeder
middle schools and having the middle schools in the spring tell us who are most at risk
freshmen are. We have an incredibly strong Freshman Academy with it we throw resources
into we give time in the structure is incredible and we could make it even better if we knew
who are most at risk kids were walking in the door because of what teachers are saying
not because the TCAP not in which is important but things that we can combine and use the
same amount of data with before they’re even in our building I’m excited about the opportunity
to create the secondary and tertiary for kids we don’t even fully know yet. I just want
to add a couple of things that we were talking about before. So much of this and we’ve been
added are building for quite a while is about time and money nothing on the things that
I haven’t mentioned in the taping and one of the things that we always mention with
the teachers is on several occasions I’ve had parents come up to me and thank our team
for what we’re doing in the building and here’s why the age groups that were doing with middle
school and high school some kids have self-confidence and you know they know everything and that’s
wonderful and fabulous watch the kids don’t have i don’t have that self-confidence they
don’t know that anybody cares they really don’t regardless of how much teaching we do
and showing up so when we write down appreciate you being a great kid I think you did a wonderful
job working with such and such or whatever you decide to write on your rewards and we
encourage teachers to do that all the time. That means so much to a kid. More than anything
I would trade that dollar four and one of the first things that a parent said to me
and I’ll never forget this was I want to thank you for what you’ve done for my daughter because
she has lined her mirror in hot dollars with saying that teachers have positive things
that teachers have written about her and it was a kid in all honesty I didn’t even know
and so it meant so much to us to know the impact that we have on kids by simply doing
that and that’s dated that you’ll never get back we’ll never see that hot dollar return
to our store will never know who gave that that is something that we couldn’t give a
child otherwise that cost us nothing that has meant obviously so much. So I figured
that if one parent has told me that that knows that about their child there’s lots of other
kids out there who have had the same reward intrinsic rewards something that they will
always treasure that they’ll get to keep from something so simple that we have done in a
day’s time. So that that’s just something that I wanted to add that you don’t always
have to give you don’t always get back it’s not about a we and it’s not about the other
things all the time it’s about just writing something nice about somebody that they that
they have chosen to keep maybe even for a lifetime. I really appreciate everything that
you shared and for me it’s really nice to see how you figured out who needs more effort
that these people in particular are put into establishing secondary and tertiary and we’ve
had lots of conversations through the years about most schools have you know get the primary
plan in place and most people can figure out what to do with the kids who are the very
top of the triangle is usually systems districts or counties have programs and procedures in
place but it’s the kids in the middle the kids in the other kids in the secondary zone
that need these assistances and it’s very exciting to see what you put together to help
them and I so appreciate the fact you’re helping to make it clear for teachers that this is
the way kids access support and that blueprint that we talked about at the very beginning
of the taping that they built when they went through their primary training. That primary
training was the first piece of it they also built their initial secondary grade their
tertiary great and that gets revised every year. So as Julie or anybody else identifies
new supports available in our community that would be another line item added into their
secondary or tertiary grid. Where if Gary identifies a pocket of kids that are really
struggling with divorce. He might have a divorce recovery group but it’s all in that blueprint
so that when kids come to your building when parents walk in when a new teacher walks and
you’re trying to make decisions about hiring you have a document that says this is how
we do it at our school the whole philosophy is laid out the extra support for laid out
how you find kids is very clear and I like the fact that people are accepting the responsibility
that comes with screening. If you’re going to do these screenings and you’re going to
find kids who need support it would be irresponsible not to follow through. So I think that you
all did a really nice job of balancing that any time we do something extrovert out secondary
or tertiary supports. We have to have parent permission and part of that it makes it so
clear that everybody’s going to get considered said that the ideal would be kids come to
school and they get what they need to be successful academically socially and behaviorally.

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