It s Spring! Has Your Data Been Submitted?

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It’s Spring! Has Your Data Been Submitted?

The hallmark of fidelity for program or school-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is routine data analysis and action planning. Data-sharing among team members helps determine how our decisions affect students, families and staff members.

School-Wide Data: pTrack is Pennsylvania’s school-wide PBIS data-base to examine data submitted by school sites affiliated with the PA Positive Behavior Support (PAPBS) Network. pTrack is a compliment to PBIS Apps, which is the larger evaluation tool data-management sys-tem. Together, both databases serve as an excellent platform for checks and balances of school-wide PBIS implementation. To maintain these data, facilitators should collaborate with their teams to enter the follow-ing data into pTrack each school year: (a) team members’ names, (b) PBIS action plan, (c) if conducted, the Benchmarks of Quality, School-wide Evaluation Tool, Self-Assessment Survey, and/or School Safety Survey, and (d) annual attendance data for students and staff, LRE data, and special education referral data. Items “a” and “b” should be entered at the beginning of the school year, item “c” should be entered as available, and item “d” should be entered at the end of the year. Di-rect questions about data submissions to local or regional facilitators. Network facilitators are responsible to enter data into pTrack. If you are a facilitator and have not logged into pTrack yet, please check your user name and password by going to If you have any difficulties or questions logging into the database or en-tering data elements, please alert your regional coordinator.

Program-Wide Data: Program-wide data is especially valuable this year as we are finally anticipating the type of program evaluation that school-age has enjoyed from the beginning. Remember that the Early Childhood (EC) PAPBS Network data requirements are available at under the independent and provisional facilitators tabs. Because our data collection system continues to mature, there is a new version as of March 12, 2014, with minor edits on how to submit data. All program leadership teams and administrators should work with their facilitators to submit their data. If any administrators, coaches or facilitators have difficulty with the EC PBIS database

(, or the behavior partnership database (, please contact your regional facili-tator. The more complete the data received, the more accurately we can report progress and needs.

2014 Implementers’


The fourth annual PAPBS Imple-menters’ Forum, which is being held on May 28-29 at the Hershey Lodge, is quickly approaching. This year’s forum will include some new activities. The PAPBS film festival and poster session will allow local implementers to show-case the great happenings at their sites, while encouraging multiple networking opportunities. The opening keynote will feature “youth voice,” including two youth presenters from Minding Your Mind and audio recordings of youth ex-periences with PBIS collected through the Hear Me project. Mul-tiple content strands will also be featured throughout the forum: Universal Tier 1 exemplars, Ad-vanced Tier Supports, Inter-Con-nected Systems/Systems of Care, Family/Community Partnerships, Early Childhood Implementation, Coaching Tactics, Higher Education Involvement, and High School Implementation. Each strand in-cludes a variety of sessions de-signed to compliment the theme and to meet the needs of atten-dees at their individual level of in-terest and degree of PBIS

implementation. The forum will also again host several nationally acclaimed speakers with expertise in PBIS. We are proud to have Drs. George Sugai and Kevin Moore presenting their research and application of evidence-based practices from the national per-spective. More information about the PAPBS Implementers’ Forum is at See you in May!


The PAPBS Network 2014 Execu-tive Summary was completed in January 2014 and is now available at The high-lights of the fifth annual program evaluation of Pennsylvania’s School-Wide Positive

Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) scale-up efforts are briefly provided below. What began as a small project, with training and implementation fo-cused on 33 schools across the Common-wealth in the summer of 2007, has grown as a wave of enthusiasm as evidence convinces many schools to adopt a SWPBIS system. As many now know, the SWPBIS framework es-tablishes a learning en-vironment that meets the social, emotional, and behavioral needs of all students. As of Spring 2013, the PAPBS Network has trained over 400 schools in SW-PBIS, which speaks to these schools' commit-ment to improve out-comes for students. Such efforts could not have occurred without the support and expert-ise of over 100 certified PAPBS Network facilitators and approxi-mately 112 private and public mental health partners collaborat-ing with school districts.

Seventy percent of all schools trained in SWPBIS are at the ele-mentary level, with a growing percentage of middle and high

schools also being trained in SWP-BIS. Commonwealth schools cur-rently implementing PBIS account for 13 percent of all students in Pennsylvania.

Of all schools implementing PBIS, 114 schools reported full fidelity in Spring 2013. An additional 36 schools were designated as par-tially implementing SWPBIS with fidelity. While the number of schools achieving partial or full implementation status is encour-aging, it still represents roughly only 35 percent of all schools

known to have received training. (See Figure 1 for the number of schools achieving full implementa-tion status by grade level designa-tion.) The highest proportion of schools implementing PBIS were

at the elementary level, a trend that is consistent with national data. Al-though not represented in these data, a number of preschools and Head Start centers have also fully implemented Program-Wide PBIS.

Staff perceptions of risk factors and protective fac-tors promoting school safety continue to trend in the desired direction for schools implementing SWPBIS. These results, summarized in Figure 2, provide compelling

evi-dence that high fidelity SWPBIS implementation over an extended period of time is associated with substantial decreases in school/community charac-teristics typically associ-ated with school violence concurrent with substan-tive increases in

school/community charac-teristics that protect the

school and its staff and students from the nega-tive consequences of vio-lence.

SWPBIS at the elementary level resulted in the vast majority of students receiving one or no office discipline referrals (ODRs) in a given year. This percentage is markedly higher than the propor-tion of middle and high school students who receive one or no

Look How Far We’ve Come

by Timothy J. Runge, Mark J. Staszkiewicz, Stephen R. McFall, & Timothy E. Hall

Figure 1: Cross Sectional Analysis of Full Implementation Status

for Combined Cohorts by Building Level

Figure 2: Cross Sectional Comparison of Average Percentage of Risk and Protective Factors – Cohort 1


year. Approximately five percent of all ele-mentary students re-ceived 2-5 ODRs in a year, compared to ap-proximately 11 per-cent of middle and high school students. At the highest rates of disruptive behavior, just under two percent of all elementary stu-dents received six or more ODRs. Five and eight percent of middle and high school stu-dents, respectively, fell in this same category. These data are visually displayed in Figure 3. Note: Elementary schools were statisti-cally dissimilar from middle and high schools; PreK-8/12 schools were statisti-cally dissimilar from high schools.

There was a significant positive correlation be-tween the number of years of successive im-plementation of SWP-BIS and Pennsylvania System of School As-sessment (PSSA) Math. The more years a school implemented SWPBIS, the larger the percentage of students scoring at proficient or advanced on the PSSA Math. Similar results were found between the years of implemen-tation of SWPBIS and performance on PSSA Reading.

Additional analyses confirmed that the strongest PSSA outcomes are associated with full implementa-tion of SWPBIS. In fact, schools

that only partially implemented SWPBIS observed PSSA Reading and Math scores that were statis-tically weaker than results from fully implementing schools (see Figure 4).

shelf-life of educational reforms typically is less than four years (Latham, 1988), one of the most encouraging findings of this annual review relates to SWPBIS apparently bucking the typical ebb and flow of educational initiatives. Longitudinal data from implementing schools indicate that some schools sustain implemen-tation for four or more years. These data are

es-pecially encouraging given that the majority of SWPBIS schools are only recent adopters, so they are well-positioned to sustain for the foresee-able future.

Check the web-site for the full executive summary. The collective efforts of the Community of Practice on School Based Behavioral Health, advocacy by many

organi-zations, provision of com-prehensive training and technical assistance, ad-herence to the PBIS framework, regard for implementing with fi-delity, collection and sub-mission of outcome data, and analysis of these data have provided com-pelling evidence that SW-PBIS, and the larger PBIS framework, is positively affecting many schools, staff, and students across the Commonwealth. Reference

Latham, G. (1988). The birth and death cycles of educational inno-vations. Principal, 68, 41-43. Figure 3: ODR Triangle Data by Building Level – Combined


Figure 4: Average Percentage of Students in PSSA Reading and

Math Reporting Categories

Figure 5: Consecutive Years of SWPBIS Implementation –


As pre-service educators prepare to engage in practical experi-ences, they may feel well pre-pared to teach grade level and specific subject matter. Yet, many feel less confident managing classroom behaviors that compete with academic engagement. It is critical that pre-service educators experience success with imple-menting preventative classroom management procedures in tan-dem with delivering whole group academic instruction prior to be-coming employed as an in-service educator. To address this issue, the McDowell Institute trained pre-service educators to imple-ment an effective PBIS-oriented classroom management interven-tion, the Good Behavior Game (GBG). The GBG has been demon-strated to be effective in promot-ing appropriate pro-social and academic behaviors. The compo-nents of the GBG include: 1) ex-plicit teaching of expected behaviors, 2) active supervision and behavior-specific praise, and 3) group contingencies for meet-ing or exceedmeet-ing projected per-formance.

In May 2013, the GBG was imple-mented by Bloomsburg University pre-service educators during their two-week urban practicum experi-ence in Bethlehem Area (Marvine Elementary, Fountain Hills Ele-mentary, and Lincoln Elementary) and Easton Area (Paxinosa Ele-mentary and Shawnee Middle) School Districts. For the purposes of the practicum, the GBG was customized for the specific practicum sites and called the Huskies Game to connect it to

Bloomsburg University. The objec-tives of implementing the Huskies Game during the urban practicum experience include: 1) impact on practicum students (i.e., social va-lidity) and 2) impact on classroom students (i.e., social validity). Prior to beginning the practicum, the students attended a one-hour workshop conducted by Dr. Kate Nichols to learn about the ration-ale and implementation of the Huskies Game. During the work-shop, the students received the Huskies Game manual and requi-site materials for implementation (e.g., daily points tally sheet and “magic numbers” that were se-lected for the mystery criteria to win the game). The practicum students viewed videos of imple-mentation of GBG at a local school. The videos presented ex-amples of introducing the game to the students, conducting a prefer-ence assessment, implementing the game, providing contingent reinforcement, and conducting the social validity survey with the classroom students. The

practicum students were encour-aged to contact their cooperating teachers to explain the interven-tion, identify the

school-wide/classroom behavioral expectations, develop examples and non-examples for teaching the expectations to the students, identify what subject and time pe-riod the practicum students would be in charge of while implement-ing the Huskies Game, and con-firm potential reinforcers to provide when students “win” the game. Detailed instructions re-garding implementation of GBG,

along with videos and materials are available at

The objectives of the Huskies Game implementation were meas-ured via surveys and permanent products review. Upon completion of the urban practicum experi-ence, the practicum students completed a social validity survey to assess how well the features of the Huskies Game aligned to their perceptions of behavioral man-agement in the classroom and the perceived impact of intervention on student academic and behav-ioral performance.

Additionally, the practicum stu-dents evaluated the classroom students’ perceptions of the Huskies Game by asking them to indicate their opinions of the game (i.e., two thumbs up – “yes,” one thumb up – “some-times,” or hands flat on the table – “no”). The three social validity questions were:

1) Did you like playing the Huskies Game?

2) Did you earn rewards when playing the Game?

3) Did the Huskies Game help you do better when the practicum student was teaching? A review of completed Huskies Game tally sheet submitted at the end of practicum was conducted to confirm that the game was im-plemented and determine the number of days the game was won in participating classrooms. The results indicated a generally positive opinion towards the ease

The Good Behavior Game

Preparing Practicum Students to Successfully

Promote Appropriate Academic and Classroom Behaviors


of implementation and effective-ness of the GBG. Furthermore, the majority of the participating classrooms met the mystery crite-ria and earned the daily mystery prize. The results of the social va-lidity surveys of classroom stu-dents’ perceptions of the Huskies Game were overwhelmingly posi-tive. Additionally, numerous

practicum students indicated that they would implement the GBG when employed as an in-service educator.

The GBG is a well-established class-wide intervention designed to promote appropriate classroom and learning behaviors. With mini-mal training, pre-service

educa-tors were able to implement the intervention with positive results. The McDowell Institute will con-tinue to engage in professional development activities to equip pre-service educators with effec-tive tools to create successful learning environments for stu-dents.

Program-Wide PBIS on a Company-Wide Level

by Aimee Newswanger, MSW

Do you think that implementing PBIS is a challenge in your pro-gram? What if you had 44 build-ings across three states?

Hildebrandt Learning Centers (HLC), currently the largest pro-gram in Pennsylvania to tackle im-plementing program-wide PBIS is doing just that. They got their start in July 2010 when a few en-thusiastic staff attended the first PA PBIS summer institute and left at the end of the week convinced that this was a project that they needed to tackle.

HLC has been formally pursuing implementation of Program-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (PWPBIS) since the sum-mer of 2010. Throughout 2010-2012, they gained full

administrative buy-in, developed a company leadership team, es-tablished company-wide

expecta-tions (Be safe, Be responsible and Be respectful) and developed a series of short segments of the modules created by the Center on the Social and Emotional Founda-tions of Early Learning (CSEFEL). The leadership team determined during these years that this focus could not merely be added into other job descriptions, as this sig-nificantly limited fidelity of imple-mentation throughout the

company. Gains made early in the process began to crumble and since the goal was implementation of PWPBIS with fidelity in all 43 centers representing the com-pany, the company decided to hire a Positive Behavior Support Spe-cialist (PBSS) to work with the rest of leadership toward embed-ding PWPBIS into the HLC way of life.

Implementation on this scale is a

state implementation as well as a program implementation. Under-standing this, the HLC corporate leadership team used the new state Benchmarks of Quality (BoQ) to inform their implementa-tion. The PBSS position is an ex-ample with parallels to the need for state committees to have a designated leader with time to commit to this project.

Most programs will never have to think on such a large scale but it is useful to have this blend of statewide support and local imple-mentation within one program. Some lessons learned can inform the PA state leadership team as well as local implementation. Aimee Newswanger is positive be-havior support specialist for Hilde-brandt Learning Centers.

2014 Recognition Ceremony at the PAPBS Implementers’ Forum

The recognition ceremony at the annual Implementers’ Forum has become an exciting and much-anticipated event. We expect well over 100 local education agencies (LEAs) to be recognized this year for their success-ful, fidelity-based implementation at the Universal level (Tier 1). As in past years, all the recognized teams will be spotlighted during the forum’s opening keynote session. In addition, there will be a special recogni-tion ceremony to present the “fidelity of implementarecogni-tion” banners and badges to all the teams and to pro-vide group photo opportunities. Last year, the recognition ceremony was touted as one of the favorite sessions, everyone throughout the conference center celebrated the teams who were recognized. We antici-pate that this year’s recognition ceremony will be just as successful and encourage you to join us as we cel-ebrate the great outcomes of PBIS implementation throughout the commonwealth! For more information about recognition within PAPBS, please check


national Connections

Pennsylvania Receives

Federal Grant

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Center for Mental Health Services has awarded grants to Pennsylva-nia and six other states to build model programs through the Safe Schools–Healthy Students (SS-HS) Partnership. The purpose of this grant is to create safe and supportive schools and communi-ties by building cooperative part-nerships between Systems of Care and Local Education Agencies (LEAs) over the next four years. Three LEAs have been chosen as demonstration sites for Pennsylva-nia's SS-HS Partnership project, including Lehigh Learning

Achievement School through the IU21 in Lehigh County, PEN-NCREST School District in Craw-ford County, and Northeastern School District in York County. Each LEA will establish evidence-based promotion, prevention,and interventions that lead to safe and effective schools and communi-ties. Other goals include creating state and local leadership teams, developing comprehensive and longitudinal plans to sustain and expand to other school districts, and using data-driven decision-making in all aspects of the safe school model. By implementing these programs, within a PBIS multi-tiered system of support framework and Systems of Care collaboration, Pennsylvania ex-pects to evidence an increase in the number of children and youth who have access to behavioral health services, a decrease in the number of students who abuse substances, an increase in sup-ports for early childhood develop-ment, improvements in school

climate, and a reduction in the number of students who are ex-posed to violence.

For further information regarding the SS-HS Partnership, contact James Palmiero, Ed.D., Director, PaTTAN Pittsburgh, 412-826-2336 or

Participation in national


The PAPBS Network is part of a larger State Community of Prac-tice on School-Based Behavioral Health. As our network continues to support the sustainability and scale-up of PBIS, we have part-nered with leaders across the country to bring cutting edge proj-ects that assist in system develop-ment, data collection and progress monitoring, and the use of evi-dence-based practices. Some of these projects include RENEW, universal screening, the Family Check-Up, and a newly-formed professional learning community for high schools implementing PBIS.

Leaders from the network have featured Pennsylvania’s efforts at several national conferences. This includes the National PBIS Leader-ship Forum, the National Center for School Mental Health Annual conference, and the Association for Positive Behavior Support An-nual Conference. In addition to conference presentations, a recent monograph has been published highlighting work at the state, re-gional, and local level, which in-cludes insights from

Pennsylvania's experiences. The monograph, “Advancing Education Effectiveness: Interconnecting School Mental Health and

School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports,” is available for download on sev-eral websites (,,, and can also ac-cess presentations given at the conferences on these sites. Pennsylvania has been a case study state for the IDEA Partner-ship National Community of Prac-tice on School-Based Behavioral Health. Pennsylvania was featured in January as a keynote at the IDEA Partnership winter meeting in Washington, D.C. Proudly, Pennsylvania will be the host of the National Center for School Mental Health Annnual Confer-ence, which will be held in Pitts-burgh in September 2014.








“School Mental Health:

enhancing Safe, Supportive

and Healthy Schools”

19th Annual Conference on Advancing School Mental


September 18-20, 2014 Wyndham Grand Hotel

Pittsburgh, PA presented by

Center for School Mental Health in collaboration with

IDEA Partnership

Be part of a national community of practice and participate in

work-shops, advanced skills sessions, symposia, and intensive trainings led by diverse and knowledgeable stakeholders. Attendees include cli-nicians, educators, admininstrators,

youth and fmaily members, re-searchers, primary care providers, advocates, and other youth-serving




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