February 2013

New Staff

Jennifer Evertsen, Research and Evaluation Coordinator

I have over 10 years of experience conducting qualitative and quantitative research in statewide academic and community organizations. I also teach evaluation and research methods at a local university and serve as lead investigator on projects related to racial and cultural disparities. I strive to communicate the whole “data story” by producing scientifically sound data reports in addition to assisting with the communication and translation of these data for quality improvement. My research interests are specific to interdisciplinary practices where research/evaluation transcends the scope of a single discipline and encourages the integration of ideas from an interdisciplinary lens that can challenge and strengthen organizational practices. 

Screening and Progress Monitoring 

Space is still available for Screening and Progress Monitoring session in Minocqua March 14-15. Screening and progress monitoring is essential to effective RtI implementation at all levels. This series of regional trainings, now offered by Wisconsin RtI Center staff, will help schools establish or refine the necessary steps for an effective screening and progress monitoring process. 

Based on input from past attendees, the training has been significantly revised and improved to be more responsive to your school’s needs.

This new version of the training includes information on:

  • facilitated activities regarding identifying outcomes
  • using tools to identify screening measures, benchmarks, and progress monitoring
  • how to organize, review, and dig deeper with the data.

See our calendar of events for more information and to register. Registration closes March 7.

Annual Completion of the SIR 

As of the end of January 2012, 813 schools have completed a School-wide Implementation Review (SIR) in either mathematics or reading. Many schools are using this valuable tool to get a baseline evaluation of their RtI implementation. 

The SIR is not only a tool for inital baseline assessment; it is also valuable as an annual progress monitoring self-assessment. Therefore this tool is most powerful when taken annually to track RtI implementation. Only 35 schools have completed a second SIR in reading and 17 in mathematics.

School teams should use their SIR results and data as part of their annual action planning process. 

Record High Percentages of Schools Implementing PBIS

We are thrilled to share that the percentages of schools implementing PBIS and schools implementing PBIS at tier 1 with fidelity are at all-time highs. Of the Wisconsin schools that have been trained in PBIS (1037 schools), almost all are also implementing (997 schools or 96 percent). To be counted as implementing, the PBIS school team needs to have completed at least one assessment on the PBIS Assessments website. Even more impressive is that of these implementing schools, 60 percent (619 schools) are implementing with fidelity.

This is very exciting data. It highlights the value of the PBIS trainings and shows that school teams trained in PBIS feel empowered go on to implement, many at fidelity. Because student-level outcomes are seen after implementing with fidelity, reaching that goal is an important milestone for every school.

Keep up the good work!

Culturally Responsive Practices

Culturally responsive practices is an approach to teaching; it is a part of the skill, craft, and art of teaching. It is the practice of taking the best of teaching methods and applying them to teaching students whose culture differs from the dominant culture in our society and school system.

Gloria Ladson-Billings (UW-Madison) coined the term “cultural relevancy” in 1994. It is a way of teaching that “empowers students intellectually, socially, emotionally, and politically by using culture to impart knowledge, skills, and attitudes.”

Key components of culturally responsive practices are

  • teachers who are culturally competent about their students’ cultural beliefs and practices;
  • teachers who think of all of their students as capable learners, have high expectations for them, and help the students set short and long term goals for themselves;
  • teachers who know each student and draw on the students’ own experiences to help them learn;
  • teachers who have a wide variety of teaching strategies and skills to engage the students;
  • teachers who can help the students deal with the inequitable treatment of students of color and other underserved populations by helping them become critically conscious and knowledgeable about the students' culture; and
  • teachers who can create a bridge between the students’ home and school lives while meeting district and state curricular requirements.

Using Disaggregated Data in PBIS

The use of data within PBIS is as essential to the development and sustainability of a healthy RtI framework as air and water are to the human body. If teams are not disaggregating their data and looking for patterns and trends and are instead plodding along and making decisions on systems and practices because they “seem right,” then they are perpetuating inefficiency and ineffectiveness. Follow this link to read an article that reviews the creation of precision statements, action planning based on precision statements, and disaggregating the typical data sets for a PBIS framework.

Space Available for Screening and Progress Monitoring

Space is still available for Screening and Progress Monitoring session in Minocqua March 14-15.  

Screening and progress monitoring is essential to effective RtI implementation at all levels. This series of regional trainings, now offered by Wisconsin RtI Center staff, will help schools establish or refine the necessary steps for an effective screening and progress monitoring process.  

Based on evaluations, implementation data from SIR, and identified needs in the state, the training has been significantly revised and improved to be more responsive to schools’ needs. This new version of the training includes information on:

  • facilitated activities regarding identifying outcomes
  • using tools to identify screening measures, benchmarks, and progress monitoring
  • how to organize, review, and dig deeper with the data.

See our calendar of events for more information and to register. Registration closes March 7.

Success Stories

Lake Geneva Middle School

Due to Lake Geneva Middle School’s recent implementation of Target Time as part of a multi-level system of support, students are gaining confidence, teachers are having rich conversations regarding student growth and data, and parents are encouraged by their child’s growth in the classroom. Target Time provides students with 35 minutes of additional instruction or enrichment in reading or mathematics four times a week. “You can literally see the increase in student engagement and confidence as a result of the additional supports and extensions being offered to students. Recent data supports this as well,” commented Anne Heck, principal at Lake Geneva Middle School. 

So how did this middle school find 35 extra minutes within their school day? “We used the 12 minutes a day from advisory time and took two minutes from every hour and three minutes from study hall for a total of 35 minutes,” explained Heck. “Schools really have to think outside of the box to find this additional time, but it can be done.” During this time, students are divided among the entire staff to receive enrichment or additional help in reading or mathematics based on their individual learning needs. Measure of Academic Progress (MAP) scores are used to form the different groups. Administrators are also scheduled into a reading or mathematics classroom twice a week to help with students receiving intensive supports. 

Grade-level teams meet weekly to discuss the type of instruction students are receiving during Target Time and how the students are responding to that instruction. At least once a month after school, exploratory teachers join those conversations. “The cross-curricular conversations that include the exploratory, PE, and music departments are invaluable. More conversations are being held about math and how to help students,” Heck said.

Even though the initial implementation of Target Time has required additional work, teachers state they are seeing positive differences in the classroom. “I found it important to create the schedules and handle the logistics in order for teachers to focus on designing instruction. Additionally, we have received positive feedback from parents and students as well,” Heck said. While Heck is the first to admit that they are just starting this work, she feels it is well worth the effort and is happy to share ideas and lessons learned with other middle schools. 

Tremper High School

Submitted by Brian Gieger, assistant principal

I was first introduced to PBIS when I started at Tremper High School in summer 2012. The PBIS team at Tremper worked on many initiatives during that summer, including a poster contest for the students. These posters were hung around the school to promote our Quad 4 of Be Responsible, Be Respectful, Be Safe, and Be your Best. Power T’s have become our staple of the PBIS incentive program and include giving away T-shirts, gift cards, and bicycles donated from local businesses. A marketing class worked on increasing the safety and movement of students in the hallway by putting down lines and arrows of tape to create a better flow of traffic. Many other initiatives have also been implemented at Tremper High School, including the Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse program, bullying prevention, and Success Highways. The following data is attributed to all the hardworking and wonderful staff at Tremper High School.

Referrals during the first semesters:

  • 2010: 1200
  • 2011: 861
  • 2012: 716

Out-of-school incidents:

  • 2010/2011: 827 
  • 2011/2012: 444 
  • 2012/2013 (first half of the school year): 144 

In-school suspensions:

  • 2010/2011: 614
  • 2011/2012: 544
  • 2012/2013 (first half of the school year): 93

Our PBIS team meets on a regular basis. In these meetings we discuss data, goals, and ideas to continue to evolve Tremper High School into a positive place to study, have fun, and grow to become the best person you can be academically, behaviorally, and socially through clubs and sports. In spring 2012, Tremper High School finished a huge project creating a PBIS video with well over 250 students and numerous staff involved including a math teacher, Mrs. Hansen, who directed and helped create the PBIS video. 

Finally, I am excited to announce that Tremper High School is a tier 1 school in PBIS and will be training our tier 2 team in the spring of 2013. Go Trojans! 

If you have any questions or just want to talk about getting started with PBIS or any other initiatives please do not hesitate to call me at 262-359-2214 or email me at Bgeiger@KUSD.edu.