Brag Sheets

Listed below are “brag sheets” from schools who participated in Cohort 1 (2011-2014) and Cohort 2 (2012-2015) of CT’s SPDG. Each of these sheets contain useful and interesting information from each school such as individual experiences, program highlights, performance charts as well as school’s future plans and goals. If you have any questions regarding grant outcomes in these schools, please feel free to contact us. Thank you!

William J. Johnston Middle School

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

When William J. Johnson Middle School in Colchester, CT applied for the grant in 2011 they had a number of practices in place to build on that support academic and behavioral success. With 4 years of PBIS implementation, adoption of a rigorous English, and initial implementation of systemic approach to interventions in reading and math they were poised to take advantage of the tools and technical assistance offered by SPDG.


Highlights:

  • Leadership Team included an effective mix of general and special education staff, school guidance and administration.
  • The administration supported the leadership team with time to attend professional learning and to meet as a work group.
  • Technical assistance provided by the grant to the leadership team helped them make decisions that were focused and coordinated.

The Grant Provided:

  • Focus on the changes they wanted to make in delivery of tier 2 & 3 supports.
  • Tools and an entry point for a new administrator to collaboratively design and implement practices that they knew were needed.
  • Refreshing their PBIS practices.
  • Started framework for systematizing Literacy practices and procedures.

Data & Next Steps:

The SPDG Leadership Team will continue to convene in an advisory role, particularly concerning improving literacy instruction. They will vet what data should be gathered and look for low impact/high yield ways to gather that data as well as ways to replicate some of the systemic practices and procedures to other content areas such as Math.

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for William J. Johnston Middle School

Verplanck Elementary School

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

Verplanck Elementary School’s participation in the CT SPDG was based on their interest in helping their students develop and achieve their full potential. By enhancing and sustaining their PBIS successes, and making connections with their developing SRBI process, teachers received greater support in the design and delivery of high quality literacy instruction, and targeted interventions.


Highlights:

  • As a fourth year PBIS School, Verplanck was able to sustain and refine its schoolwide implementation and expand the continuum of supports for students experiencing behavioral difficulties.
  • The SPDG Leadership Team worked collaboratively with other staff members to align practices across grades, both at Tier 1 and Tiers 2/3, expand resources (e.g,. videos were produced for use in re-teaching behavioral expectations and establishing fidelity), and even involve parents in the process with the introduction of “Parent Paws”.
  • In addition, the PBIS team regularly analyzed their data and adjusted their process and school routines/programming to make more effective for all students (e.g., the staggering of cafeteria arrival and dismissal times reduced the number of behavioral incidents at the start/end of lunchtime; use of “Positive Office Referrals” was an effective motivational tool).
  • Over the course of the grant, Verplanck was able to develop an SRBI process in order to better and more efficiently meet the needs of the growing number of students at risk in literacy, according to the results of their universal screening.
  • In addition, the Leadership Team has explored ways to enhance core instruction in literacy, including student-centered instruction, personalized learning goals, use of formative assessments and differentiated instruction and built capacity by sharing with their teachers.
  • As a result of the work on Education Benefit, IEPs are reflecting more alignment and involvement from general educators, with greater focus on curriculum-based assessments and CCSS.

Data & Next Steps:

  • Continue to analyze and disaggregate literacy data to inform instruction and ensure a continuum of support/interventions for all Verplanck students.
  • Implement SRBI process with fidelity and revise process and documentation as needed at the grade and school-wide levels.
  • Continue regular Leadership Team meetings and take on the role of a school-wide data team for both academics and behavior.

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for Verplanck Elementary School

Sweeney Elementary School

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

Sweeney Elementary School joined the SPDG during the 2011-2012 School Year. Sweeney was very interested and motivated in learning more around implementing Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports.


Highlights:

  • Created a continuum of supports for behavior.
  • Used data to support the decisions.
  • Supported staff with implementation.
  • School wide recognition that involved families.
  • Decrease in Major behavioral incidents.
  • Improved the process in which they review and write IEPs.
  • Welcoming walkthrough yielded great results among families and community.
  • Created and improved their Early Intervention Process.

Data & Next Steps:

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for Sweeney Elementary School



Download the complete Sweeney Elementary School Brag Sheet

“As a parent, I am very satisfied with how welcoming this school is. Staff who know me or don’t know me greet me the same way. I know my children are in a pleasant environment every day. Even if staff are having a bad day, you would not know it. At another school in the district where I work, I can’t even get a good morning back. Attitude and respect are very important to me and are reciprocated regularly here.” – Alex Ramirez, Parent, Sweeney Elementary School

Read School

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

Read School chose to be a part of SPDG to develop consistency, common practices, and a system of recognition for students and teachers.

Read School is a PreK-8 school located in Bridgeport, CT. The 2012 enrollment was 854. The school’s demographics are 7% White, 48% Black, 43% Hispanic, and 3% Other. All students participate in the free and reduced lunch program.


Highlights:

  • A system of behavior support was a key attraction of the grant for the school.
  • The school initially focused on developing a school-wide behavior matrix. Expectations remained consistent throughout the grant and have become part of the school culture.
  • A robust, consistently implemented system of instruction was present.
  • A system of recognition helped students become successful. The school was able to overcome challenges of maintaining consistency, monitoring, and supporting a transient student
  • Prior to participation in the grant, the school had a strong system of support for academics. The school was a leader in implementation across the district.
  • The overall SRBI Self- Assessment score rose from 56.8% to 88.9%.
  • Scores rose in all categories – a highlight was the system of decision-making that improved from 48% to 95%.
  • This improvement may be attributed to a leadership team representative of different service providers and strong support from multiple levels of leadership.

Data & Next Steps:

The school experienced significant staff turnover this year. The Principal, Sandra McLeod, has accepted a position at central office supporting SRBI implementation across multiple schools. Two key team members left for other positions. Given the Principal’s strong support of multi-tiered systems of support, the school will be focusing on how to sustain best practices refined through grant.

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for Read School



Download the complete Read School Brag Sheet

The following were cited as successes by the Assistant Principal: “Staff buy-in, teachers going above and beyond, positive behavior changes, and fidelity of implementation.”

Odyssey Community School

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

Odyssey Community School participated in SPDG because they were undergoing a significant expansion of their charter school, adding grades K through 4 to their existing grades 5 through 8 middle school structure. They were primarily interested in developing a system of tiered literacy interventions for the lower school, reducing inappropriate referrals to special education, and creating Tier II behavior intervention options (e.g., CICO).


Highlights:

  • Establishment of a School Governance Council, resulting in increased input from families.
  • A sustained system of family communication called Student Watch, which involves a weekly progress report for each student sent home.
  • Initiation of a universal behavior chart system for all students that goes home every day.
  • PBIS has given school structure and consistency in behavior management practices school-wide.
  • Special ed teachers are doing more SRBI interventions in mixed general education/special education groups.
  • Initiation of an SRBI literacy intervention block has provided a consistent structure for students to get what they need and for teachers to monitor academic progress.
  • Classroom teachers and interventionists have had opportunities to observe the literacy specialist because she is embedded in the K, 1, 2 literacy block. Previously, she provided all of the Tier II intervention in pull- out groups. The literacy coaching role is evolving.
  • Recognition that ELs have not been receiving the types of literacy support they need.

Data & Next Steps:

  • Maintain SRBI literacy block.
  • Maintain SPDG roles of literacy and PBIS coaches.
  • Expand instructional coaching role for literacy specialist to other grades.
  • Create a new position for an EL tutor to administer the LAS Links and support students; integrate EL support within SRBI.
  • Create a school-wide data team; re-structure grade-level data team meetings to include special education teachers and interventionists one time per month.

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for Odyssey Community School



Download the complete Odyssey Community School Brag Sheet

“SRBI is doing what it is supposed to. It is working so well that the number of special education students has decreased dramatically, and we have also had a serious reduction in the number of special education hours being provided to students. This change has produced a fiscal dilemma for us, though, because our special education services are reimbursed by our twelve sending districts, which goes directly to paying for teachers’ salaries. This year, we had to eliminate a special education teacher position. Special ed teachers are doing more SRBI interventions in mixed general ed/special ed groups. We would be celebrating more with these changes in our data and practice if we were not so financially impacted.”

Oakdale Elementary School

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

Oakdale applied for the SPDG grant to take a closer look at their SRBI process and documentation. They also wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to re-examine their system of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports and improving the effectiveness of their literacy instruction.


Highlights:

  • Oakdale used the grant to take a closer look at the SRBI process and the documentation.
  • The SPDG enabled the practice of having teams share information vertically between grade levels become a reality.
  • Based on the Educational Benefit Review Process, staff are moving to more strengths-based thinking.
  • Oakdale established a School Improvement Team to discuss and implement changes to school processes.
  • With strong student supports already in place, the team examined how they consider and record the data that drives their intervention processes.
  • Oakdale renewed and fortified their PBIS lessons.

Data & Next Steps:

  • Continue the renewal of PBIS process, with a refresher course in SWIS and an expansion of PBIS leadership team.
  • Continue examination of SRBI documentation so that it better reflects the processes that have been found to be so effective at Oakdale.

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for Oakdale Elementary School



Download the complete Oakdale Elementary School Brag Sheet

“Our experience with SPDG helped us to establish our School Improvement Team process, to build meaningful discussions around data, enhance our literacy programming and to move our practice of PBIS to a new level. The expertise and the team building capacity of our technical advisors were invaluable.” – From former principal, Mark Johnson

New Fairfield Consolidated School

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

When Consolidated applied for the SPDG grant, they hoped that it would help bring a “good” school closer to being a “great” school. A look back reveals that they have benefitted from this experience in Systems related to SRBI have been examined for effectiveness. Forms have been many ways. Some changes are obvious while others are more subtle, but all have had an impact on “the way things are done” within the school community.


Highlights:

  • There are dramatic changes, such as the deep influences of PBIS, which are felt as soon as you enter the building.
  • The school motto, Be Truthful, Be Kind and Always Be Safe, as well as our behavioral expectations, are the basis for the colorful posters in every hallway of the school.
  • The “STAR Club” (Students That Act Responsibly) encourages second grade students to take a leadership role at the school.
  • By fully implementing the Effectiveness of Core Instruction (ECI) data review process the staff was able to examine the effectiveness of tiers of intervention in way that had not been done before.
  • Utilizing the ECI data led to some changes in class placement and provided useful data for professional learning communities at the start of the school year.
  • Examination of systems related to SRBI helped to clarify the decision- making process and make the ties between assessment and instruction more aligned.

Data & Next Steps:

  • Continue to implement and expand the systems initiated.
  • Connect the leadership team to the vertical teams to assist in adjustments to systems as needed.
  • Expand PBIS team to include broader school representation.
  • Continue to use and refine the Effectiveness of Core Instruction and strategic decision-making process to bring life to school mission.

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for New Fairfield Consolidated School



Download the complete New Fairfield Consolidated School Brag Sheet

“A truly unexpected change of our participation in the SPDG grant is that it has made us feel more like a big team, which has enhanced collaboration among individuals, teams, within and across grade levels.” – Lynn Fichtel Former Ass’t Principal


Purpose Statement: We are a community of learners dedicated to academic, social and, personal excellence.

Manchester Early Childhood Education Program

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

In January 2012 Manchester Head Start and the Manchester Preschool Center embarked on a joint journey to improve systems for behavior and literacy support. The programs had been sharing some space and administrative and support staff for some time. They decided to delve into CT’s SPDG with one team to represent both programs. It was a real opportunity to establish coherence and collaboration in education for some of Manchester’s youngest students who already benefit from the supports offered by both programs.


Highlights:

  • Improved outcomes for all students in Early Literacy
  • Students with IEPs increased from 16.67% to 55.55% at benchmark for literacy in 2013-14.
  • There has been a decrease in referrals to special education.
  • A new workshop series for families on Shared Reading and Stamina was implemented with great success for both the families and students.
  • Equity: The programs now have a stronger focus on supporting home language of students who are Dual Language Learners.
  • Implementation of PBIS gave the program better defined behavioral expectations resulting in a significant decrease in office referrals.
  • The team created expectation books which are colorful and engaging for pre- school age children.
  • The program now uses screening tools such as the BASC-2 and has added to the availability of individualized social/emotional strategies in the classroom.

Data & Next Steps:

  • The Leadership Team to meet regularly and systematically support the Manchester Early Learning Community, and add other individuals to the membership of the team.
  • Revisit/revise SRBI Process and Flowchart.
  • The team will strengthen the Check in/Check Out Data Collection.

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for Manchester Early Childhood Education Program



Download the complete Manchester Early Childhood Education Program Brag Sheet

“As a result of the SPDG, both programs have more defined behavioral expectations and a systematic means of tracking data” – Shelly Matfess, Assistant Superintendent, Manchester Public Schools

Killingly Memorial School

A Cohort 1 School: 2011 – 2014

Introduction:

Killingly Memorial School applied for the grant in 2011 after working with SERC on some other initiatives. At the beginning of their entry they were working on developing Literacy Practices, Data Collection and revamping their implementation and sustainability of PBIS. The staff was eager to begin the work, regardless of some abrupt changes in leadership after their initial year they built a relationship with SERC and continued to grow and develop throughout our endeavors together.


Highlights:

  • The creation of Data Team structures has enhanced meetings of child study and the EIP / SRBI process.
  • Use of Literacy Universal Screens is now allowing for ongoing assessment of students periodically.
  • Implementation of Data Driven Decision Making around Literacy benchmarks and use of Teacher’s College/ECI Data.
  • Revamping PBIS with Fidelity and solid SET Scores.
  • Sustaining Welcoming Walkthrough Practices and creating a relationship with community members and families.
  • Literacy support is now provided for all students based on prior end of year assessments, therefore allowing students to begin receiving support at the start of the school year.
  • Increased signage and forms of parent communication have been implemented. For example; report card pick up night, special night events for families and various forms of relationship building activities.
  • The Leadership team has built the capacity within the school setting so that all staff and students are familiar with the school-wide expectations and they are implementing PBIS with fidelity.

Read the full CT SPDG Cohort 1 Brag Sheet for Killingly Memorial School



Download the complete Killingly Memorial School Brag Sheet

“SPDG is an experience that we were fortunate to be a part of, the academic and behavioral changes we have implemented not only for the population of students specified within the grant, but for all learners at KMS has enhanced our climate”.


“We are a Small Town, but have staff with Huge Hearts”