RTI Means Behavior Too

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					      Building Bridges for Students
      with Behavioral Health Needs

Colorado Connections for Healthy
       February 8 ,2011

  Barb Bieber, Colorado Department of Education
  Denise McHugh, Center for Systems Integration
 Amy Engelman, Colorado Department of Education
Laying the Foundation for
        the Bridge
    The Need

• 1 in 5 Children have a diagnosable mental illness,
  including substance abuse. (Surgeon General’s
  report, 1999)
• 5% have an extreme functional impairment
• 75% of youth (ages 6-17) did not receive services*
• For the majority, the only mental health services they
  receive is in the schools**
* Katoaka,S, American Journal of Psychiatry, 2002
** Burns, G. et. al., Health Affairs, 1995
                                        In Colorado

• 49,364 children with SED (& 3005 of poverty level)
• 30,839 received services through the mental health
• 18,525 (38%) children with SED did not receive any
  services to address their mental health needs*
• Too few children in Colorado have health insurance,
  causing Colorado to be ranked 44th nationwide.**
*Population in Need of Mental Health Services, 2009
** 2010 Kids Count in Colorado, Colorado Children’s Campaign
            Students with SIED Have
             Poorest Outcomes

•   Lowest grade point averages
•   Poorest attendance
•   Highest level of drop-out
•   Difficulty holding jobs after school
•   Youth Corrections – 59% of average daily
    population had moderate to severe mental
    health needs.
                     Impact of Untreated Problems:
                      Schools and Behavioral Health

• 2,381 students expelled*
• 71,826 suspensions
• 2,284 students placed in day treatment,
  hospital, or residential programs because
  school districts could not meet their special
  needs in 2008

* for drug and alcohol violations, assaults & weapons & disruptive behavior in 2006-
           Impact of Untreated Problems:
             Youth Risk Behavior Survey

• 25.4% of Colorado adolescents report
• 7.6 % of adolescents report attempting
• 30.6% of adolescents report binge drinking
  causing Colorado to be ranked 41st in the
** The Colorado Health Foundation – Youth Risk Behavior
  Survey, 2009
                          Mental Health Intervention Is
                            Important from a Student

• Research* evidence that promoting social and
  emotional skills plays a critical role in improving
  academic performance:
• 10 % points higher on achievement tests
• Better attendance
• More constructive behavior, less disruptive
• Like school more
• Better grade point averages
“No Emotion Left Behind,” NYT, 2007
          MH Intervention is Important
         from the Teacher’s Perspective

• 1/3 of teachers leave profession within the
  first 4 years due to students with behavior
• In a poll of AFT teachers, 17 % said they lost 4
  + hours of teacher time per week due to
  disruptive student behavior
• 19% more said they lost 2 to 3 hours
           Bridges that Work in Colorado

• Response to Intervention
• School-wide Positive Behavior Supports
• Building Bridges Grant
           Applying RtI/PBIS

• RtI/PBIS is a comprehensive framework that
  addresses prevention & early intervention
• School systems tend to under-identify
  students with S/E/B problems
• Identification is often delayed until middle
  school or HS
         RtI/PBIS Means Behavior Too

Systemic reform that includes:
• Well-defined, multi-tiered system of supports
• Universal screening for behavior
• Problem Solving Process
• High quality, evidence-based practices
• Progress Monitoring/ assessment
• Family involvement
                                     Behavior and Academics
                                           Are Linked

                             Improvements in student behavior and school
                               climate are related to improvements in
                               academic outcomes.

                                    Fleming et al., 2005; Kellam et al., 1998; McIntosh et al., 2006;
                                    Nelson et al., 2006; Nelson et al., 1996; Wentzel, 1993

Talking points on School-wide Positive Behavior Support & school-based mental health (2006). National Center on
               Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Center on Behavioral Education and Research, University
               of Connecticut, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Support Website:
            PBIS Initiative began in 2002

• Schools face a set of difficult challenges today
       • Multiple expectations (Academic accomplishment,
         Social competence, Safety)
       • Students arrive at school with a wide range of
         academic and behavioral needs.
       • Traditional “get tough” and “zero tolerance”
         approaches are insufficient to address these needs.
• Individual student interventions
       • Effective, but inefficient
• School-wide support systems
       • Establish a positive culture within which both social
         and academic success is more likely
We Are…
                                                  Average Suspensions
                                               One Year After PBS Implementation
                                                                                     PBS In-School
Average Number (per school)

                              40                                                     Suspensions

                                                                                     PBS Out-of-School
                              30                                                     Suspensions

                              20                                                     Colorado In-School
                              10                                                     Colorado Out-of-
                                                                                     School Suspensions
                                   2004-2005       2005-2006             2006-2007

                                                 School Year
      Middle School
Office Discipline Referrals
      Per Day Per 100 Students
Impact of PBIS
             Screening at the
             Universal Level
• A system for screening for S-E & behavioral
• Examples of screening information:
  attendance, tardy patterns, discipline
  referrals, health history, suspension incidents
Significant decline in academic grades
Use ESW standards as guidelines
               Universal Mental
              Health Interventions
• Defining and teaching behavioral expectations
• A positive acknowledgement system for
• Social – Emotional Learning, e.g., a universal
  curriculum, such as Life Skills Training for
  substance abuse prevention
• Families are engaged
       Targeted Mental Health
• Standard protocol interventions = small group,
  supplemental supports
• Evidence-based & implemented with fidelity
• Strategies to support & encourage academic
  engagement can be a powerful behavioral
          Examples of Targeted
        Mental Health Interventions

• Self-monitoring
• Social skills development
• Check-in Check-out Program
• Re-teaching expectations
• Targeted social-emotional curriculum, such as
  Second Steps & Anger Replacement Therapy
• Families included in collaborative problem-
                 Intensive Interventions

•   A Functional Behavioral Assessment (FBA)
    is used to guide the development of an
    individual Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP)
•   Interventions are usually needed for both
    academics and behavior
•   Includes community collaboration and/or
    wraparound services
•   Families provide support at home.
          Critical Importance
           of Relationships
• Positive school climate and student
  connectedness to school are largely based on
• Connectedness is associated with:
   1. School attendance,
   2. Academic performance
   3. Reduced involvement in risk behavior
   4. Reduced drop outs
              PBS Model and Behavioral
                   Health Services
Greater the need – greater
  the need for collaboration
• Families
• Mental Health/Substance
• Human Services
• Healthcare
• Law Enforcement
• Judicial System
      Institute of Medicine Report

Preventing Mental, Emotional and Behavioral
 Disorders Among Young People: Progress and

               March, 2009
          Prevention is a Priority

• ½ of all mental illnesses occur by age 14; ¾
  occur before age 24
• Need to refocus the mental health system on
  prevention activities
• Includes training teachers, health and child
  care providers to support the emotional and
  behavioral health of young people.
           Report Reinforces the
               Need for:
• The Public Health Approach used by PBIS
• Integrated strategies
• Using schools as the optimal setting for health
  promotion programs
• A shared agenda, with schools, families &
  community MH working together to build a
  continuum of interventions.
           Building a Bridge Together

Integrated Approach
                  System of Care:
                 Essential Elements

A system of care is a coordinated, integrated
  networking of community-based services and
Systems are governed by core values, including:
 Child-centered & strengths based
 Family focused,
 Community-based
 Culturally competent
             System of Care Framework

                  Health        Family
                 Services      Support
     Justice                               DHS/
     Services                              Child
                     CHILD &                Services
  Vocational         FAMILY
   Services                             Health
             Substance       Legal
               Abuse        Services
 Role of the State & Communities:
Building Bridges between Systems
                    Building Bridges:
             Integrated PBS/SOC Approach

• 18 month grant + 1 year extension to 10/14/10
• Build statewide infrastructure to:
   – Support the integration of Positive Behavior
     Interventions & Supports and the System of Care
     (SOC) approaches
   – Improve outcomes of students in Colorado.
• Mesa County is the Demonstration Site
• Schools across the county implementing this
  integrated approach report:
   – Increased collaboration with MH & other agencies
   – Improved outcomes for students
             Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
          Collaboration with
         Community MH Centers
• 100% of Colorado’s 17 community mental
  health centers have school-based services
• Inconsistent & fragmented funding
• BB Grant: Promote school-based services and
  state policies for increased funding
                      System of Care :
                   Effective in Colorado
Colorado Cornerstone School Outcomes:
• GPA significantly improved within 6 mos. & then
  maintained through 36 mos.
• Significant decrease in In-School Detention from intake
  (42%) through 36-mos (22%).
• Significant decrease in suspensions from intake (48%)
  through 36-mos (22%).
• Expulsions fell from 8.3% to 1.8%.
• Parent satisfaction with child’s school significantly
  improved from intake through 36 mos.
Crossing the Bridge Together
       Building Bridges as a Change Agent

Better outcomes come from:
– Fostering collaborative partnerships with youth
  and families
– Interagency collaboration
– Individualized community-based care
          Seeing Youth & Parents as
Collaboration involves:
• Shared responsibility
• Shared goals
• Working together

• Supportive relationships
• Realistic arrangements
• Responsible information exchange
• Flexible, shared approaches to gauging failure or success
               Role of State and
           Local Family Organizations

• Build and train a cadre of knowledgeable, competent
  and passionate youth & family-leaders across the
  state and local communities.

• Train youth and parents to support others who are
  accessing mental health and other services for their

• Promote policy and system change efforts to ensure
  positive outcomes for youth and their families.

Intensive – Tier 3
 Special efforts for a few youth &
Targeted – Tier 2
 Additional supports to boost
 some youth & families
Universal – Tier 1
 Opportunities afforded to
 all youth & families
              Universal Strategies : 1st Tier

•   Create a welcoming environment
•   Solicit youth & family input
•   Provide an orientation
•   Establish ongoing communication
•   Sponsor social activities
           Moving to Solutions

        National                        Building Bridges

                                • PBS & RTI means that families
What makes families feel          should be treated as equal
                                • Both teachers and families
                                  benefit when youth & parents are
Families feel welcome when        knowledgeable.
    they are treated with
respect and they are viewed     • Youth & parents feel more
                                  comfortable working with
 as partners in helping their     teachers who help and respect
          children.               them.

 Moving to Solutions cont’d
National         Building Bridges

           • Mesa creating a family
             resource guide for parents
             to navigate the systems.
           • Person centered planning
             will be implemented to help
             families and their children
             during transitions. i.e.
             middle to high school

            Targeted Strategies : 2nd Tier

• Connect families with each other.
• Offer families education and training.
• Take advantage of meetings with youth and
• Recruit youth and family members to serve on
  advisory groups.
           Moving to Solutions

        National                     Building Bridges
Parents feel welcome when      • Include parents in school in-
their school provides          • Educated families feel supported
opportunities for them to        and better connected.
connect with other parents.    • Educated families better able to
                                 express the “Youth & Family
One parent noted that it is    • Promote opportunities for equal
clear the school is reaching     youth/parent partnerships with
out to parents “when it
                               • Mandate family collaboration in
throws you that rope”.           RTI and PBS.

             Moving to Solutions
          National                   Building Bridges

• Use school in-service        • NAMI -”Parents and Teachers As
                                 Allies” scheduled as an in-service
  training days to increase      for teachers
  mental health awareness         – Addresses stigma on mental
  and evidence-based                  health issues
  practices.                      – Parents not blamed for having
                                      a “bad kid”
• Have every school produce    • Social/Emotional norms adapted
                                 to help in with early intervention
  a brochure that gives
  families information about
  how to specifically access
  mental health services in
  their community
             Intensive Strategies : 3rd Tier

• Tailor approaches to each family
• Repair relationships between youth, their
  family and the school.
• Hire Family Advocate/Liaison to work with
                 MOVING TO SOLUTIONS

National                     Building Bridges
  Parents feel overwhelmed   • Implement PBIS across the
  and isolated by lack of      district at all levels so that
  information                  Mesa families and children
                               will have a more positive
.                              school experience
                             • Provide staff training to help
                               meet the needs of children
                               with behavioral health
                             • Referral protocol between
                               schools with the community
                               mental health center


• Family Driven Care Are We There Yet?
   The road map for system transformation for family members,
   educators, and mental health professionals. May 2007
Albert J. Duchnowski, Ph.D.; Krista Kutash, Ph.D.

Department of Child and Family Studies
Luis de la Parte Florida Mental Health Institute
University of South Florida
      Building Bridges for Children’s
            Behavioral Health

   Key Informant
Interview and Focus
   Group Results
    October 2008

• Increase training on behavioral health for teachers, principals,
  and other school staff
• Increase awareness of and competence at referring families
• Ensure strength-based strategies such as PBIS are fully
• Address barriers to accessing services
• Address bullying and teasing of children and youth with special
• Expand family involvement at both the individual case level and
  in the many collaborative efforts in Mesa County.
           Mesa School District’s
            Identified Goals:
• Create a school-wide prevention model that
  integrates services at the universal and targeted
   – Create mentally healthy classrooms (PBIS)
   – Train teachers on early warning signs
   – Utilize data collected through the RTI process to support
     appropriate mental health referrals
   – Use school mental health professionals to provide support
     though RTI framework
   – Involve families as essential partners
            Sustaining the Bridge

•   Policy
•   Tools
•   Training
•   Partners
•   Resources
             Policy: Social-Emotional
• Initially identified by Mesa SD & endorsed by
  Grant Leadership Team
• Ultimately included in CDE’s recently
  approved Comprehensive Health & PE Stds.
• Explicit standards for “Emotional and Social
  Wellness” and also social skills in “Prevention
  and Risk Management” & “Physical & Personal
              S-E Competencies Can Be
            Successfully Taught in Schools*

• Improved Academics
  – Improved grades
  – Increased performance on achievement tests
  – Increased graduation rates
• Improved Behavior
  – Improved attendance
  – More commitment & attachment to school
  – Reduced suspensions, expulsions & grade retention

  *Weissberg & Obrien, 2004; Elias, 2006
       Mesa: Why Social Emotional Standards?

• Promote social emotional development of all
• Help to identify those who lag behind &
  present an opportunity for early intervention
• Common language across agencies with
          “Emotional & Social Wellness”
            Third Grade Expectations
• 1. Utilize skills to treat self & others with care
  & respect
• 2. Demonstrate interpersonal communication
  skills to support positive interactions with
  families, peers, and others
• 3. Demonstrate positive social behaviors
  during class
      “Scripts” for Conversations
            with Parents

• “Talking points” for teachers to call parents
  when students are behind in social-emotional
  development or present other behavioral
• Aligned with RtI/PBIS
• Response from teachers is extremely positive
           Referral Protocols

• Create a streamlined way for schools to refer
  students and families for behavioral health
• School point person makes referral
• Referral is tracked at CMHC
• Connection is made with the family
• Family permission encouraged to allow cross
  system support for student connecting home,
  school and counselor
              Referral Protocols

• Improved relationship between schools and
• Increased access for students and families to
  CMHC services
• Enhanced ability to work across systems to
  support student & family
  – Goal alignment between home, school, CMHC
  – Incentives & consequences
  – Open communication & real time data
                 Fact Sheets
              Parents & Teachers

• Provide tips for teachers and parents to support
  students in school
• Highlight specific mental health issues, e.g.,
  depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder, conduct
  disorder, OCD, etc.
• Include educational implications & proactive
  instructional strategies
• Available at
             Training for teachers
            & community partners

• Mental Health First Aid for families, school staff,
  resource officers, probation officers
• Parents and Teachers as Allies
Lessons Learned:
• Provide 20-30 minute segments for learning
• Identify training available in multiple venues
• Establish booster sessions to reinforce learning
          Mental Health Integration
            Grants in Colorado
• Aurora Community Mental Health Center &
  Cherry Creek School District
• Adams County School Districts along with
  District Attorneys Office
• Pueblo School District
              Steps to Build Bridges
               In your community:

• Raise awareness: use your PBIS data
• Consider focus groups with families and youth for input
• Connect mental health center work with schools / PBIS
• Train parents, school and community partners on
  mental health and substance abuse concerns and
  available resources
• Identify and link to community resources and providers
• Link PBIS with family organizations
                 Resources to
              Support Your Efforts

• Way To Go: School Success for Children with Mental Health
  Care Needs:
• Colorado Department of Education: School-wide Positive
  Behavior Support homepage:
• Colorado Department of Education Response to Intervention
  Tools and Resources
• The Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health
  Colorado Chapter
• The Center for Systems Integration
                Building Bridges
              Contact Information
Barb Bieber, Colorado Department of Education
Denise McHugh, Center for Systems Integration
Margie Grimsley, Federation of Families for Children's Mental
   Health~Colorado Chapter, 303 455-5928,
Kirsten Tyler: Building Bridges Family Representative, Federation
   of Families for Children’s Mental Health Mesa County

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