professional learning communities
Strengthening Student Support Teams
Thursdays, 3-4pm: Mar. 9, Mar. 16, Mar. 23, Mar. 30, Apr. 6, Apr. 13, Apr. 27, May 4, May 11, May 18
Hosted By: Thriving Minds
While they go by many names (BEST, WIT, and SoC, just to name a few), Student Support Teams (SSTs) play a critical role in connecting kids and families with the interventions they need. A highly functioning SST can make all the difference in a school, but achieving a high-functioning SST demands leadership, intentionality, skill development, and consistency on the part of everyone involved. This ten-session PLC will provide participants with a framework for SST development (composition, purpose, processes, and protocols) with sample tools and templates for each element of this framework. All sessions will be 60 minutes long, alternating between content-oriented sessions (incorporating both presentations and interactive work) and application sessions (highly interactive and participant-centered, with a focus on applying content learning directly to participants' own districts and schools). Our goal will be for each participant to complete the PLC having already made progress on strengthening the SST(s) in their own school or district, and/or with a clear and achievable plan for leading a highly effective SST in 2023-24. This PLC is designed for district and school leaders who are responsible for ensuring effective SSTs (whether or not they personally facilitate the team), and for school-level staff who directly lead or will in the future lead SSTs (assistant principals, school counselors, etc.). Individuals and teams are both welcome. Participants are expected to attend and participate in all sessions. The application sessions are an integral part of this PLC aimed at supporting participants in achieving practical changes/ improvements in their districts and schools, and thus are not optional/drop-in sessions. This PLC will include ten 60-minute sessions alternating between a focus on content and a focus on application.
Building, Deepening, & Leveraging Community Partnerships
Wednesdays, 9-10:30am: Mar. 29, Apr. 5, Apr. 12, Apr. 26
Hosted By: Walker
Many of us are working to engage community-based organizations to strengthen systems of social-emotional and behavioral health care for staff, students, and families--but how do we establish and sustain the elements of strong community partnerships? This four-session series will explore: (1) Resource Mapping. Who is at the table? Who might be missing? What intersecting initiatives across community domains could be coordinated within the view of behavioral health across the three tiers of intervention? (2) Data Counts. What school- and community-level data are we collecting and able to use in order to determine what is having a positive impact on students, or where gaps and needs persist? (3) Fine-tuning Systems. Have we built in systems of integration? How can we think about aspects such as working agreements that clearly state roles and functions across each of the three tiers, along with other elements such as referral procols and data sharing? (4) Creating Sustainability. What are different funding streams available to schools and communities? What investments can be made through joint professional development training, and how can coaching be coordinated so that school and community-based clinicians are able to work together to support classroom practices and intervention plans for students with higher levels of need? This series will include voices from both the school and community mental health vantage point, discussing challenges and solutions. This PLC is designed for school leaders/administrators; general education teachers; special education teachers; and school adjustment/mental health counselors. School participants are strongly encouraged to include one or more community-based mental health representatives. Both individuals and teams are welcome. In addition to four 2-hour sessions, this PLC will also include follow-up technical assistance.
Where Are Going & How Do We Get There?: Using Data to Meet Outcomes
Hosted By: Walker
Research and experience often indicate that data-based decision-making is more effective for designing and assessing supports and interventions than relying solely on anecdotes and opinions. In this series, we will identify what data your school/district is currently collecting, including both individual- and system-level data; how the data is being used; and what data is missing and whether and how it may be obtained. Additionally, we will engage in discussions and practice focused on desired outcomes, the data needed to assess progress toward these outcomes, and strategies for measuring fidelity. A process for evaluation and action planning will be presented and materials will be provided to bring this process to your school.
Integrating SEL into Academic Instruction
Thursdays, 9-10am: Mar. 16, Mar. 23, Mar. 30
Hosted By: EDC
This session will focus on supporting school-based staff to authentically integrate SEL practices into academic instruction. Specifically, we will discuss how to utilize the academic content and pedagogical expertise of teachers to embed implicit and explicit strategies into lesson plans, classroom routines, and student interactions. We will provide guidance and resources for SEL integration, as well as share best practices and lessons learned from across multiple districts. This PLC is designed for school leaders/administrators; district leaders/administrators; general education teachers; special education teachers; school adjustment/mental health counselors. Both individuals and teams are welcome. This PLC will include three 60-minute sessions and follow-up technical assistance.
Culturally Responsive SEL Practices
Tuesdays, 2-3pm: Mar. 28, Apr. 4, Apr. 11
Hosted By: EDC
A key goal of many schools and educators is to promote the social and emotional development of all students. To do so, it is important to consider how the school-wide and classroom-based SEL practices we implement support the social-emotional growth of students from different cultures, racial groups, sexual orientations, and gender identities. This PLC will provide participants with tools for reflecting, planning, and implementing SEL practices that are culturally responsive across identity groups. It will include discussions on how to reflect on our own culture and biases, how to engage various stakeholders in conversation about culturally responsive practices, and ultimately, how to ensure that SEL practices support all of our students. This PLC is designed for school leaders/administrators; district leaders/administrators; general education teachers; special education teachers; school adjustment/mental health counselors. Both individuals and teams are welcome. This PLC will include three 60-minute sessions and follow-up technical assistance.
TIERs II and III
Using Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) to Support Tier II Interventions: CBT for Individuals and Groups
Tuesdays, 2-3:30pm: Mar. 7, Mar. 14, Apr. 4, Apr. 11 (content sessions)
Thursdays, 2-3pm: Mar. 9, Mar. 16, Apr. 6, Apr. 13* (application sessions; *note that the session on 4/13 will run from 2:30-3:30)
Hosted By: Thriving Minds
Our students' mental health needs have never been more prevalent. In order to ensure we are best prepared to support them effectively, we must orient to the use of evidence-based practices that address the specific areas where our students are struggling the most. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is an evidence-based approach to the delivery of counseling services that is the gold-standard approach for addressing anxiety, depression, and trauma, concerns that have extremely high prevalence rates among our youth. Participants will be provided foundational professional development to understand the cognitive model, learn how to deliver CBT to individuals and in groups, employ specific CBT techniques, and design interventions that are purposeful, goal-oriented, and sensitive to change over time. Practical resources to support the application of techniques and organization of sessions will be offered as well. We will alternate between 90-minute content-oriented sessions (incorporating both presentations and interactive work) and 60-minute application sessions (highly interactive and participant-centered, with a focus on local application of the content). Our goal is to support participants in understanding what CBT is, why it is such an important and effective intervention in the school setting, and how to effectively embed this approach into your work with students. This PLC is most applicable for school mental health staff (school counselors, adjustment counselors, school social workers, and school psychologists) and administrators who support school mental health staff. Individuals and teams are both welcome. Participants are expected to attend and participate in all sessions. The application sessions are an integral part of this PLC aimed at supporting participants in achieving practical changes/improvements in their districts and schools, and thus are not optional/drop-in sessions. This PLC will include four 90-minute content sessions and four 60-minute application sessions.
Enriching Family School Partnerships to Strengthen Student Success: Designing and Planning for Next Year
Tuesdays, 3:15-4:30pm: May 2, May 9, May 16, May 23
Hosted By: Walker
This series will provide participants with the tools to build stronger family school partnerships that lead to greater student success. This PLC will help educators develop their skills to build better relationships with families, with a focus on equity and developing trust. Session topics will examine mindsets, biases, and systemic and operational barriers to move educators toward increasingly impactful practices. Educators will be guided to enhance their strategies, tactics, and design of practices while focusing on a specific action plan unique to them and their school community. Participants will create a vision for family engagement while also digging into research-based frameworks that can serve as guideposts. There will be time to develop action plans to target what each participant or team finds most challenging in their school context. This PLC is designed for school leaders/administrators; general education teachers; special education teachers; and school adjustment/mental health counselors. Both individuals and teams are welcome. This PLC has a maximum of 50 participants. In addition to four 90-minute sessions, this PLC will also include follow-up technical assistance.