Spring is a time to review the effectiveness of your plan, and stakeholder input is a critical part of your comprehensive annual review. The Primary Intervention Rating Scale (PIRS) is one way to gather input from staff, but how does your team gather input from additional stakeholders throughout the year? We’ve learned from the work of researchers on Positive Behavioral Supports that the most successful schools build the system with their stakeholders instead of having it be something they do to them!
Your school should provide multiple, accessible methods for gathering input. This can be accomplished through providing in-person or virtual town hall events, hosting coffee with the principal events, using physical or virtual comment boxes, encouraging email or phone communication, and strategically using surveys. As you think about the logistics of gathering input, be sure to provide access to more than just the easily reached groups such as parent teacher organizations and student leadership teams. Those are great places to start, but input should be gathered from diverse groups of stakeholders who accurately represent the entire school community. In this post we will share four key ways you can ramp up your plan for stakeholder involvement!
Gather Input on Components of RTI2-B
Regardless of how long your school has been implementing RTI2-B, each year your team should revisit your school-wide expectations to ensure the values of your school community are reflected. Getting input from staff, students, and families on your behavioral expectations matrix helps create consistency across all settings, including home and the community. The Appendix of the PBIS Cultural Responsiveness Field Guide has great examples on how to meaningfully do this.
It is important to gather input on all aspects of your school’s RTI2-B plan, including the acknowledgment system and discipline process. Review this example RTI2-B Survey for Families for inspiration on how your team can ask questions regarding a variety of topics. To improve communication and strategic relationship building with families, consider adapting this Beginning of the Year Questionnaire.
Target Specific Needs Before Family Nights
Another way to gather input from families is to survey interests and needs before scheduling school events. Typically, virtual or in-person family nights are scheduled and added to the calendar without any input from the people the event is designed to support.
When would be the best time of day for these sessions to be held to accommodate work schedules of our families? Can we hold two sessions? If attendance has been an issue, including questions about time, day, and childcare needs could help improve the ability for families to attend.
As you think about the upcoming school year and engaging participation, survey families on topics that are of interest before setting the calendar. Are families looking for tips on how to support behavior at home? Do families need information on requesting assistance for academic, social, or behavioral needs? Do families want help preparing for an upcoming transition? Would it be helpful to have community partners provide information on available resources? There is no way to know what families need unless you ask, and being asked will also help families feel more supported and connected to the school.
Data will help your team plan which topics to include at family night events, but data should also be used to measure the effectiveness of those events. Evaluation forms about the family night can easily be completed in-person or electronically so your team has specific information on what aspects were most beneficial, the timing of the event, the usefulness of resources shared, and ways the event could be improved in the future. Consider customizing the Department of Youth & Community Development’s Workshop Evaluation Form.
An evaluation form could also fold in to your acknowledgement system, because families who complete the form could earn a treat at the event, be entered into a drawing, or mark it off on their Family Involvement Passport. Just because family nights tend to follow the same formula every year does not mean there isn’t room for improvement! Review this brief for more information about acknowledging family and community members as part of your school-wide plan.
Establish Stakeholder Representation on RTI2-B Teams
Having student, family, and community representation on your RTI2-B team is another critical way to gather consistent input and facilitate involvement. As you invite members to join your team, it is important to clearly define their role and key responsibilities so that everyone is informed. Consider including something like this description in your Implementation Manual! Remember, Tier I meetings are a time to be reviewing school-wide data and discussing how to strengthen and implement components of the plan. These meetings are not a time to be discussing confidential information such as individual students. Are there any other concerns your team may have that is limiting stakeholder participation on your team? Have those conversations so you can start bridging the gap between the team and your stakeholders.
Review the following briefs from our Student Involvement Series to help your team decide how to include students in the development, implementation, and evaluation of your school-wide plan. It is not too late to include students before the end of the year!
Researchers in Washington developed tools to gather input from staff and students on positive behavior supports in their building. The Staff Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (SPBD), The Student Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (StPBD), and the Mini Student Perceptions of Behavior and Discipline (Mini-StPBD) are all designed to help your team with the planning and implementation of your school-wide plan. These surveys and reports are free of charge and can be requested directly from their website.
We know stakeholder involvement is no small feat. As you complete your action plan this spring, start with the simplest things you can do to improve your stakeholders’ role in your RTI2-B plan. Over time you will see the benefits to involving students, families, and community members, and additional ways to include these stakeholders will naturally evolve!