SSWNetwork/SSWAA LiveChat With Dr. Hank Bohanon on increasing staff “buy-in” for MTSS & DOing SSW During COVID-19
Sharing another interesting and informative SSWNetwork/SSWAA LunchTime LiveChat, with a big thanks to my guest Dr. Hank Bohanon, MTSS and SpEd expert (and Loyola School of Ed Prof) for sitting in and sharing the tools and strategies he’s used to help build staff buy-in for SEL & prevention work via MTSS. Lots of great tools and links here, and it’s great to welcome Hank on as a regular contributor to SSWN going forward, sharing the great work he’s doing on his blog and with his research projects.
Have an idea for a topic or somebody who could be my guest co-host? Let me know here or at [email protected] and see you every Monday, Wed., & Friday for our regular SSWNetwork/SSWAA LunchTime LiveChats, 11-Noon central time, from now until the COVID-19 crisis is over. Join SSWNetwork for free here, and check out SSWAA’s COVID-19 resources here.
Professor Bohanon’s intro to our LiveChat time with him: “Have you ever worked with a salesperson you really liked? Perhaps the person helped you purchase a car, computer, or home. What we like about good salespeople is that they seem to know our needs. Great salespeople “qualify” their customers. In sales terms, qualifying means taking the time to see if your product matches the needs and resources of your customer. If you are concerned with buy-in, that usually means you are selling or “offering” a resource to someone. I think the same ideas of understanding the needs and resources of your end-users will help you be more effective at establishing buy-in. The following post is from a live chat related to buy-in. I hope this discussion and resources are useful to your buy-in efforts.”
SSWNetwork/SSWAA LiveChat April 6th, 2020
Michael Kelly11:00 amOk, hi everybody, let’s get started. I’m glad you’re here! I’m Michael Kelly, Loyola Chicago SSW Prof and co-editor of SSWNetwork. Who else is here? Let’s do a quick roll call…you can just chat your name and the school level and state you’re from–say hi so we can have a sense of the room before we get things going.
Jessica Linker11:01 amJessica Linker- SSW in High School from Columbus, Ohio
Hank Bohanon11:02 amHi Michael and everyone! This is Hank Bohanon from Loyola University of Chicago
Michael Kelly11:02 amHi Jessica–welcome. Love Columbus, my son and I have been going to a gaming convention there every June for years, and I work lots with some folks at OSU as well.
Ashlie Pope11:02 amAshlie Pope- SSW in High School/ Elementary School- from Johnston County, NC
Michael Kelly11:02 amWho else is here (and hi to Hank as well, he’s my super-special co-host today and we’ll be hearing lots more from him in a bit)
Michael Kelly11:03 amHi Ashlie– all right, so far we have NC, OH, and IL represented. Who else is here today (it’s okay if you plan to lurk the rest of the session, Iam just curious to know who’s here in the chat for today.
Penny Williams-Wolford11:04 amHi I am at SSW for Pre-school at a school in the western suburbs of Chicago.
Michael Kelly11:05 amHi Penny! Anybody else with us today (some folks on the chat are “here,” but they might just be logged on the site, which is fine too)?
Michael Kelly11:06 amOk, so for those of us here today–this is the SSWNetwork/SSWAA LunchTime LiveChat, where we will come together to share what’s going on during this crisis, and to learn from each other, and sometimes special guests (like today)
Penny Williams-Wolford11:06 amHi Professor Kelly, Hank, Jessica, and Ashlie
Michael Kelly11:06 amThe plan for today will be a little more of opening material I have and some questions to get us started
Michael Kelly11:07 amthen followed by our friend Dr. Bohanon presenting some of his work on increasing buy-in for MTSS and prevention-based supports in high schools, and then we’ll do some concluding stuff and Q & A with him. Sound good?
Michael Kelly11:08 amSo to get us started, a few announcements: https://www.sswaa.org/event-details/special-webinar-covid…This is a link to a webinar that SSWAA is offering next week: Special Webinar – COVID-19 Health Crisis: Unpacking and Addressing Underlying Equity Issues
Michael Kelly11:10 amCheck that out if you can! Also, we are putting the finishing touches together on a series of practitioner-led webinars here on SSWNetwork and Zoom that will feature a panel of SSW at specific grade-levels (EC, Elementary, Middle School, High School, and Alternative Schools) talking about what they’re doing to respond to COVID-19. These will start next week–stay tuned!
Michael Kelly11:11 amFinally, a number of people have asked me about our Loyola SMHAPP Certificate, the 15-credit, 99% online, 2-year post-master’s program–you can find materials about it on SSWN and later this hour I’m happy to answer any questions on the program and why I love it–apps are due on or before August 1st.
Penny Williams-Wolford11:11 amSounds awesome Professor Kelly. Will this include pre-k too?
Michael Kelly11:12 amFinally, I see Stephanie Ochocki on my screen, my colleague from SSWAA. Stephanie are you there and if so, can you say hi and talk a bit about what’s happening at SSWAA?And to the webinar–yes, Penny I meant EC to include pre-K, we have a great panel in process for that level, more to come.
Penny Williams-Wolford11:13 amThat’s wonderful. Thank you!
Michael Kelly11:14 amNot sure if Stephanie is on with us just yet, but she’ll be with us soon. In the meantime, my opening questions for the group: Give yourself a self-care scale 1-10 on how well YOU are holding up and if possible, what you’re doing that’s working to keep things going for you.
Stephanie Ochocki11:14 amHi everyone! This is Stephanie Ochocki, Minnesota SSW & Midwestern Rep. for SSWAA.
Michael Kelly11:14 amStephanie is my good friend and does awesome work to support state orgs through SSWAA along with her own SSW practice in MN.
Stephanie Ochocki11:14 amSSWAA is working to stay responsive to member needs by providing relevant webinars (which Mike just shared about!) as well as remaining available to provide ongoing responses to questions.
Stephanie Ochocki11:15 amQuestions that are posed by members will be reviewed & responded to on the SSWAA social media platforms in the short-term.
Stephanie Ochocki11:16 amAnd, the Q&A will be updated to accompany the first FAQ published by SSWAA for SSWS.Yes! Check out that link. 🙂
Michael Kelly11:17 amThanks Stephanie, so glad to be doing this with you and SSWAA. Back to that opening question I have for all of us: Give yourself a self-care scale 1-10 on how well YOU are holding up and if possible, what you’re doing that’s working to keep things going for you.
Michael Kelly11:18 amI’ll go first: I would say at this point I’m between 7-8, have established a good sleep/eating/exercise routine, am starting to see our teen boys start doing some homework in this e-learning time, and am keeping a very judicious eye on the news to manage getting too agitated by what I read (or don’t read)
Penny Williams-Wolford11:19 amI am a 8-9. I am praying and meditating in the morning, walking my dog, and eating mindfully. Trying to always see the glass half full.
Michael Kelly11:19 amI also have a spouse who is a family practice doc and is part of her hospital’s “second line”to respond to COVID-19, so taking of her and her awesome fearlessness has been an adventure to be sure.
Hank Bohanon11:19 am8.5 – having reasonable expectations for what I can and cannot do given my new role as co-principal of our new home school..thanks for your wife’s work Michael!
Michael Kelly11:20 amlol, Hank. I know you already had a lot of empathy for principals hank, but I’m sure it’s increasing by the day, right?
Stephanie Ochocki11:20 am7-ish. We are entering week 2 of distance learning in our district, so staff are getting a better sense of what it feels like to start doing the work that was planned for. Personally, sunshine & not opening my computer over the weekend were refreshing choices!
Jessica Linker11:20 am8/10. I also think that I am getting into a routine and adjusting to working from home.
Hank Bohanon11:21 amabsolutely! I just gave myself my first teaching evaluation, and it did not turn out well. Maybe next time
Stephanie Ochocki11:21 amHank–redefining reasonable expectations is SO important!
Penny Williams-Wolford11:21 amProfessor Kelly, I’ll keep your family in my prayers. Hank I hope your promotion to AP came with a raise…LOL
Hank Bohanon11:22 amThanks Penny! I will talk to my other administrator! Great idea!
Penny Williams-Wolford11:22 amStephanie, I ditto not opening my computer over the weekend. It was hard for the first 24 hours, but it got easier.
Michael Kelly11:22 amSo glad to see lots of us making this start to make sense for our own immediate environment. Keep doing what you’re doing! My 2nd question, before we get to introducing Hank and his work more fully (other than his new Admin role 🙂 I am curious to know about what your district is/isn’t doing to deliver SSW services as of right now, knowing that many districts are still hashing this out, and in some cases even revising their initial plans? What are you doing in your district for your kids right now?
Ashlie Pope11:23 amAround a 7 for me, but getting better. Working as a school social worker in multiple schools and interacting with staff and students each day and to now having little contact with others and students is a difficult change, but adjusting. Making a point to spend more time with family and ensuring everyone is safe and healthy.
Michael Kelly11:24 amsounds good Ashlie–it’s got to be quite a challenge to “do” SSW right now with multiple buildings and cultures to manage and respond to!
Stephanie Ochocki11:25 amSSWs in our district have been focused on needs assessments for our McKinney-Vento & ESSA Foster Care eligible students. As we move into week 2, this need for needs assessment mindset is continuing to shape out outreach & engagement for SSWs to connect with their previously identified caseload.
Penny Williams-Wolford11:26 amMy District is planning a virtual PD for the special education department this week on Google Classroom. That is how I will begin delivering my minutes to my students.
Stephanie Ochocki11:26 amGlad to hear they are providing relevant PD for staff on the expected platform. 🙂
Michael Kelly11:26 amI love this, Stephanie! Focusing on arguably some of the most at-need youth and caregivers right now. Maybe in a future LiveChat we might have you come on and talk about that in some more detail?
Michael Kelly11:27 amyes Penny–glad to hear they’re giving you some training on this; and then maybe you can come back and train more of us, too! 🙂
Ashlie Pope11:27 amOur district right now is just offering SSW help if needed (case by case), we are ensuring our schools have lots of resources and we will link families to resources as needed. We don’t have a specific case load but we are available as needed to do phone calls and follow up with families. Meantime we are doing PD, webinars, LOTS OF ZOOM meetings to keep us educated and caught up.
Michael Kelly11:27 amHank, what are you seeing and hearing about how related services are getting delivered in the districts and schools you’ve worked with?
Nicole Bycina11:28 amHi everyone I’m new to chat and multi tasking, Nicole Bycina Buffalo public schools
Michael Kelly11:28 amHi Nicole, welcome! Just asking everybody about how they’re doing SSW services right now with the schools shut down…
Stephanie Ochocki11:28 amYes, I imagine many SSWs are focused on these and other student groups as well.
Hank Bohanon11:29 amIt is challenging right now..many of our instructors were not really prepared for delivering instruction online. There is also some concern that some of the protections of IDEA may be rolled back..
Penny Williams-Wolford11:29 [email protected], I totally understand. I am a social butterfly and I crave that…I am using HouseParty, Zoom, FaceTime to connect with family. My friends and I virtually take our dogs for a walk every morning. Please continue to make sure you are getting your needs met. They have Instagram Club parties…I am not the club type, but the DJs play good music.
Stephanie Ochocki11:29 amAshlie that’s great that the district is utilizing SSW expertise to help students and families navigate resources.
Michael Kelly11:30 amThanks everyone for sharing what’s happening (and not happening) for SSW services in your districts. As Stephanie said, please keep SSWAA posted on what you’re seeing and needing, and we will do our best to respond to these ever-evolving situations, and also bring some of those responses here to SSWNetwork as well.Ok, let’s move a bit to our friend Hank and hear about some of the dynamic work he’s been engaged in both before and now during this crisis.
Penny Williams-Wolford11:30 amProf Kelly, Sure…We have all been thrown into a rapid tech PD. I am willing to share whatever I learn.
Penny Williams-Wolford11:31 amHi Nicole
Michael Kelly11:32 amHank Bohanon is a Professor in Loyola’s School of Education, and is a recognized national leader in the area of PBIS and special education, with a particular focus on making MTSS/PBIS work well in high school environments. He is also the author of a fantastic blog that I’ll link to in a minute in the chat, where he shares lots of excellent training and open-access research resources. I asked him to come and talk to us about how he works to increase “buy-in” with staff, students, admin, and parents for MTSS, and to share how he has learned to create infographics that help this process along. Welcome to SSWNetwork,Hank!
Hank Bohanon11:33 amThanks Michael..I am really honored to be here..
Julie Groeper11:33 amis the nasw cosent form somewhere on this site from the great webinar which had it in the handouts.
Julie Groeper11:34 amAlso yes thank you for such assistance and direction
Michael Kelly11:34 amHi Julie–I’ll track it down and post it while we’re hearing from Hank…glad you’re here
Hank Bohanon11:34 amJust a little background. I was a teacher in the Dallas Public Schools for kids with behavior disorders, the better I got at that, the more kids then sent my way…
Hank Bohanon11:35 amI have been working in schoolwide positive behavior support since about 1998, and have also worked with high schools implemeting different forms of multi-tiered systems of support..
Hank Bohanon11:35 amThanks to Michael Kelly and School Social Work Association of America, School Social Work Network, and all of you for participating – and all of your hard work
Michael Kelly11:36 amJulie, this has all the links from our SMAHPP colleague Tonya H.’s presentation, including the NASW form (also at where Penny just posted)
Julie Groeper11:36 amok great!!
Hank Bohanon11:36 amI wanted to share a few resources around Support schools to implement effective core practices, to improve outcomes for all students. Penny, the examples focus on secondary schools, but I think they might work well across sites
Hank Bohanon11:37 amBefore we begin, we would love to hear about some of the issues you face when trying to support schools to change their core practices. I am are focusing a little on behavior today, but other ideas are welcome!
For me, some of the issues that I come across include
The staff were not familiar with or training in the approach
Staff state “this is not my job.”
Staff are already doing too much
Staff were told but not asked what they should implement
Could you type if you agree these are barriers in schools, disagree, or have other barriers you have come across.
Michael Kelly11:37 amBingo to all of those issues, Hank!
Penny Williams-Wolford11:38 amJulie, Professor Kelly’s link is much more comprehensive.
Julie Groeper11:38 amoh ok,
Michael Kelly11:38 amI attend a few school mental health research meetings a year that basically have the same theme running through them: how hard it is to get teachers and other staff to implement and “buy-in” to whatever intervention, strategy, or program they’re promoting or trying to research.
Jessica Linker11:39 amI feel that many classroom teachers don’t feel like they have time to implement SEL activities and teach content information in one class period.
Penny Williams-Wolford11:39 amAgree
Hank Bohanon11:39 amThanks Michael..good points Jessica and Penny..
Kate Reierson11:39 amI agree that there might be challenges with staff buy-in, although it’s at a lesser extent at elementary level
Michael Kelly11:39 amI imagine that this has only grown and deepened with the crisis, as everyone is even more overwhelmed, or at least being forced into new situations with new tech that they may have never been in before.
Hank Bohanon11:39 amI agree Kate..secondary can be harder
Stephanie Ochocki11:39 amAgree!
Hank Bohanon11:39 amLet me tell you a little bit about my first experience
It was about 1998. I was part of a research project that was implementing schoolwide PBIS in the first middle school. All examples of schoolwide PBIS at this point were elementary
There was no air conditioning
The presentation was one day before school
We had slide after slide of data
And we did a great job of presenting the theory of behind applied behavior analysis (e.g.. Sr+ & Sr-)
We were not a hit. The staff walked out saying “we are going to get you..(e.g., make this initiative not work)
Have you ever been on the kicking or receiving team for a presentation like this? Just type yes or no..
Kate Reierson11:40 amyes
Hank Bohanon11:40 amSorry Kate..
Michael Kelly11:41 ammore often than not (and the air conditioning detail a lot too…) 🙂
Stephanie Ochocki11:41 amYes
Penny Williams-Wolford11:41 amSometimes it challenging for teachers to see how to make more positive deposits when a student is hitting/kicking, etc.
Nicole Bycina11:41 amHi all my role now is to provide webinars to parents and staff on trauma informed care and stress. I also link MH clinics to schools
Hank Bohanon11:41 amSorry everyone..I know these are tough experiences..At the end, the staff told us, they were ready for us..They had ways of making things not work.
There had to be a better way, which is our purpose today
Hank Bohanon11:42 amThe National School Climate Center developed a list of factors that lead to an effective school climate..
Some of these key areas include Safety, Physical Environment, Teaching and Learning, and Interpersonal Relationships.
You can see this list here https://www.schoolclimate.org/themes/schoolclimate/assets…
As you can see from the list, there are many connections between what makes for an effective school, and the interventions you are supporting
Social and emotional security
Penny Williams-Wolford11:42 amIt sounds like the work of a SSW. I want to hear more…
Hank Bohanon11:43 amI like to start a this list with schools, because it helps us talk about what an effective school might look like, rather than making things about an intervention..does that make sense?
Michael Kelly11:44 amtotally–I love this. I worked as a SSW for 14 years and was never in a PD environment where we discussed what an “effective school” might look like, would have loved to have done it.
Hank Bohanon11:45 amSometimes I simply ask if they agree or disagree with items on the list..it get people into a conversationsGlad that makes sense Michael.
Stephanie Ochocki11:45 amYes, it does make sense. From this perspective, any initiative, intervention, program, budget decision, etc., etc. could be examined within the framework.
Hank Bohanon11:45 amGreat Stephanie..
Hank Bohanon11:46 amWe also like to point out that if schools can improve their core instruction (like addressing SEL in the classroom), they will have more time to support students with more intense needs.Here are some things we see if you get your schoolwide climate correct.
38% More Tier 2/3 Interventions
(Eber, Phillips, Upreti, Hyde, Lewandowski, & Rose, 2009)
50% decrease in outside school placements for students who are risk of behavioral concerns
6% increase in students 80% or more in general education (compared to state 3%)
(Illinois Positive Behavior Intervention and Support Network, 2011).
We become more efficient at tiers 2-3 when we get tier 1 correct.
Michael Kelly11:47 amI think a big part of the “buy-in” pushback Hank to me has been that staff (rightly) perceive that things are always added on to plates, but nothing is taken off or changed or modified. If something can be looked at through the lens of “does it make us more effective as a school?” that might go over differently, right?
Penny Williams-Wolford11:47 amDuring our first PLC this school year I principal asked us to imagine what a Blue Ribbon Pre-K class would look like and imagine it was one year from now and we won a prestigious award. She asked us to tell everyone what did we hear, etc. Then, we started reviewing what we should continue to do, stop, and reconsider as we planned for the school year.
Stephanie Ochocki11:47 am👆 Yes!!
Penny Williams-Wolford11:48 amHank, I totally agree with you on focusing on SEL=better outcomes in every area
Hank Bohanon11:48 amI agree with that..one way we try to address this is to see what they are already doing, and then see if we can take off – great point Penny…The next approach I like to use is I refer to as…Shock and Awe
My guess is that the school is feeling very overwhelmed.
One reason for this is no one person has an idea of all of the interventions that are in place. One way to get everyone on the same page is to put everything into a working smarter triangle..at some point we can talk about how the intervention can connect with other initiatives. In this school’s example, they had small learning communities that allowed us to more effectively teach expectations to student. See http://www.hankbohanon.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/wor…
Just for your information..here are a few of the interventions from the sample triangle I provided
AVID – https://www.avid.org/what-avid-is
Gear Up – https://www2.ed.gov/programs/gearup/index.html
Small Learning Communities – http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/m…
Hank Bohanon11:49 amthis is a better link to the slide http://www.hankbohanon.net/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/wor…
Penny Williams-Wolford11:49 amProfessor Kelly and Hank I agree
Hank Bohanon11:49 amSo, to get buy in..I think we have move from trying to sell someone on an idea, to helping schools solve a problem they already have and want to address
Michael Kelly11:50 am(And just a reminder that all these great links and ideas will be part of our LiveChat transcript that will be saved and shared almost immediately after on SSWNetwork)
Hank Bohanon11:50 amOne way I like to do this is to ask the community about their issues before I tell them about what I think they need in terms of solutions.
This is a summary from four high schools were working with to implement PBIS. Here some of their areas of concern..these concerns make connecting PBIS with their needs much easier
Communication – timeliness
Integration of PD
Work with PLCs
Define academic and behavior expectations
Use data for decisions
Identifying these needs helped us to make the connection between PBIS and the school’s needs.
We used an interviews to identify the needs of the school. This is a link to the questions we used
I never conduct any presentations with schools or districts until I have sense of the schools needs.
You can change the focus of the questions, but I find this format works very well. For example, if I am working with a school or district I ask questions like
What is going well in your school around behavior/discipline?
What are some of the barriers to teaching around discipline?
This question format was developed by Jim Knight, an international leader in coaching supports for schools (See https://instructionalcoaching.com/partnership-principle-7…)
If you have been implementing an intervention for a while and you are trying to restart, you can still ask for staff feedback. Here is an example tool on our friends has used in her secondary school http://www.hankbohanon.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Sta…
Hank Bohanon11:52 amI am required by law to data to support these ideas 🙂
This included a study of 6 high schools. Three took time to develop buy in, and 3 went with the standard statewide training approach of doing an overview and asking for an up and down vote to see if the school wanted to implement. After three years, the school in the treatment schools had improved their implementation by 20%, while the control school decreased their implementation by 20%.
See Bohanon, H. & Wu, M. (2014). Developing buy-in for positive behavior support in secondary settings. Preventing School Failure, 58 (4), 1–7. doi: 10.1080/1045988X.2013.798774 http://ecommons.luc.edu/education_facpubs/17/I am required by law to show data to support these ideas 🙂
Michael Kelly11:52 amah, we are professors, aren’t we, Hank? 😃😁 Love it
Hank Bohanon11:53 amAnother way to support buy in to show examples from other schools that have implementing an intervention similar to the one you are attempting to bring in.
For example, if I am working with a high school on positive behavior support, I might show this example https://prezi.com/xlo7_f0qerzn/copy-of-swpbs-conference-v3/
One caveat..the example needs to be as similar as possible in terms of demographics and grade span..
In my first training on redirection strategies with security guards in the inner city, I used a video clip from the movie the Breakfast Club. The scene involved the principle giving a student basically a life time sentence to Saturday suspension. The staff’s reaction was…”man, that [movie] was shot in Naperville (IL)” and it did not apply to them…and he was right..
That day I learned that if it did not happen in secondary school, it did not happen, and if it did not happen in a school like theirs, it did not happen
Michael Kelly11:53 amSo Hank and group, we are getting close to our hour being up–is it okay Hank to move to seeing if the group has any questions for you?
Hank Bohanon11:54 amPlease!We would love to hear if you have tried any of these approaches.
What has worked, or not worked? What other ideas do you have about obtaining buy from schools?
Michael Kelly11:55 amGreat–first of all, these resources are tremendous Hank and I plan to delve into them myself this week. But while we have him, what questions might the group have for Hank about his ideas for creating staff buy-in?Any questions for Hank right now?
Kate Reierson11:56 amI don’t have a question, but I like the triangle graphic as place to ground staff and show the bigger picture
Stephanie Ochocki11:56 amNo immediate questions from me, but the concept here & resources certainly hold a lot of value for both “regular” school operations & figuring out how SSWs support distance learning.
Michael Kelly11:57 amI agree Stephanie and Kate, there are a lot of good conceptual frameworks and tools that I can see us chewing on a bit and maybe having you and I team up for a future LiveChat, article, or even webinar on these Hank.
Hank Bohanon11:58 amI am glad these are helpful Kate and Stephanie..Kate, a good follow up from the triangle graphic is to have the staff review each initiative to see what we keep and what we remove. This called a working smarter matrix..http://hankbohanon.net/wp-content/uploads/2014/04/Working…
Michael Kelly11:58 amI’m thinking that another thing your presentation made me think of Hank is for how central these ideas will be for so many SSW and their schools to factor in as they try to get back to “normal” whenever that is (most likely next Fall, though some schools may still decide to try to go back before Summer).
Hank Bohanon11:58 amThat’s a great question. There have been some, if it’s OK, I will post them under Topics soon..
Michael Kelly11:59 amfantastic, Hank! Well we’re almost out of time. I want to give a big THANK you to Hank, Stephanie, and everybody for being here today. We’ll do it all again on Wed. and I’m also really interested in any ideas for co-hosts/topics, send ’em my way. Thanks again Hank and take care everybody.
Hank Bohanon12:00 pmThanks everyone!! Please stay safe and well!
Kate Reierson12:00 pmThank you
Stephanie Ochocki12:00 pmThank you!
Penny Williams-Wolford12:01 pmHank, this is great information. I have to sit with this. I like how you begin with a questionnaire. Thanks Hank and Professor Kelly! What a great way to spend my lunch.