How can school personnel effectively implement evidence-based practices or programs?
Page 5: Establish an Implementation Team
One action that promotes high fidelity is the identification of a small team to monitor the implementation of the practice or program and to evaluate student outcomes. This collaborative team should be composed of volunteers from among the school staff who are committed to seeing the practice or program implemented effectively. In some cases, a member of the school improvement team may become part of the implementation team. The number of individuals required to coordinate implementation depends on the complexity of the practice or program, the extent to which it will be implemented, and the expertise required to monitor implementation. For example, one person might be sufficient to coordinate the implementation of a reading program for third-graders. However, to coordinate a school-wide approach, a small team may be required.
Typically, teachers prefer that those coordinating implementation include an individual at the administrative level who is knowledgeable about the practice or program, as opposed to an individual from outside the school. The team may perform a number of tasks, such as:
Organizing professional development training
Coordinating ongoing support (e.g., coaching or mentoring activities)
Providing corrective feedback to implementers
Training new teachers
Coordinating implementation fidelity data collection
Mel Riddile discusses the importance of creating an implementation team (time: 2:28).
Mel Riddile, EdD National Association of Secondary School Principals (NASSP) 2006 MetLife-NASSP High School Principal of the Year
If we’re going to meet the needs of each and every student and have them attain levels of achievement that are higher than we ever imagined possible, we’re going to have to tap into the collective intelligence of all the staff members, our whole school community to make that happen. For example, if I want to start a literacy program, the first thing I would want to do was really go to the staff and ask for volunteers to be on a literacy council. Really look for people who are willing and want to get involved in a change effort and work with them first. Start small, I always say, to go big, and start slow to go fast. Too many people are in too big of a hurry to get things done. They go in and announce programs, and they get a lot of resistance from their staff, and then they spend the rest of the time trying to clean up the mess. But who do you get involved? You get the people that are willing and want to participate. So that literacy council really is consistently spread throughout the school, members from various disciplines who really are interested in the whole idea of literacy and want to be involved, and then you work with them first, work to see that those programs actually work for your students in your school, and then spread it virally through the rest of the school.
I always found that if we were doing something well that the good news travels fast, and people wanted to be a part of that. Oftentimes, we try to start things too big. We haven’t worked out the nuances and haven’t learned enough about the initiative to be able to pull it off, and it’s doomed for failure. So the more people I can get involved, the more willing participants I can find, the more chance that has for success. The other thing is, we need a designated leader other than the principal. In literacy, it might be a literacy coach. If we’re implementing an instructional delivery model, it might be a peer coach or an instructional coach that’s present in the building. Someone other than the principal has to be the leader. That doesn’t mean the principal abdicates responsibility; what it means is the principal has to partner with that leader to make sure the program becomes a success. Without the support and active involvement of the school leader or principal, generally, we find initiatives just don’t work.
Click the logos below to learn how each school established an implementation team.
Establish an Implementation Team
Paige Elementary School
The team in charge of overseeing the implementation of progress monitoring is composed of the Title I teacher, a special education teacher, and one teacher from each grade level. These teachers support the other teachers in their grade as they administer and score and scoring of probes, entering data, and using the data to guide instruction. Additionally, the Title I teacher troubleshoots problems, trains new teachers, and coordinates the collection of fidelity data.
Listen as Lynn Fuchs reinforces the importance of having a team to support the implementation of progress monitoring (time: 1:19).
Lynn Fuchs, PhD National Center on Response to Intervention
I think that with progress monitoring what sometimes does not happen is that schools don’t adequately prepare their teachers in how to use the assessment information for instructional decision making. So many teachers have a good instructional program but when a child is not responding well to that instructional program they’re at a loss for ideas about how to change the instructional program in a way to meet that particular child’s needs. So lots of times in order to make optimal use of a progress monitoring system, schools require a level of support staff. It could be the special education teacher. It could be a reading or math consultant. It could be the instructional coach in the building to help a teacher look at ongoing progress monitoring data and think about how to use the information, sometimes to improve the entire class’s rate-of-response to the program and sometimes to use the ongoing progress monitoring data to address the needs of individual students in that class who are not responding well even though the rest of the class is.
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Establish an Implementation Team
Grafton Middle School
The school improvement team has determined that a previously purchased evidence-based reading program may help to increase the students’ reading performance. At this point, a new team is needed to coordinate the implementation effort. This implementation team is made up of two fifth- and two sixth-grade teachers. These team members will coach the other teachers, coordinate ongoing PD, troubleshoot implementation problems, train new teachers, and manage the collection of fidelity data.
Grafton Middle School Reading Program Implementation Team
Fifth-Grade Teachers Ms. Wong Mrs. Littleton
Sixth-Grade Teachers Mrs. Walker Mr. Singleton
Establish an Implementation Team
DuBois High School
DuBois High School has identified PBIS as its preferred approach. The PBIS Technical Assistance Center requires each school to create a team of representative members (which includes administrators, general education, and special education teachers) to coordinate the implementation effort. The DuBois High School improvement team distributes information to all staff about PBIS, discuss it at the next staff meeting, and ask for volunteers to participate in the initial training. According to the PBIS guidelines, the staff members who receive the initial training will then be responsible for:
Creating 3–5 behavioral expectations for all students
Obtaining buy-in from 80 percent of the school staff
Establishing behavioral expectations for non-classroom settings (e.g., the cafeteria)
Deciding how behavioral expectations and routines will be taught
Redefining behaviors that merit office discipline referrals
Determining a method for rewarding good behavior
Training the remainder of the school staff
Overseeing the implementation of PBIS
Monitoring fidelity of implementation
Because behavior issues in the classroom and in the cafeteria have been identified as a problem, the initial PBIS team at DuBois High will consist of the individuals listed on the roster below.
Dubois High School
PBIS Team Roster
Mr. Roberts – Assistant Principal
Mrs. Presley – Special Education, Resource
Ms. Akita – Algebra, Geometry
Ms. Sorenson – English 9 and 10
Mr. Richards – Coach, Health
Mrs. Craighead – Cafeteria Services
Ms. Ramirez – ESL
Mrs. Arnold – Special Education, Behavior Intervention Classroom
Mrs. Gligorov – Biology, Chemistry
Mr. Adams – Auto Technology
Mrs. Ndabge – Parent, PTA Representative
Taylor Williams – Student Council Representative