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Coaching for Capacity: Integrating Academics and Behavior into an Applied Model. Clark Dorman, Ed.S . Brian Gaunt, Ph.D. Amanda March, Ph.D. Advanced Organizer. Introduction Florida’s MTSS Initiative MTSS Coaching: A New Approach Literature Review, Definition, Model, & Skill Sets

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coaching for capacity integrating academics and behavior into an applied model

Coaching for Capacity: Integrating Academics and Behavior into an Applied Model

Clark Dorman, Ed.S.

Brian Gaunt, Ph.D.

Amanda March, Ph.D.

advanced organizer
Advanced Organizer
  • Introduction
  • Florida’s MTSS Initiative
  • MTSS Coaching: A New Approach
    • Literature Review, Definition, Model, & Skill Sets
  • MTSS Coaching in Action
    • Coaching at the State, District, & School Levels
  • Conclusions
    • Discussion, Q & A, Resources & References
  • Clark Dorman, Florida’s PS/RtI Project
  • Brian Gaunt, Florida’s PBS:RtIB Project
  • Amanda March, Florida’s PBS:RtIB & PS/RtI Projects
cycle of academic and behavioral failure aggressive response mcintosh 2008
Cycle of Academic and Behavioral Failure: Aggressive Response(McIntosh, 2008)

Teacher presents student with grade level academic task

So, which is it…

Academic problems lead to behavior problems?


Behavior problems lead to academic problems?

Not sure…

Probably a combination of both

Student engages in problem behavior

Student’s academic skills do not improve

Student escapes academic task

Teacher removes academic task or removes student

school wide behavior reading support
School-wide Behavior & Reading Support

The integration/combination of the two:

  • are critical for school success
  • utilize the three tiered prevention model
  • incorporate a team approach at school level, grade level, and individual level
  • share the critical feature of data-based decision making
  • produce larger gains in literacy skills than the reading-only model

(Stewart, Benner, Martella, & Marchand-Martella, 2007)

efficient delivery of highly effective practices
Efficient Delivery of Highly Effective Practices
  • Statewide P/S Contact Survey:
    • Integrate Practices to Reduce Duplication, Increase Effective Use of Personnel and Provide Greater Support for Instruction Less is More.
    • Focus Resource Development and District Resources On:
        • Evidence-based Coaching Strategies
        • Leadership Skills to Support MTSS
        • Family and Community Engagement
        • Aligning PK-12 MTSS-Focus on Secondary
        • Evaluation Models to Demonstrate Outcomes
        • Common Language/Common Understanding Around an Integrated Data-Based Problem-Solving Process
        • Integrating Technology and Universal Design for Learning
big idea
Big Idea!
  • We need to model a collaborative, integrated Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) process at the state level so that we can advocate for it at the district and school level.
  • Common language to describe MTSS…
  • Common understanding for how to use MTSS…




context cont
Context, cont.


  • Coaching
  • Program Evaluation
  • Data-Based Problem-Solving (DBPS)
  • Leadership/Teaming
  • PK-12 Alignment
  • Family and Community Engagement
what is mtss
What is MTSS?

A Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) is a term used to describe an evidence-based model of educating students that uses data-based problem solving to integrate academic and behavioral instruction and intervention.

  • The integrated instruction and intervention is delivered to students across multiple tiers based on student need.
  • Need-driven decision-making seeks to ensure that district resources reach the appropriate students (and schools) at the appropriate levels to accelerate the performance of ALL students to achieve and/or exceed proficiency.
mission and vision
Mission and Vision

The collaborative vision of the FL PS/RtI & FLPBS/RtI:B Projects is to:

  • Enhance the capacity of all Florida school districts to successfully implement and sustain a multi-tiered system of student supports with fidelity in every school;
  • Accelerate and maximize student academic and social-emotional outcomes through the application of data-based problem solving utilized by effective leadership at all levels of the educational system;
  • Inform the development, implementation, and ongoing evaluation of an integrated, aligned, and sustainable system of service delivery that prepares all students for post-secondary education and/or successful employment within our global society.
coaching for professional development
Coaching for Professional Development
  • Coaching as a vehicle to facilitate ongoing professional development (Neufeld & Roper, 2003; Poglinco et al., 2003; Russo, 2004)
  • Limited empirical literature on coaching, its impact on educator practices, and effects on student outcomes (Cornett & Knight, 2009; Killion & Harrison, 2006; Poglinco et al., 2003)
    • However, School-Based Consultation does offer a more extensive empirical foundation for capacity building (Gutkin & Curtis, 2008)
  • A satisfactory definition ofcoachor coaching meeting the needs of all stakeholders does not exist (Rush & Shelden, 2005)
coaching support in the literature
Coaching Support in the Literature
  • Coaching has been found to…
    • Impact teacher attitudes such as job satisfaction & willingness to try new approaches
    • Enhance transfer of training, fidelity, and sustainability of new practices
    • Enhance teacher efficacy
    • Be popular with educators
    • Enhance educator collaboration
  • Coaching literature remains unclear with regard to…
    • Which model is most effective
    • Effects on student outcomes
    • What knowledge, skills, and activities are required
    • How to best evaluate coaching
    • How to best prepare coaches
coaching for change
Coaching for Change
  • Coaching orfacilitation capacity refers to a system’s ability to organize personnel and resources for prompting and encouraging local school training and implementation efforts (Sugai & Horner, 2006).
  • Research indicates that new strategies and interventions are not implemented with integrity unless a consultant (coach) is continually involved (Lewis & Newcomer, 2002).
  • Effective and linked leadership at every level (school, district, state) is key to the success of any systemic change, and systems change staff (i.e., coaches) have full-time responsibility for guiding implementation processesand support on-site change leadership teams (Adelman & Taylor, 2007).
a new role for coaching
A “New Role” for Coaching

“School improvement will fail if the work of coaches remains at the one-to-one level. Coaches are systems leaders. They need development as change agents at both the instructional level and the level of organizational and system change. It’s time to recast their role as integral to whole-system reform.”

~ Michael Fullan & Jim Knight (2011)

mtss coaching definition
MTSS Coaching Definition

Coaching(v.): application of a set of activities that provide dynamic support and facilitation to develop the capacity of school/district leadership teams to implement MTSS aligned with the school/district improvement plan in order to enhance student outcomes.

Tenets include:

  • Not necessarily a person, but a set of skills and activities
  • There are some essential skills sets required of the leadership team to support & complete the activities
mtss coaching from definition to application
MTSS Coaching:from Definition to Application
  • Coaching to facilitate MTSS capacity in schools and districts requires the following skill domains:
      • Problem-Solving Facilitation Skills
      • Content Knowledge
      • Leadership Support
      • Professional Development
1 problem solving facilitation skills
1) Problem-Solving Facilitation Skills
  • School-Based Consultation Activities
    • Individual consultation
    • Small group problem-solving consultation (Gutkin & Curtis, 2008)
    • Systems-level consultation (Curtis, Castillo, & Cohen, 2008)
  • Problem-Solving & Facilitation Skills
    • Knowledge of empirically validated consultation models/approaches
    • Communication skills (i.e., questioning, listening, summarizing, paraphrasing, delivering, integrating, empathizing)
    • Interpersonal collaborative skills (i.e., relationship-building, trust, shared decision-making)
    • Knowledge and skills to effectively facilitate the 4-step & 8-step problem-solving processes
3 leadership support
3) Leadership Support
  • Coaching develops the leadership skills of teachers and principals in order to address whole-school organizational improvement, facilitate reallocation and deployment of resources, and evaluate outcomes(Neufeld & Roper, 2003)
  • MTSS Leadership (Leithwood, 2010; Barnhardt, 2009; Crawford & Torgeson, 2007)
    • Establish a vision with a sense of urgency for change, maintain focus and deliver a consistent message over time
    • Focus on schools (districts are successful when schools are successful)
    • Create relationships with stakeholders based upon mutual respect and shared responsibility
    • Engage in expert problem solving
    • Invest in professional development
4 professional development
4) Professional Development
  • Educators need ongoing PD to obtain skills necessary to implement any change effort (Sansosti, Telzrow, & Noltemeyer, 2008). Examples of PD required of all educators in MTSS include:
    • Developing and gathering data sources
    • Interpreting data
    • Matching interventions to student need
    • Presenting intervention outcomes to others
    • Engaging in problem-solving processes
  • Coaching facilitates PD at the individual, small group, and whole-school or district/regional levels within an continuous improvement framework (Borman, Feger, & Kawakami, 2006).
coaching responsibilities
Coaching Responsibilities

1) Demonstrate effective interpersonal communication skills

2) Use data-based problem-solving to answer a variety of questions

3) Disseminate evidence-based content knowledge

a. Organizational Change/Implementation Process

b. Integrated MTSS Three-Tiered Model

c. Best Practices in Reading, Math, Behavior Instruction

d. Best Practices in Family and Community Engagement (FACE)

4) Facilitate team-based collaborative problem solving

5) Support leadership team and staff capacity to sustain a MTSS

6) Provide professional development training and technical assistance

7) Evaluate the impact of coaching activities and supports

state level coaching1
State Level Coaching
  • External efforts
    • Interproject Leadership Team
    • FDOE PS Training and Support
    • DAPPS Team Supports
    • Network of District Support Specialists/Coordinators/Facilitators
state level coaching2
State Level Coaching
  • Internal efforts
    • Interproject Leadership Team
    • Planning/Problem Solving Training
    • DAPPS Team ILT Reps
    • Comprehensive Professional Development Plan/Supports
district level coaching1
District Level Coaching
  • 2-4 PBS/RtI Staff
  • District Action Planning & Problem-Solving Process (DAPPS)
    • Application/Readiness
    • Needs Assessment
    • Action Planning/PS
    • Service delivery (Train/TA)
    • Evaluation
  • Not our goals; District Goals!
what is the dapps district action planning and problem solving
What is the DAPPS?(District Action Planning and Problem Solving)
  • Systems-level data-based problem solving process
  • Open-ended process; not a prescription
  • Professionalizes, rather than personalizes, decision-making around difficult issues
  • Inclusive, rather than exclusive, process
  • Customizedto the needs, goals, culture, capacity and pace of individual districts
  • Not our agenda!...but, promote DISTRICTagenda
needs assessment prioritizing planning goals
Needs Assessment:Prioritizing Planning Goals
  • Needs Assessment
    • Archival Data
    • MTSS Survey Data
    • Interview Data
  • Summary Report
    • Problem ID: Student outcomes
    • Problem Analysis:
      • Fidelity?
      • Infrastructure?
      • Consensus?
participant discussion
Participant Discussion
  • In what ways can this model be applied at the school level?
  • What foundational structures are currently in place at your school(s)?
  • What barriers exist that might interfere with MTSS coaching processes at your school(s)? District? State?
  • MTSS Implementation Components: Ensuring Common Language & Understanding
  • Adelman, H.S., & Taylor, L. (2007). Systemic change for school improvement. Journal of Educational and Psychological Consultation, 17(1), 55-77.
  • Borman, J., Ferger, S., & Kawakami, N. (2006). Instructional coaching: Key themes from the literature. The Education Alliance. Retrieved from
  • Curtis, M.J., Castillo, J.M., & Cohen, R.C. (2008). Best practices in systems-level change. In A. Thomas & J. Grimes (Eds.), Best practices in school psychology V (223-234). Washington, DC: National Association of School Psychologists.
  • Fullan, M. & Knight, J. (2011). Coaches as systems leaders. Educational Leadership, 69 (2), 50-53.
  • Gutkin, T.B., & Curtis, M.J. (2008). School-based consultation: The science and practice of indirect service delivery. In T.B. Gutkin & C.R. Reynolds (Eds.), The handbook of school psychology (4th ed., pp. 591-635). New York: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.
  • Lewis, T.J., & Newcomer, L.L. (2002). Examining the efficacy of school-based consultation: Recommendations for improving outcomes. Child and Behavior Family Therapy, 24, 165-181.
  • Neufeld, B. & Roper, D. (2003). Coaching: A strategy for developing instructional capacity – Promises and practicalities. Washington, DC: Aspen Institute Program on Education and Providence, RI: Annenberg Institute for School Reform.
  • Sansosti, F., Telzrow, C., & Noltemeyer, A. (2010). Barriers and facilitators to implementing response to intervention in secondary schools: Qualitative perspectives from school psychologists. School Psychology Forum: Research to Practice, 4(1), 1-21.
  • Sugai, G. & Horner, R.R. (2006). A promising approach for expanding and sustaining school-wide positive behavior support. School Psychology Review, 25(2), 245-259.
mtss coaching related presentations workshops
MTSS Coaching Related Presentations & Workshops
  • Engaging in a Practical & Reciprocal Relationship Between Effective Leadership & Coaching (SWK 110; Saturday AM)
    • Participants will receive more information on the relationship between the two concepts as well as opportunities to action plan for implementation and sustainability
  • Small Group Problem-Solving: A Practical Model to Address Barriers to Implementation & Sustainability (F6; Friday 8:30-9:45am)
    • Participants will learn explicit systems-change strategies and problem-solving skills identified as critical for sustainability, and will leave with a practical method to facilitate, support, and evaluate systems-level problem-solving in their schools and districts
thank you
Thank You!

Amanda March, Ph.D., Professional Learning Specialist


Clark Dorman, Ed.S., FL PS/RtI Project Leader


Brian Gaunt, Ph.D., MTSS Inter-Project Coordinator


University of South Florida