gary l cates ph d mark e swerdlik ph d illinois state university n.
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Gary L. Cates, Ph.D. Mark E. Swerdlik, Ph.D Illinois State University PowerPoint Presentation
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Gary L. Cates, Ph.D. Mark E. Swerdlik, Ph.D Illinois State University

Gary L. Cates, Ph.D. Mark E. Swerdlik, Ph.D Illinois State University

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Gary L. Cates, Ph.D. Mark E. Swerdlik, Ph.D Illinois State University

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  1. Improving Outcomes for ALL Students Through the Flexible Student Services Model (FSSM) : Building the Infrastructure--Effective Problem Solving and Review of Effective Interventions Gary L. Cates, Ph.D. Mark E. Swerdlik, Ph.D Illinois State University Kirkwood, Mehlville, Special School District, Webster Groves (KMSW) Cooperative “Expect the Best”

  2. Responses to Parking Lot: Will Be Available on FSSM Website <>

  3. Overview of Your Day-Morning • AM Before Break-Structuring your Team/Effective Problem Solving and Operating Procedures (for Beginning Level Teams) OR Activity of Practice Problem Solving (for Advanced or Intermediate Teams . If unsure-divide up your team) • AM After Break-Communication Skills for Effective Problem Solving and Activity-Viewing of Two Problem Solving Teams

  4. Overview of Your Day-Afternoon • Whole-Group Activity-Inventory of Current Interventions being used at Tiers I, II, and III in your building and Assessment of Gaps • Divide Team Members between Break-Out Groups Addressing: • Reading Interventions OR Interventions for Behavior • Math Interventions OR Interventions for Written Language/Spelling • Whole Group Closing Activity

  5. Objectives-Structuring Your Team/Effective Operating Procedures Module • Learn the who, what, when, where and how of problem-solving teams and evaluate your team in these areas. • Understand how to facilitate a problem-solving team meeting so that the process is completed with integrity. • Consider a plan to evaluate the outcomes of your problem solving process.

  6. The Pre-Requisites • Who? Team Membership • What? Roles and Responsibilities • When? Meeting Time • Where? Meeting Location • How? Process/Operating Procedures • Evaluating the Effectiveness of your Team

  7. WHO?: Team Membership-What does the Research Tell Us? • 4-8 People. • Representation: • Requesting teacher • Grade level representation • Balanced representation of ALL building staff including general education teacher(s) as permanent member(s) of the team, special service personnel such as school psychologist and social workers, and counselor • Principal / Administrator • Parent(s) • Not all representing special education • Constant Membership for most but can invite individuals with particular areas of expertise depending on needs of individual child.

  8. More Experienced vs.. Less Experienced Team Members? • More recent graduates may be more informed about the problem solving process for developing interventions • More experienced team members may possess expert knowledge helpful in data collection and exploration of more effective solutions • Combination of less and more experienced is best choice. • Include team members that are not as entrenched in “test and place” forms of problem solving or willing to learn new content and process of problem solving for interventions

  9. WHAT?: Roles and Responsibilities • Principal / Administrator • Timekeeper • Note Taker • Case (Data) Manager • Teacher Requesting Assistance • Facilitator • Parent Advocate • All Team Members

  10. Principal / Administrator • What they do: Ensures implementation of the problem-solving process. Attends all meetings. Responsible for the allocation of resources. Monitors staff climate. Communicates the importance of the initiative to staff, that use of the problem solving team by the teacher is a highly professional action not a sign of teacher failure, and that in-class interventions need to be thoroughly implemented before special education eligibility can be considered. • Characteristics: Willing to take risks. Prioritizes students’ needs. • Tips: May have another role on the team.

  11. Timekeeper • What they do: Keeps the team on track by making the time and time limits public. • Characteristics: Assertive • Tips: May have another role, such as note taker. Establish time limits before meeting.

  12. Time Keeping Supports

  13. Note Taker • What they do: Responsible for documenting the meeting on designated forms. Should verbally summarize information when necessary and alert the team when a step has been skipped. • Characteristics: Detail oriented, stays on task, knows steps of problem solving. • Tips: Make notes public using technology. Use forms to guide note taking.

  14. Case (Data) Manager • What they do: Responsible for communicating with parents and teachers. Ensures that the designated data are collected and summarized for the meetings (problem-solving and follow-up) and that the intervention is being implemented. • Characteristics: Organized, good interpersonal skills. • Tips: Helpful to have written guidelines for those acting as case managers. Rotate this role among several people and can be assigned based on skills and interest.

  15. Preparing Prior to the Meeting? • Helps in staying within the established time limits. Team can spend more time in defining and analyzing the problem and developing a plan. • Appoint the Case Manager prior to first problem solving meeting who will collect the following: • Document the reason for referral • Review records • Assist the teacher in bringing helpful information to the meeting and interview the parents (will be video example).

  16. Teacher Requesting Assistance • What they do: Attend all meetings and help collect any necessary data. Involved in implementation of intervention. Communicates with parents that problem solving will be attempted and invites the parent(s) unless completed by Case Manager. • Characteristics: Aware of the problem-solving process. • Tips: They should not have another role during the meeting.

  17. Facilitator • What they do: Ensures the integrity of the process. Supports effective communication. Keeps team on track. • Characteristics: Very knowledgeable of the problem-solving process, possesses group process skills, assertive, a strong leader. • Tips: Not everyone makes a good facilitator. Those typically trained in group process skills include guidance counselors, school nurses, school psychologists, social workers, and educational consultants. Others can be trained if interested.

  18. Parent(s) • Provides information as part of initial assessment, give input on selection of intervention strategies, and have participated in the final outcome decisions • Design interventions for parents to use at home as part of the overall plan • Provide parents with training in the instructional techniques most frequently utilized in the team process • Parents do not give up their due process rights under IDEA

  19. Parent Advocate • Not typically assigned but can be valuable • Make effort to be certain parent involvement occurs • Monitor parent reactions to proceedings • Insure parents’ rights are upheld

  20. All Team Members • What they do: Participate during team meetings. Help collect data and implement interventions outside of the meetings. • Characteristics: Trained on the problem-solving process and related skills. • Tips: Not necessary for team members to know the student. All members should be committed to the success of the problem-solving process.

  21. Team Member Participation Research • Typically school psychologists and special educators provide a disproportionately larger input when compared to other members. • Classroom teachers and parents are less active participants. • Leads to less satisfaction with team decisions and less buy-in to plans • Need to redistribute power • Explicit knowledge of roles and expectations can mediate power imbalances • Can also structure communication so that members contribute in an organized manner. Teachers and parents are asked to contribute first and are provided with ample prompts and supports,. Additional members are called upon to contribute later.

  22. WHEN?: Meeting Time • A consistent meeting time. • Use time efficiently. • Never do at a meeting what can be done at another time.

  23. WHERE?: Location • Consistent meeting area. • Room should be comfortable for teaming (round or square table with everyone facing each other) • Should have access to confidential student files.


  25. Team Structure: Many Roads to Rome…Is there too much work for any one team? • Data Analysis Team: Analyze school-wide data to determine effectiveness of Tier I interventions • Grade level teams (Cluster teams): Organized around particular grade levels • Pathway teams: Organized around multi-grade groupings of classes (i.e., a primary team for grades K-3, and intermediate team for grades 4-6) • Building Teams: One team for all grades in a particular building • Unit Teams: Organized around a physical unit of a school (i.e., house of a high school)

  26. Procedural Issues

  27. Forms • Necessary for documenting information and should be aligned with your process. • Should be easy to follow and contain only the most useful information. • Some helpful forms: • Request for Assistance • Team Notification • Parent Notification • Documentation of Problem-Solving Steps • Intervention Articulation Form • Data Collection

  28. Request for Assistance • Determines a course of action to be taken when a teacher identifies a problem • Questions to consider • How will teachers/staff refer a problem to the team? • How is the team notified about new cases/meeting agendas? • If you have a dual system, (e.g., a problem solving team and a child study team-special education) consider criteria for bringing cases to either team. • How are roles and responsibilities assigned (permanent or rotating?)

  29. Timelines • Request for Assistance to Problem-Solving meeting: 1-2 weeks for team to collect Problem Identification and Analysis data. • A member of Problem-Solving team should meet with implementer of an intervention the first 2 days of implementation and follow-up weekly. • Follow-up meeting should be scheduled at initial Problem-Solving meeting based on individual student case and progress monitoring data should be collected weekly.

  30. Creating a manual • Manual should be created to ensure long-term implementation and institution of the process. • Includes: • Mission Statement • Visual of school’s process • Logistics (e.g., meeting time, roles and responsibilities, team membership) • Forms • Usually a summer project for team.

  31. Switching Gears

  32. Evaluating Problem-Solving Outcomes • Importance of evaluating outcomes • What to evaluate • The process • Consumer satisfaction • Student Outcomes • When to evaluate • Formative vs. summative outcomes

  33. Importance of Evaluating Outcomes • Accountability • No Child Left Behind and other similar legislation • Appropriate use of resources • Progress Monitoring of Problem Solving Implementation • Ensuring that the problem solving process that you have implemented is effective. • Goal of problem solving is to improve outcomes for students • Formative evaluation tells us where we can improve to reach our goal

  34. 2. What to evaluate? • Process • Consumer Satisfaction • Student Outcomes

  35. Process Data Examples of questions answered by “process” data: • How many staff are trained? • Who are we serving? • What types of problems are we addressing? • Are we implementing the process with integrity? • What is the quality of our implementation? • Do we have all of the recommended components? • Are interventions being implemented with integrity? • How are we doing with the facilitation of meetings?

  36. PROBLEM-SOLVING CASE FEEDBACK FORM 2006-2007 School_______ Case__________ Reviewer___________ Date ______

  37. Consumer Satisfaction • Parent Survey • Staff Survey

  38. Parent Satisfaction Survey 2006-2007

  39. Staff Satisfaction Examples of open-ended questions that may be asked of staff: • If you used PST this year, what do you think worked well? • What could be improved? • If you did not use PST, tell us why. • What are some suggestions you have to make PST more effective? • Other comments:

  40. Student Outcomes • Whole school/grade student outcomes • Individual Student Outcomes

  41. 3. When to Evaluate • Formative Evaluation • Formative data collection allows you to make decisions and change your practice throughout the school year. • Summative Evaluation • Allows you to make conclusions about the success of your efforts at the end of the year.

  42. Give Some Thought to- • Create or evaluate the following about your problem-solving team(s) in your building: Who? Team Membership What? Roles and Responsibilities When? Meeting Time Where? Location How? Request for Assistance Team Structure Timelines Forms Manuals How you will evaluate the effectiveness of your team?

  43. Thank Your for Your Attention Please Return to the Large Group

  44. Activity: Swap Meet Refer for Swap Meet/Cross-Team Sharing Handout for Topics to Address Please Count-Off by 4’s

  45. It’s Lotto Time!

  46. Communication Skills for Effective Problem Solving and Common Pitfalls in the Process

  47. Facilitating Group Communication • Facilitation: “to make easy or easier”. • Group leader to facilitate means to assist, encourage, foster, and support group members in order to make it easier for them to participate successfully in the group.

  48. Group Facilitation Skills • Active Listening-foundation techniques include listening for both facts and beyond the facts for feelings, attitudes, assumptions, and beliefs Let people know they are being heard, understood, and encouraged to say more. • Clarify • Reflect • Encourage • Summarize • Validate • Explore Implications