Every quarter, the board conducts a review of the plan in order to surface strengths and challenges, problem-solve and make adjustments when needed.

Implementation Outcomes Status Update

At the October 27, 2014 Board of Education meeting, Behavior Education outcomes and discrete action steps were shared as a part of the quarterly review. Those outcomes and actions steps are listed below along with a corresponding status update.

Implementation Step


Communication: Increase overall understanding of the Behavior Education Plan including implications for practice

  1. Two-way communication with principals, all staff, and families
  2. Overall monitoring of school specific Behavior Education implementation through the Behavior Education Leadership Team and Implementation Team

On track

  • Strengthened composition of Behavior Education Leadership Team and Implementation Team to ensure weekly monitoring of the Behavior Education Plan and deploy necessary resources
  • Established a Behavior Education advisory group
  • Provided a forum for stakeholders to share concerns, suggestions and promising practices through an online feedback form
  • Contributed regularly to the principal, staff, and family newsletters
  • Highlighted best-practices via video

Infrastructure: High Schools: Provide intensive support to high schools

  1. Develop and implement universal (school-wide and classroom) systems and practices
  2. Provide supports/services to students with intensive behavior needs

On track

  • Established a high school Behavior Education team that meets monthly to develop a road map for universal (school-wide) and classroom practice implementation
  • Supported PBS internal coaches through one on one support and monthly discipline meetings
  • Established a high school tier 3 team to improve the continuum of services for students with complex needs, with a focus on the eighth to 9th grade transition
  • Established a cross-systems team to improve coordination with Dane County
  • Provided mentors to five Memorial high school students through collaboration with Briarpatch Youth Services

Infrastructure: Tier 2/3: Provide efficient tier 2/3 support to schools

  1. Develop a school-level infrastructure to support implementation of tier 2 and 3 interventions
  2. Access additional support students with intensive behavioral and mental health need

On track

  • Provided professional development to school-based student services staff focused on developing cohesive student services teams at each school
  • Trained five schools, through the PBIS network, in tier two practices providing ongoing support for implementation
  • Hired two Home-School-Community Stabilization Coordinators to support students with complex needs
  • Selected two schools to engage in the Integrating Mental Health Professionals pilot to begin in the fall

Communication: Provide integrated and innovative professional learning for teachers

  1. School-based support from external PBS coaches
  2. District professional development opportunities


  • Established an MTSS cross-functional team to integrate academics and behavior in support of teacher teams
  • Provided PBS internal coaches with professional development in cognitive coaching and classroom practices / strategies
  • Developed a Behavior and Mental Health Institute for school-based student services staff and Teacher Institute for school based teachers providing weekly professional development to those staff who elect to attend
  • Supported schools in providing professional development in behavior and mental health

*Note: While we have made progress as evidenced by the bullets listed above, innovative professional development opportunities for teachers remain an area of growth for our work. Our focus this quarter has been on targeted professional development to schools as opposed to more global professional development. Feedback indicates that our teachers need additional support in proactively teaching social / emotional skills and effectively responding to challenging behaviors. We continue to support each of our schools through our coaching structures and are developing additional professional development events and modules.


out of school suspension dataData-based decision making continues to be essential in informing implementation of the Behavior Education Plan. Data is used to assess the functioning of systems and practices and to support school teams in identifying patterns of behavior that inform instruction and intervention. This report outlines quantitative suspension and behavior event data from first semester (September 1, 2014 to January 23, 2015).

Quantitative Behavior Data
As expected, given the change in the policy, the use of out of school suspensions has dropped dramatically including an almost 90% decrease at the elementary school level. This decrease is not driven entirely by the policy change preventing K-3 suspensions, as suspensions for grades 4-5 also are down quite a bit. In comparing first semester last year to this year, there were 733 fewer out of school suspensions.

Another useful way to consider suspension data is the days of instruction lost due to out of school suspensions because fewer suspensions means more time in class and learning. From 2013-14 to 2014-15, the reduction in Semester 1 suspensions led to 1077 additional days of instruction.

Racial Disproportionality
There has been a decrease in the disproportionate use of out of school suspensions among African American and Hispanic students at the elementary level making our elementary schools a leading indicator in Behavior Education implementation. However, as a district and at the middle and high school levels, disproportionality in the use of out of school suspensions for African American students has increased slightly. Eighteen percent of our students are African American, yet they receive 64% of out of school suspensions district-wide. The following graphs show the out of school suspensions by race / ethnicity for the district and by elementary, middle, and high school levels.

Out of School Suspensions by race or ethnicity  K-5 out of school suspensions

Qualitative Data

In addition to quantitative implementation data, the team has also collected qualitative implementation data from a variety of sources. There are several structures used to monitor Behavior Education implementation. The Behavior Education Leadership Team and the Behavior Education Implementation Team meets weekly to identify the trends in our school buildings and deploy support. The MMSD website features a feedback form available for staff, students, families or community members to submit concerns and promising practices. This data is reviewed bi-weekly at the Behavior Education Leadership Team. Moreover, the MMSD/MTI Joint Committee on Safety and Discipline has developed a joint survey to inform implications for Behavior Education implementation. The Joint Committee has met to review the preliminary survey results and suggest implementation steps. Further joint data analysis will ensure a deeper understanding of the data and corresponding implications. Lastly, building principals were encouraged to hold Behavior Education implementation feedback sessions and data was obtained was incorporated into our feedback themes.

The Behavior Education implementation themes this quarter were consistent with the categories identified last quarter. All themes are accompanied by action steps intended to support our schools.

Stakeholder Perspective:

  • While stakeholders seem to understand our approach to behavior, we need to do more work to bring values and beliefs into alignment.
  • Stakeholders believe behaviors are modified with both intervention coupled with consequences; however, implementation is not yet having the desired impact on behavior.


  • Consistent, time-sensitive communication is imperative in behavior Education implementation
    • School staff need a better understanding of when and how to document behavior incidents
    • School staff would like the opportunity to provide input for behavior resolution including both intervention and discipline
    • School staff would like the opportunity close the feedback loop with administrators to gain a better understanding of an assigned intervention and/or consequence


  • Schools need support to develop clear behavior response systems that ensure:
    • The teacher is able get support in a reasonable amount of time in order to prevent escalation and minimize distractions
    • Minimal instructional time is lost for the student engaging in the behavior and his or her peers
    • Students are returned to class ready to reengage in learning
    • The teacher and student have the opportunity to repair harm with one another rebuilding their relationship moving forward
  • Fidelity of PBS systems must be developed to implement the Behavior Education Plan
  • Resources are necessary to support students with who experience mental health challenges
  • Infrastructure to support interventions at tiers 2/3 needs to be developed at each school along with systemic coaching to support implementation

Professional Development:

  • Professional development focused on the following is necessary to ensure high-quality Behavior Education implementation:
    • Building-based professional development in the explicit teaching social/emotional skills
    • Building-based professional development in the explicit teaching of behavior
    • Building-based professional development in responding to challenging behaviors
    • Building-based professional development in restorative practices

Implementation Outcomes and Next Steps

The implementation of the Behavior Education Plan is ongoing as we work to ensure our schools are not only able to implement the policy but they are able to achieve the goals outlined in the plan. As such, the following are features of Behavior Education implementation requiring refinement and the corresponding discrete action steps scheduled to occur between now and the May 18, 2015 review of the policy.

Implementation Outcome #1, Communication:

Engage MMSD stakeholders in the policy update process through the systemic collection of qualitative and quantitative data

Semester 2 Action Steps

  • Analyze documentation parameters and recalibrate schools during second semester
  • Convene Behavior Education Advisory to review the Behavior Education Plan
  • Convene Behavior Education focus groups
  • Engage the MMSD/MTI Joint Committee on Safety and Discipline in conversations focused on potential policy revisions
  • Engage in a deep analysis of school-wide Behavior Education implementation with a specific focus on learning from schools implementing successfully as measured by the survey
  • Provide SBLTs with school specific survey results in order to engage them in root cause analysis and Behavior Education reflection for implementation
  • Assess school documentation practices for alignment with progressive approach, use of suspension, and impact on disproportionality
  • Propose changes to the Board of Education in May

Implementation Outcome #2, Infrastructure:

Compose multi-year implementation plan to guide high schools in developing and implementing multi-tiered systems to support student behavior and mental health

Semester 2 Action Steps

  • Behavior Education Team: Articulate plan for developing universal (school-wide and classroom) systems and implementing universal practices for all students
  • Cross-Systems Team: Improve cross-systems coordination with the County and contracted agencies for students that are system involved
  • Tier 3 Team: Improve continuum of services at the school and district levels for 9th grade students with complex needs, including defined 8th - 9th grade transition services
  • School level teams: Increase coordination of teaming structures and delineate roles and responsibilities to implement a multi-tiered system of supports for students at the school site level
  • Professional Development: Provide introductory workshops in Developmental Designs to 9th grade teachers, Department of Curriculum and Instruction, Educational Resource Officers, and Security Assistants

Implementation Outcome #3, Infrastructure:

Provide support and professional learning to Student Services Teams to 1) develop a school-level infrastructure to implement tier 2 and 3 interventions, and 2) access additional support for students with intensive behavioral and mental health needs.

Semester 2 Action Steps

  • Complete tier 2 training through the PBIS Network (Targeted schools: Nuestro Mundo, Olson, Stephens, Thoreau, and Hamilton)
  • Complete the PBS Self Assessment Survey in spring 2015 to measure universal PBS fidelity and target schools that meet fidelity for tier 2 training in 2015-16
  • Use technology to provide Student Services teams with school-based professional development on third Mondays focused on strengthening collaborative practices related to engaging in effective meetings, individual problem solving and the development of school-wide support systems
  • Determine Central Office infrastructure necessary for schools to be better supported in developing tier 2 and 3 systems, delineating roles and responsibilities of Student Services personnel to effectively support universal practices, implement tiered interventions, and provide a continuum of services for students
  • Determine district level continuum of services to provide short term stabilization, long term case management, and clinical consultation for students with intensive needs
  • Develop ninth grade programming as part of continuum for students with intensive behavioral and mental health needs that are transitioning from enrollment in middle school alternative programs, shortened day schedules, and out of district placements

Implementation Outcome #4, Infrastructure:

Support schools in implementing effective behavior response systems

Semester 2 Action Steps

  • Target intensity of support to schools based on PBS fidelity discipline system subscales and MTI/MMSD Joint Survey data
  • Target allocation of Behavior Education Assistants to schools with high average behavior incidents per day
  • Develop training module based on Crisis Management Intervention that provides teachers with the knowledge and skills to access behavior support in recognition of a student’s adaptive state
  • Define best practices for sensory regulation and support schools in putting practices in place
  • Support schools in developing a system for ensuring a cohesive communication feedback loop and in developing a system necessary for ensuring teachers are able to understand/support in intervention
  • Identify and highlight schools experiencing success in implementation

Implementation Outcome #5, Professional Development:

Support implementation of classroom systems and practices to proactively support and respond to behavior, including integrating social emotional learning within instruction

Semester 2 Action Steps

  • Support schools in developing a deeper understanding in how to cultivate shared beliefs and values relative to the Behavior Education Plan
  • Target classroom practices and strategies to coach / support teachers as the primary topic of monthly PBS Internal Coaches professional development meetings
  • Offer Behavior and Mental Health Institute for school-based student services staff and Teacher Institute for school based teachers providing weekly professional development to those staff who elect to attend during the school year and summer institutes, as well
  • Complete plan for providing Responsive Classroom and Developmental Designs training to all teachers district-wide
  • Develop tools and professional learning to support teachers to integrate social emotional learning within instruction
  • Define “defiance of authority” and target specific culturally responsive, instruction / intervention strategies
  • Support schools in understanding effective interventions and developing the infrastructures to support interventions

For a full summary of the first quarter review and action steps, click here