May Monthly Spotlight: Robert R. Church Elementary!

We love to see RTI²-B in the news! Robert R. Church Elementary of Shelby County Schools has been making a splash with the grand opening of their Trailblazer Incentive Store. The school received a generous donation from a local fraternity chapter, which they used to revitalize their RTI²-B store. Robert R. Church’s work is a phenomenal example of strategic community engagement. They have leveraged community support to enhance their RTI²-B framework, and their collaboration with local media allows the larger community to see the positive work that the school is doing. Further, the highlights break down RTI²-B in community-friendly language, allowing for better understanding and increased opportunities for buy-in. In the features, school leaders explained how RTI²-B has been a mindset shift and has led to a moral boost at their school. We also loved to see the school’s RTI²-B Model of Demonstration School banner in the background of the video.

Click on the images below to see these awesome news stories for yourself!

A screenshot of the WMC Action News 5 Coverage of Robert R. Church . Go watch the awesome video coverage about this story!

A screenshot of the WMC Action News 5 Coverage of Robert R. Church. Go watch the awesome video coverage about this story!

The hope is to change mindsets. If we are able to change mindsets, we believe our students will be able to succeed inside the classroom and outside the classroom.
— Raymond Edwards Jr., Family Engagement Specialist at Robert R. Church Elementary

Keep up the great work, Robert R. Church Elementary! Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

April Monthly Spotlight: Lara Kendall Elementary School!

A collage of photos of LKES Staff with Help for Billy book

A collage of photos of LKES Staff with Help for Billy book

We would like to thank Danielle Frye at Lara Kendall Elementary School for sharing this story with us. LKES is doing an excellent job improving their school climate by integrating trauma-informed practices and RTI²-B, as well as elevating student voice and promoting stakeholder engagement. Read her story below, and check out this video of Danielle discussing their work!

Lara Kendall Elementary School has taken the reins on becoming a trauma-informed school. It all began when all staff and faculty received training in Building Strong Brains. In this training, staff learned strategies to help our students who may be experiencing a high level of ACEs. The overwhelming response after this training was that teachers wanted more training. LKES staff began a book study on Help for Billy, where teachers learned even more trauma-informed classroom strategies.

After these two events, every teacher at LKES wanted a peace corner, where students can go to take a few minutes to regroup when they are not feeling safe. Many teachers began implementing many other trauma-informed practices, such as alternative lighting for sensory enrichment. In addition to our visual supports detailing our Tier 1 expectations, all teachers have been provided with a Zones of Regulation visual support. Whenever a student is upset or dysregulated, but struggling to communicate, they can point to the feeling and see what strategies they can utilize.

Ms. Frye with Zones of Regulation Visual Support

Ms. Frye with Zones of Regulation Visual Support

LKES Students relaxing in a Peace Corner

LKES Students relaxing in a Peace Corner

Special Education Classroom Peace Corner

Special Education Classroom Peace Corner

To further serve the complex needs of students, our staff was also introduced to Restorative Practices. We are actively doing a book study on Hacking School Discipline: 9 Ways to Create a Culture of Empathy & Responsibility Using Restorative Justice.

On an individual, group, and family level, we have a Referral Pathway through Project AWARE where students can be referred for Tier II or Tier III level of mental health and behavioral support. We have a school counselor, behavior specialist, a social worker, and a therapist that can serve students in the school and in the home as needed. Furthermore, all students in grades 6-8 were trained to self-refer using the Referral Pathway as needed.

To help reinforce healthy self-care practices in our faculty and staff, our school has provided a fitness area and calming room. Healthy snacks are provided weekly in teacher work areas. These initiatives came after a survey asking teachers what they needed to feel more supported. These three items ranked the highest.

Staff Calming Room

Staff Calming Room

Staff Snacks

Staff Snacks

Staff Wellness Room

Staff Wellness Room

Our students have also been working hard to enhance our school climate in a variety of ways. First, our Kindness Club students read the book Have You Filled a Bucket Today? This story teaches students kind ways to be a "bucket filler" (doing kind acts that make others feel good) rather than be a "bucket dipper" (doing unkind things that make others feel sad). The Kindness Club students created buckets that said, "Be a Bucket Filler," that were provided to every teacher, 3rd-8th grade. These buckets contained daily kindness challenges that the teachers drew from every morning. An example of a kindness challenge was, "Clean up after yourself without being asked." If teachers noticed a student engaging in these challenges, they could reinforce the behavior with Falcon Tickets. Students can collect Falcon Tickets to use on items at our Falcon Store.

Kindness Club Students creating Buckets for Be a Bucket Filler Challenge

Kindness Club Students creating Buckets for Be a Bucket Filler Challenge

Kindness Club Students creating Buckets for Be a Bucket Filler Challenge

Kindness Club Students creating Buckets for Be a Bucket Filler Challenge

Kindness Club students with sensory bottles

Kindness Club students with sensory bottles

Students have been engaged in a variety of awareness initiatives at Lara Kendall Elementary. For Autism Awareness Month, our Kindness Club students created sensory bottles for each elementary classroom. During Suicide Prevention Awareness Month, the AWARE Youth Mental Health Council and Student Health Council worked together to create a PSA to educate students on the signs and symptoms of depression and suicide risk. This PSA also included how to seek help from a school-based mental health specialist, or through other resource avenues, such as the National Crisis Text Line and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. For Bullying Prevention Month and Unity Day (a day for all to wear orange to show unity for acceptance, kindness, and inclusion), Move2Stand Club, our anti-bullying club, created a PSA sharing some statistics and facts about bullying, as well as ways to seek help if a student is experiencing bullying. In addition to the PSA, our LKES teachers, staff, and students wore orange on Unity Day (October 21, 2020) to show their commitment to unite for a bully-free school.

Youth Suicide Prevention PSA Video

 

Unity Day and Bullying Prevention Month PSA Video

A collage of photos of students and staff wearing orange for Unity Day. Text within image: Kindness, Acceptance, Inclusion. Unity Dat 2020 LKES & LCMS

A collage of photos of students and staff wearing orange for Unity Day. Text within image: Kindness, Acceptance, Inclusion. Unity Dat 2020 LKES & LCMS

Finally, our district has developed a nomination process called "Exceptional Falcons." Every month, anyone can nominate an administrator, school faculty, or staff for something exceptional they did to help our school community. These are sent our in a monthly email thread so that our entire district can see all the amazing things our Exceptional Falcons are doing to help each other and our students.

There are many more things that we could list, but these are just a few highlights from this school year. At LKES, we truly are a family, and will continue to serve each other and meet our students' needs to the best of our abilities.

Great work, Lara Kendall Elementary, and thank you for sharing your story with us! Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

March Monthly Spotlight: Coleman School!

We would like to thank Jameka Roberts at Coleman School for sharing this story with us. Despite challenges presented by COVID-19 and virtual learning, Coleman's team is still recognizing students for positive behavior in exciting and creative ways. Read her story below!

A picture of the Coleman team during a 1 minute H.E.R.O party.

A picture of the Coleman team during a 1 minute H.E.R.O party.

We are a K-8 school with almost 750 scholars. Needless to say, keeping all kids motivated with awards and incentives can sometimes be a challenge day to day when we are in person, but add virtual learning to mix, and it becomes even more complex. Our team has worked really hard to be purposeful in this time to bring JOY into this new normal. We have implemented a couple of incentives that our school really enjoyed during this time. One incentive has been a monthly 1 minute H.E.R.O party for students with perfect attendance for the month are celebrated. Our team celebrates them by popping into the classroom for 1 minute, playing the latest kid friendly hit or pop tune, dancing and cheering, and displaying their names and certificates on the screen for all to see. The students and teachers are so caught off guard that they call and beg us to come back! The feedback has been awesome from both parents and teachers. They love it!

We also have weekly raffles for perfect attendance. We send out a video where we spin a wheel to choose our winner. We announce the winner on Facebook and on our Parent square.

Coleman’s weekly attendance raffle flyer

Coleman’s weekly attendance raffle flyer

Watch one of Coleman’s weekly attendance raffles!

Coleman School also has a virtual store where scholars can use their behavioral points earned throughout the week and month to buy cool items. This has also been a hit with teachers and students and has added additional buy in and investment in learning. Learn more about Coleman’s virtual store here.

Great work, Coleman School, and thank you for sharing your story with us! Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

February Monthly Spotlight: Germantown Middle School!

We would like to thank Ms. Tawana Smith at Germantown Middle School & Ms. Charity Daniel with the Shelby County district team for sharing this story with us. Despite challenges presented by COVID-19, Germantown's team is still recognizing students for positive behavior in meaningful ways AND engaging student voice in their RTI²-B Framework. Read her story below!

This year has been a whirlwind to say the least, but one thing about Germantown Middle School is that we always find optimism in opportunities. In years past, our RTI²-B program has been one that faculty and staff, students, and parents would rave about. Teachers, as well as parents, loved the idea of students earning “bucks” to purchase real items from our G-Town School Store. Germantown has been extremely blessed to receive donations from vendors such as Walmart and Dollar Days, as well as faculty and staff. Items ranged from chips, candy, school supplies, hat and gloves sets, wallets to Bath & Body Works products, video games, gift cards, and AirPods. It was always a competition for students to see who earned the most bucks to purchase those higher-priced items. Since the start of COVID-19, it was difficult for us to man the school store. In trying to follow and adhere to the CDC’s guidelines, it was impossible for us to run an effective store and still receive the hype and positive feedback from our students. Therefore, we had to be very strategic and throw in a dash of creativity to determine how we would incentivize our students. One thing was for sure: the Germantown store was here to stay…No ifs, ands, or buts about it. That is when the Drive-Thru G-Town Store made its debut.

With our Drive-thru Store, students are still given the opportunity to earn rewards but with the use of a different system. Since our school currently utilizes Class Dojo for parent-teacher communication, the RTI²-B team thought it would be a great idea to utilize that same platform for our acknowledgement system. Students have the opportunity to earn between 0 and 5 points for various skills that include participation, teamwork, staying on task, helping others, and even school-wide competitions. Within the first few weeks, it was amazing to see the number of teachers actually utilizing the system to incentivize and distribute points to students rather than simply communicating with their parents. Once the students see the number of points they have earned, they are able to visit the store’s online website to see what items were available, select the items they want, or simply save those points to compete for those higher-priced items. If students choose to purchase, they must complete an order form with the appropriate information and pickup their items on the designated day. If they are unable to pick up their items on the designated day, we will hold their items and contact them to propose a different pickup date/time. Feel free to click around the school store’s website to see what Germantown has to offer!

 

The above images are screenshots from the G-Town Store Order Form.

 

The above image is from a G-Town store drive-thru pickup.

In terms of the logistics such as item selection, pickup date/time, and other essential pieces that comprise our RTI²-B program, we have a wonderful compilation of faculty and staff, who always bring awesome ideas to the table and ensure the work we are performing isn’t for our own benefit but for the benefit of our AMAZING students. We also cannot forget about our first-year student group, who assists with this awesome program. This core group of students were hand-selected by faculty and staff, who agreed that these students exhibit our school-wide expectations on a daily basis, are receptive to feedback while also providing it, are optimistic, and do not mind leading by example and being the voice of their student body. With all of these accolades, it was only befitting that we named them the RTI²-B Initiative. So far, these students have attended team meetings with staff members, as well as the coach. They have also been intentional in learning more about RTI²-B, what it entails, what that program should/could look like at Germantown Middle School, and what their exact needs or desires are. For example, the students inquired about being able to select items that they would like to see in the store. Most of them feel that their peers are more mature and would be willing to participate or work harder for those Class Dojo points, if the items are promising. We are super excited to see where this program lands after this year and where it will take us in years to come!

Great work, Germantown Middle, and thank you for sharing your story with us! Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

January Monthly Spotlight: A. Maceo Walker Middle School!

We would like to thank Ms. Tosha Spears at A. Maceo Walker Middle School for sharing this story with us. In a difficult year, A. Maceo Walker's team came up with a creative and safe way to connect with and recognize students through “The Jaguar School-Wide Acknowledgment Drive-Bys”. Read her story below!

The “Sensational Six” team at A. Maceo Walker Middle School is simply amazing! Due to the pandemic, our school was unable to acknowledge our students that go over and beyond to exhibit our school-wide expectations of “Be Respectful, Be Responsible, and Be Right” in our normal manner. At the November RTI2-B meeting, the team members discussed ways to do more than just post these exceptional students on the school's website and Facebook page. The RTI2-B team decided to conduct “The Jaguar School-Wide Acknowledgment Drive-Bys”. Mrs. Hull, RTI2-B committee member, and our 6th grade chair launched our first drive-by on Saturday, December 12, 2020. Mrs. Latoya Hull, Mr. Reginald Golden, Ms. Melissa Dinh, and Ms. Katja Barnhart drove by the homes of four 6th grade students of the month to deliver special gifts. Parents were contacted and informed in advance to keep it a surprise. Being mindful of social distancing and mask mandates, the students were shocked and overjoyed to see their teachers and receive their gifts. This was their first face-to-face encounter for the 2020-21 school year. All four students were presented gift bags with items from our “Jaguar-Mart” store including gift cards and L.A. (Love A. Maceo) bucks. What an awesome way to show our deserving students how much we appreciate and honor their commitment to our school-wide behavior expectations. Team Sensational Six and students of the month have modeled resilience and commitment during this dreadful pandemic.

Pictured from left to right: Ms. Barnhart, Ms. Dinh, Litha Mnyanda (student), Mr. Golden and Mrs. Hull. Forefront: Mrs. Mnyanda 

Pictured from left to right: Ms. Barnhart, Ms. Dinh, Litha Mnyanda (student), Mr. Golden and Mrs. Hull. Forefront: Mrs. Mnyanda 

Great work, A. Maceo Walker, and thank you for sharing your story with us! Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

December Monthly Spotlight: Yorkville Elementary!

The Count Your Blessings sign on Ms. Lee’s desk

2020 has been a difficult year, leaving many of us feeling exhausted and burnt-out. While we always recommended acknowledging the amazing faculty and staff members at your school, this task is especially important this year. Educators have been through the ringer this year with shifting educational models and implementing COVID-19 precautions, all while trying to keep their own families safe. Yorkville Elementary School in Gibson County has done a phenomenal job of boosting morale this year by recognizing their faculty and staff in fun and creative ways.

During a difficult semester, Yorkville’s Principal, Ms. Sharon Lee, focused on the message: Count Your Blessings. Practicing gratitude is a wonderful way to increase happiness and deal with adverse experiences. During each day’s announcements, Ms. Lee gives an encouraging message over the intercom with a reminder to work hard & count your blessings.

Ms. Lee, along with district support, has led a variety of initiatives to encourage and acknowledge staff this year. In their latest school-wide celebration, teachers enjoyed slushies with their students and an afternoon of non-instructional, fun activities of teachers' choice, such as playing outside. This was done as individual classes to allow for social distancing. ALL students were allowed to participate in this morale-boosting day.

Who doesn’t love coffee? Yorkville staff enjoyed a gift of coffee from the school administrators and board members on two occasions. The first was “just because”! The second was provided by an outgoing board member as a show of appreciation and as a farewell.

Staff lunch provided by board members upon return to building

Staff lunch provided by board members upon return to building

The staff also enjoyed a lunch provided by the newly-elected board member when returning to the building from virtual learning.

Yorkville Staff also enjoyed some fall fun this year! Staff members were allowed to dress up for Halloween! Further, teacher’s were acknowledged through the Purple Pumpkin. Acknowledged staff members were allowed to pull a gift from the Purple Pumpkin & had their picture made with it as well.

Coming up in December, Yorkville staff will enjoy the 12 Days of Christmas. During the 12 instructional days leading up to Christmas, staff members will be allowed to wear jeans! What a fun and FREE way to show appreciation to staff in a what can be exhausting time of year.

Great work, Yorkville Elementary! We are so proud of your hard work, and we are delighted to share your story with our region.

Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

November Monthly Spotlight: Geeter K-8 School!

With a fully virtual schooling model, several schools across the country have had to rethink many details of how they operate. Geeter K-8 School in Shelby County is working hard to ensure that even though school is virtual, they are facilitating a safe, predictable, and positive environment where students know what is expected of them. Moreover, they are using fun and creative methods reinforce their school-wide expectations by to regularly acknowledging students for meeting them.

This year, Geeter is using LiveSchool to track their acknowledgement system. Geeter students are able to spend their LiveSchool earnings at the Dragon Store on Geeter Prime Days, which occur quarterly during virtual schooling. About every two weeks, students are also recognized through Pop-Up Celebrations. The Pop-Up Celebration was created to give the students an opportunity to get an exclusive invitation to shop in the Dragon Store before Geeter Prime Days. However, the students are not aware when the POP-UP will occur, hence the motto: Always show your Geeter P.R.I.D.E, because you never know when we will POP-Up! 

Only one student per grade is recognized in each Pop-Up Celebration. The selection criteria is aligned to the school-wide expectations and chosen by the RTI²-B Team in the monthly meeting. Usually, the team chooses a behavior that they would like to see improved. For example, the next Pop-up Celebration is next week, and the criteria chosen is “Screen On”.  Using LiveSchool data, the team was able to pinpoint the top students per grade who received the most points for having their screen on during instruction. The teachers are made aware of the day of the celebration to prepare for our interruption, but the winners are kept anonymous until the principal and the RTI²-B Coach Pop-Up into the student’s virtual classroom playing a celebration song. Then, they explain to the students that they are in the class to celebrate a certain student and why that student was chosen. In addition to this recognition, the student also receives an extra 50 Dragon bucks to spend at the Dragon Store. The student is allowed to explain why they think they were chosen. The rest of the class is then encouraged that they too can earn the privilege by following the school-wide expectations. They are reminded that they must follow all expectations because the criteria will change each time. This also ensures that different students are celebrated each time. After the student is announced, he or she is pulled into a separate teams meeting and asked to have a parent/guardian come to the screen. The principal and RTI²-B coach explain to the parent/guardian what their student is being celebrated for and how to receive their prize. Geeter also sends a recognition email to the family of the recognized students (see an example email in the gallery below).

Now, the Dragon Store is virtual. The students are given a link to access the Dragon Store Catalog and an order form. Families have the option to pick up the items or to have them mailed to their home address. Shipping costs are possible due to donations the principal obtained from community partners. 

Great work, Geeter! Thank you for sharing your ideas with our region!

Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

October Monthly Spotlight: Dyer County Schools!

Schools across the nation are adapting their policies and procedures to meet the challenges presented by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Whether returning to school virtually, in-person, or through a combination of both, schools are having to rethink many of their strategies to serve students. Dyer County counselors have created impressive new ways to support teachers in their implementation of RTI²-B through interactive monthly newsletters. The newsletters were created on Canva (a graphic design tool with a free plan for educators), but they also noted that Google slides could be used for this as well. In addition to providing important links and dates to remember, the newsletter focuses on the Character Education focus for the month, providing teachers with helpful resources for teaching and reinforcing the monthly trait. This interactive resource helps keep RTI²-B top of mind for teachers while also cutting down on their planning time by providing crafts, videos, and other teaching tools that they can utilize in a one-stop shop.

Click on the below images to view some of these interactive newsletters.

Great work, Dyer County! Thank you for sharing your ideas with our region!

Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

September Monthly Spotlight: Sharon School!

Throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve all had to make adjustments to the way we do business. Sharon School is quick on their feet with fresh ideas to ensure a safe, positive, and predictable school climate this school year, despite uncertainties around COVID-19. They are creatively using their Facebook page to recognize students and staff members while also engaging families and the school community.

In late July, they began posting photos of teachers with and without their masks on, to prepare students and families for the upcoming school year. This way, students could know what to expect when they met their teachers, helping to quell any fears or preoccupations around mask-wearing.

On the first day back, Sharon School posted images of students meeting the important COVID-19 expectations across the building by sanitizing their hands, wearing masks, and maintaining social distancing. We’re sure that this went a long way to calm any fears that family members might have had around safety and school return. These photos are also a great recognition for positive behavior, encouraging students to continue engaging in these behaviors.

Not to mention, we love the inclusion of #eaglessoar, which reflects their school-wide SOAR expectations!

All in all, way to start the year strong, Sharon School. We’re proud to work with you!

Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

Click on the images to the right to view each of Sharon School’s original Facebook posts (or click here to view their Facebook page). We also recommend giving them a follow if you’re on Facebook!

August Monthly Spotlight: Haywood Middle School!

All summer, schools across the country have been working tirelessly to determine the best way to adapt their every day procedures for the current COVID-19 crisis. Today, we are spotlighting Haywood Middle School for a great example of this work in preparing students and families for return to school. Many families have legitimate concerns about return to school procedures, specifically regarding to safety. This video from HMS shows the hard work that they have been doing to ensure that students will return to a safe, predictable, and positive school building in just a few short weeks, which can help put those fears to rest. Great work, HMS!

Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

May Monthly Spotlight: Holice Powell Elementary!

We are excited to bring you a wonderful exemplar of data-based decision making and student recognition from Holice Powell Elementary School (HPES)! Big thanks to Holice Powell Ele. for sharing their story with us. Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

At HPES, we wanted to reinforce behavior on Thursdays due to having more referrals on that day than any others. We started implementing "Taco" 'Bout Good Behavior to the students who have the most positive scans on Thursday. Students receive a certificate and a coupon for a free taco from Taco Bell, and they get to be on our school's facebook page for bragging rights. This has really helped the amount of referrals that we were receiving on Thursdays.

Way to use that data to your advantage, HPES!

Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

HPES Taco Bout Good Behavior Winners with their certificates and coupons

HPES Taco Bout Good Behavior Winners with their certificates and coupons

April Monthly Spotlight: Bolivar Central High School

We are excited to bring you a wonderful exemplar of student recognition from Bolivar Central High School! Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

During this unprecedented time of school closures due to the coronavirus pandemic, we have been constantly amazed at the ways educators are going above and beyond to minimize disruptions to student learning and maintain strong positive relationships. One incredible example of this comes from Bolivar Central High School. This week, we were thrilled to see BCHS featured on the local news for hanging banners around their city to recognize the Class of 2020. We know that seniors are missing out on so much, so we love to see this creative effort to celebrate their hard work and success.

Check out the images below from WBBJ TV of the Class of 2020 banners displayed around Bolivar.

To read the full news article and view the news segment from WBBJ, click here.

Great work, Bolivar Central! We are proud to work with such an incredible school.

Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

March Monthly Spotlight: Crestview Elementary School Tier 2!

We are excited to bring you a wonderful exemplar of Tier 2 from Crestview Elementary School! Big thanks to Crestview Ele. for sharing their story with us. Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

Our Tier 2 CICO group is a special part of each day! The students are in an area where they feel comfortable and are able to share their ups and downs freely with their mentors. This group of students are reinforced by adult attention and tangible/edible items. Most are making great progress!!

A key to our success may have been that we started implementation with a pilot last school year immediately after training. The pilot ran for about three months and consisted of only five students. During this time, we were able to iron out any unexpected kinks of implementation and prepare for full implementation in the fall. Because of this, our fall implementation was highly successful, which led to strong student and teacher buy-in. It was amazing to see how students congratulated each other for meeting their daily goals, leading to an encouraging and supporting climate within the student group. Teachers are now volunteering to be a CICO staff member because they are seeing the success that this program has with students.

Cori Smith, Tier 2 Coach, meets with students during daily CICIO.

Thanks again to Crestview Elementary for sharing this story! We are delighted to spotlight your good work. Keep it up!

Partners in Education Conference 2020

We had a great time at the 2020 Partners in Education Conference! We were delighted to have quite a few of our schools represent the West TN Region wonderfully at breakout sessions. Our region was represented in sessions about coaching, alignment, collaboration, family and community engagement, and large-scale district implementation. We are so proud of all our school partners and enjoy presenting alongside them!

One of the breakout sessions, the RTI²-B Share Fair, was a huge success. RTI²-B Leaders from Bolivar Central High School, East Elementary, and Dyer County Schools, along with other exemplary schools across the state, provided helpful information in a poster session format.

The highlight of the week was the Models of Demonstration luncheon on Tuesday. Theresa Nicholls, Assistant Commissioner of Special Populations, presented awards to all of the Model of Demonstration schools across Tennessee. All of the TN Schools of Recognition were also acknowledged and celebrated. We are so proud of ALL of our Schools of Recognition and Model of Demonstration Schools.

To learn more about the SOR/MOD designation and to see a complete list of this year’s awards, click here.

TN Behavior Supports Project Vendor Table

TN Behavior Supports Project Vendor Table

As always, we loved catching up with many of you at our vendor table. Be sure to stop by again next year! We have already started looking forward to it. Tell us in the comments if you have ideas about the type of resources we should have at our table next year.

February Monthly Spotlight: Jackson Careers & Technology School

We are excited to bring you a fantastic update from Jackson Careers & Technology School (JCT)! Big thanks to JCT for sharing their story with us. Do you have a story to share? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

We implemented Bulldog Pride Basketball Game Night as an incentive for students who had not received an ODR (Office Discipline Referral). They were given 1 free admission to the game and 1 free popcorn at concession. A master list was generated and kept at the gate. Letters to parents went home and parents were also invited to attend. See an image of our parent letter, and click here to download a word document file.

At halftime, we recognized the students as a group who were in attendance and explained the purpose of Bulldog PRIDE at JCT. We had approximately 50 6th-8th grade students show up. Approximately 150 were eligible. As a backup measure, a parent donated goody bags for all students who were being rewarded but didn't attend the game. They were given out the following day. We are excited to try this again soon and shoot for an even larger turn out!

This incentive is three-fold. First and foremost, it doesn't require instruction time to be missed. Next, students become stakeholders and actively involved in supporting their school's athletic programs. Finally, this is a great opportunity for us to engage families and teach them about our Bulldog PRIDE expectations. The Bulldog PRIDE committee also attended the game night!

Thanks again to JCT for sharing this story! We are delighted to spotlight your good work. Keep it up!

January Monthly Spotlight: Overton High School

Overton High School is doing a phenomenal job making sure that their RTI²-B Program is culturally responsive and relevant to their students. Their expectation posters were beautifully designed by their students in both English and Spanish! What an awesome way to encourage student buy-in and an inclusive climate. Check out their stellar posters below!

Do you have a story to share with us? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

Fall Regional Coaches Meetings: Memphis Area

Our second and third Regional Coaches Meetings were a success! These meetings, a time when we gather all of our region’s coaches in to one room to network and celebrate, are some of our favorite events of the semester. Because of the incredible growth we have seen over the last year, we had to divide our usual Regional Coaches meeting into three to accommodate the large number of coaches wishing to attend. The first of these three meetings took place on November 7 in Jackson, TN. Read all about it here.

Our second and third meetings were on November 20, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. At each session, our coaches enjoyed three presentations from exemplary coaches from across the region. In the morning, Julia Cole from Ross Elementary (Shelby County Schools) shared about their awesome teacher acknowledgement system. Their work was featured in our Monthly Spotlight in March 2019, which you can check out here. Next, Rashad Smith of Bolivar Central High (Hardeman County Schools) highlighted amazing strategies for student acknowledgement, and Rachel Mogy of Bon Lin Middle (Bartlett City Schools) provided helpful tips for data tracking and data-based decision making. In the afternoon session, we heard more innovated ideas for acknowledging teachers from J.J. Brown of E.A. Harold Elementary (Millington City Schools) and Sharon Harris of Millington Elementary (Millington City Schools). Rashad Smith of Bolivar Central High (Hardeman Co.) shared again about student acknowledgement, and Victoria Bond of Rozelle Creative & Performing Arts Elementary (Shelby County Schools) presented creative ways to integrate RTI²-B with other existing initiatives. At both sessions, Hether Pflasterer, WTBSP Consultant, shared about the influence of RTI²-B on disproportionality. Our coaches had the opportunity to speak with WTBSP about all of the services our grant offers in a poster session format. A great time was had by all!

We look forward to our future Regional Coaches meetings! We have such a wealth of expertise across our region, and these meetings are such a wonderful way to showcase it. If you weren’t able to attend this semester, we hope to see you next time!

November Monthly Spotlight: West Tennessee School for the Deaf!

The West TN School for the Deaf (WTSD) is implementing a new and creative way to encourage families to participate in school-wide events. In order to incentivize families, they created an Eagle’s Lair Family Engagement punch card for families to track their attendance at various family events. WTSD staff shared the below letter with families at their Open House. In the letter, they included a blurb that explained RTI2-B to families, shared the school-wide expectations, and introduced the Eagle’s Lair Family Engagement Club punch card. At the end of the year, families that have received all of their punches will be recognized as the Eagles’ Lair Family Engagement Club and entered into a prize drawing. Check out the photo below to see the letter they sent out to families introducing this new initiative and a photo of the punch card.

We love the way that WTSD is applying the principles of RTI2-B to family engagement by providing reinforcement for desired behavior. Thank you for sharing this work with us, WTSD!

Do you have a story to share with us? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight here.

Download WTSD’s Family Engagement Letter here.

Fall Regional Coaches Meeting: Jackson Area

One of our favorite events of the semester is our Regional Coaches Meeting, a time when we gather all of our region’s coaches in to one room to network and celebrate. Because of the incredible growth we have seen over the last year, we have had to divide this meeting into three to accommodate the large number of coaches wishing to attend. The first of these three meetings took place last week in Jackson, TN. It was a hit! We enjoyed hearing about the awesome work being done at several school spotlights, including Lara Kendall Elementary School, Trenton Elementary School, and Bolivar Central High School. Hether Pflasterer, WTBSP Consultant, shared about the influence of RTI2-B on disproportionality. Our coaches had the opportunity to speak with WTBSP about all of the services our grant offers in a poster session format.

We are looking forward to a great time at our next two Regional Coaches Meetings in the Memphis area in the coming weeks!

October Monthly Spotlight: Rivercrest Elementary!

Rivercrest Elementary kicked off the school year with a BE RES (Re Respectful, Be Responsible, Be Resourceful) program. The Rivercrest Elementary teachers started the program with a cheer after the students were seated in the gym. The Redbird mascot participated in games with some of the students. All of our students participated in the assembly that included cheers, a review of expectations, and introduction to the BE RES signs that are now posted throughout the school. The assembly ended with a grade level dance as students exited the gym. It was very important to our principal, Sharonda Rose, that we had a program to review RTI2-B expectations and give students an opportunity to have fun at the same time. Ms. Lakita Dennis, helped put together a wonderful program along with our Be RES team.

Thank you for sharing this work with us, RES! Do you have a story to share with us? Learn more about how to be featured in a monthly spotlight HERE.