[Recap] Real School Climate Change: New Approaches for Better Behavior


Educators have been clamoring for practical ways to improve school climate. A recent poll conducted by the Council of Administrators of Special Education (CASE) found that 72 percent of its members report social-emotional strategies as the top professional development request from educators. This coincides with our own surveys of thousands of educators and related services providers and staff.

This fall, PresenceLearning hosted a three-part webinar series bringing together experts in communication, behavior disorders, and positive behavior supports to provide critically needed strategies to:

  • Create conditions for school success using positive disciplinary practices and related social and emotional regulation
  • Be able to use data more effectively to predict behavioral interventions that will drive meaningful difference in student outcomes
  • Use evidence-based practices to create an instructional environment free of behavioral disruptions

12,000 people signed up to watch the series, which included the following speakers and topics:

  • Dr. Joe Ryan: “Beyond Behavior: Creating a Culture for Data-Driven Behavioral Interventions”
    Using data to make better decisions about student behavior is a cultural and environmental shift impacting special educators, administrators, and mental health professionals alike. While we continue to observe and document cases related to behavior problems, there is a heightened need for easier and more reliable ways to determine the effectiveness of behavioral interventions. Now we can clearly define what influences a child’s maladaptive behavior and apply the most appropriate methods. During this webinar, we explored a range of practical data-driven solutions that will transform your schools into more positive settings for teaching and learning.
  • Dr. Daniel Crimmins and Dr. Michael Gamel-McCormick:Positive Behavior Strategies: The Real Road to School Climate Change”
    The use of reactive disciplinary approaches such as seclusion, restraint, and out-of-school suspension has gained much attention recently, with numerous exposes, government reports, and proposed federal legislation. There is compelling evidence that these approaches are often dangerous for students and create a negative school climate. The challenge to schools seeking to reduce their use of these procedures is determining what their teachers and staff will do instead. Positive behavior support strategies offer an evidence-based alternative that emphasizes prevention of challenging behavior and systematic instruction in positive social skills. By embracing these new approaches we will experience improved school climate and learning environments that foster student achievement and enhanced morale for school personnel and families.
  • Dr. Barry Prizant, Amy Laurent, and Emily Rubin: “Social Communication + Emotional Regulation: An Environment for School Success”
    With growing concerns about behavior issues that disrupt the learning environment, educators are seeking new evidence-based strategies to help students with challenges in social communication and emotional regulation. This webinar is an overview of The SCERTS Model, which helps create positive school climates. SCERTS prioritizes developmental areas of Social Communication, Emotional Regulation, and Transactional Support — critical foundations for student success — socially and academically — while preventing problem behavior. Strategies utilizing a team approach will be provided that optimize school success for students, and that integrate knowledge and practice from a variety of disciplines.

Watch all three 90-minute webinars here, and be sure to stay tuned for an announcement about our spring series, “Success for Every Learner” featuring the return of an audience favorite and friend of PresenceLearning, Dr. Frances Stetson, and a couple of new voices including Dr Ed Dunkelblau, one of the originators of the Social Emotional Learning movement, and Dr Ross Greene, a best-selling author, speaker and psychologist who originated the CPS care model for students with serious challenges. This series is designed to be informative and challenging to our audience of special education directors and clinical professionals to take a hard look at the uncomfortable realities in our school systems and consider some new solutions for reaching every student.