Communication Paves the Way for EBPs in Schools

Michelle Woodbridge (bio) promotes communication to successfully implement evidence-based programs.


Bringing on evidence-based programs in a district-wide operation requires communication at all different levels. So we started with getting the support of the district administrators then we also visit each and every school in face-to-face meetings with the principal, inform them about the evidence-based intervention itself, the evidence behind it, what our expectations are, and also give them a lot of information about this is what we can bring to you with our federal grant dollars.

We are able to support training and supervision and materials, but we also knew that the school would have to be providing some support, too. They would have to provide the time for the mental health clinicians to work in this group environment. The teachers would be burdened a bit. We were doing some data collection.

So we were really clear with the principal about what were the costs and the responsibilities of the school as well as what we could bring and what we would promise them. And then we do have to talk to the community of the school itself, to parents, there's usually parent liaison groups that you can speak to. They want to know what the role of the school is, if their children's instruction will be interrupted. We had to work with the teachers themselves. We sat in on faculty meetings. We asked to be invited to faculty meetings or to present at larger parent and faculty and orientation meetings about the project.

So really a lot of communication so that the school communities individually feel like they own this project, that they have a say in how it will be run, that the implementation will go smoothly so that it doesn't interrupt their main objective — which is instruction.

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Excerpted from an interview at CBITS Summit 2012 in Santa Monica, CA.

Dr. Woodbridge's work is fully funded by United States Department of Education Grant Number R324A110027, a $3,383,527 grant awarded to SRI International. The views and conclusions expressed are those of the presenter and should not be interpreted as necessarily representing the official policies or endorsements, either expressed or implied, of the USDE or the U.S. Government.

 

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