Share Your Data, Build Momentum: Sustaining Practices Together
When tackling any initiative, sustaining its implementation should always be a goal. When you focus on ways to continue the practice long after its first appearance in your building, you turn a flash-in-the-pan initiative into something more deeply rooted with lasting impact. Think about what you would do in your building, right now, to make your behavior support practices last in the long run. Got an idea? Are you curious what the research suggests? Share your data!
A recent study of 860 schools across 14 states (McIntosh, Kim, Mercer, Strickland-Cohen, & Horner, 2015) looked at the schools’ demographics as well as the teams’ actions to see which factors increased the likelihood of sustained SWPBIS implementation. Turns out, it was the team’s actions, specifically how often it shared data with all school staff, that had the most significant impact on whether the school sustained its implementation. There is still more research to be done, but regularly sharing data is a practice PBISApps recommends to all schools.
It is always a good time remember the positive impact sharing data with staff can have on achieving the valued outcomes in your building. When the whole school understands the goals and sees progress from the efforts, everyone is more likely to embrace the interventions iimplemented to meet those goals. The best way to share data is the way that feels most natural, leads to effective decisions, and offers opportunities for everyone to engage in planning.
What are the ways you share data around your school? Here are a few ideas from schools around the country to get you thinking about new, creative ways to share the data you collect:
Email a monthly report; give context, provide connections, and suggest next steps.
Email is one of the easiest ways to share data quickly with everyone in your building. A data analyst in Aurora, CO, saw referrals for disrespectful behavior in the hallway going up from one month to the next. Along with SWIS graphs showing the increase, he suggested re-teaching the “Respectful Behavior in the Hallway” portion of the school’s expectation matrix. His summary turned the data from pieces of information into ideas for tangible solutions.
Create a data wall focusing on data related to school-wide goals.
Post school-wide data on a wall in the main hallway or in the staff lounge. Display data related to your most recent goals so everyone walking through can see the progress. You can get creative; “We’ve had X days since our last playground referral.”
Share data at a monthly staff meeting. Invite all staff to participate in finding ways to improve outcomes
At an Oregon middle school, the principal shared current and historical SWIS data at the monthly staff meeting. After the presentation, the PBIS team shared their analysis of the data. Staff were invited to actively participate to come up with solutions for improving on-going efforts around student behavior. Everyone felt more engaged and listened to when they were included in plans for improvement.
McIntosh, K., Kim, J., Mercer, S. H., Strickland-Cohen, M. K., & Horner, R. H. (2015). Variables associated with enhanced sustainability of school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports. Assessment for Effective Intervention, 40(3), 184–191. doi:10.1177/1534508414556503