Frequently Asked Questions
Why is program-wide implementation important; shouldn’t the focus be on teachers implementing evidence-based practices?
Teachers need the support of the program to put the Pyramid Model in place. The program is involved in making sure that teachers receive training and coaching for the implementation of Pyramid practices, teachers efforts are recognized and supported, policies and procedures are consistent with Pyramid Model implementation, and there are resources and procedures for ensuring that children with persistent challenges receive intensive, individualized interventions.
What happens in leadership training? If we have been trained in the Pyramid Modules, what additional training is needed?
The Leadership team training provides the team with guidance on the components of program-wide adoption and key elements for implementation. The training provides the team with the time and facilitation to develop an implementation plan for program-wide adoption that is specific to their program’s unique needs and circumstances. During this training, the leadership team is provided with materials and resources for implementation and taught how to use the data-based decision- making model to guide the process.
The program-wide model requires a leadership team; we are a small child care program with a director and teachers. Who would be on our team?
The team should initially be comprised of at least three members, the program administrator, a teacher, and the person who provides the program with behavior support services or mental health consulting. In addition, we encourage teams to have a family member join the team. The team must be able to take on these roles: coaching teachers, collecting and interpreting data, developing policies and procedures, and guiding the behavior support process. Small programs often bring in community, professional development, or technical assistance partners to sit on their leadership team and assist with implementation.
When I read the description it sounds a lot like School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support, how is this different?
This model is based on the design of School-Wide Positive Behavior Intervention and Support (SW-PBIS). Like SW-PBIS, we have adopted a systemic effort that uses data-based decision making model to ensure that a comprehensive model of promotion/prevention/intervention is implemented that promotes social competence and delivers effective interventions for challenging behavior. However, the SW-PBIS model was designed for implementation within schools and communities with students who are kindergarten through secondary school. The program-wide adoption of the Pyramid Model has been designed to fit the unique service system and settings of early childhood programs and includes the practices, procedures, and data collection measures that are appropriate for use with young children and their families.
My teachers are too overwhelmed to even begin the discussion about collecting data, is this really a feasible approach?
We are very sensitive to the demands on teachers and their inability to cope with more paperwork. We encourage programs to ask their teachers to complete a social emotional assessment for each child and to track behavior incidents using a simple system that takes less than 1 minute to complete. These tools allow the program to quickly identify children in need of support and to collect information that allows them to see what teachers, children, or program elements need more attention. The social emotional assessment provides the program with data that can be used to show outcomes for children over time. These data collection tools involve a minimal amount of effort and yield data that are critical to the model.
In addition, the Leadership Team is taught to use two measures for tracking implementation progress and guiding teachers. A classroom observation system (Teaching Pyramid Observation Tool (TPOT) or The Pyramid Infant Toddler Observation System (TPITOS) is used to identify teachers implementation and coaching needs and the Benchmarks of Quality is a self-report checklist that guides and tracks program-wide implementation progress.
A program-wide model sounds too ambitious for us as we have 25 classrooms. Do we have to start in every classroom?
The Leadership Team will be encouraged to develop a plan of implementation that allows for program-wide implementation at the pace that makes sense for the resources of the program. However, the model works most effectively when all staff are committed and participating. The implementation across all classrooms in the future should be the goal.