Coordinators Corner

Keeping it simple and straight forward!

Volume 1, Issue 4

It's all about perspective

There is a story about sisters who were made to clean out the barn. Now neither one of them had a pony, but both wanted one desperately. Their father told them they would each get a horse when they could prove they were responsible enough to care for the animal.

The one sister, grumbling, took the stall that had the least amount of manure to shovel. She grunted and groaned with every shovel full. The other sister, looked in all the stalls and found the one with literally a mountain of poop.

With a smile on her face she began to shovel, shovel, shovel. Her grumpy sister asked her how she could be so “happy” cleaning out such an awful mess. The little girl retorted, “Sis, don’t you get it! With this much poop, there has to be a pony in here somewhere!”

Perspective… all about perspective.

So, after today's training on Trauma-Informed Care, I realize that our perspectives of how bad our own lives may be, cannot even begin to compare with what some of our teens experience daily. As we begin working on our new SPSAs, please keep these and all our students at the center of your planning. Determine what you have in place at your sites that work and what may need some tweeking or even deleting in order to accomplish all students' rights to success. Don't be afraid of suggesting to get rid of a program or contract cost if the bang for the buck does not equal out in the kids' favor.

Think instead of what you want to accomplish for students. Then what resources do you have in place or need to purchase to accomplish these goals. Finally, allocate your dollars to ensure all students get the education they need and deserve.

Remember, your work as CIS is valued and crucial to your students' success! Thank you for being that person for our kids!

CIS in their natural environment!

On my visits to sites, I really want to see you in your environment because I am very visual. So when we talk on the phone or you send an email, I can visualize you in your space. Take a look at the two CIS in their natural environment. Crikey! Let's not disturb them as they ponder how to best pull the data needed for the next big intervention!
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The Care and Feeding of your new SPSA


  • Exercise your SPSA! Make sure to get your SPSA out as needed. Get input from your stakeholders. Include students, admin, teachers, and staff in gathering suggestions.
  • Praise your accomplishments! Make sure to include successes in your metrics and continue those programs that support your students' succeesses.
  • Create a safe and loving environment! Every SPSA needs to be nurtured. Provide opportunities for warm and cool feedback as you work on the site plan.
  • Understand the power of "No!" There are times when you need to say "no". Not everything can go in the SPSA. Keep students at the center of all conversations.

  • Please do not overfeed your SPSA! This could result in a document too full of strategies and actions to be effective. Tell your site's story of how students become successful and what your site does to support and encourage them.
  • Please do not repeat strategies or action steps in other goals! We all know that too much of a good thing can warp the brain. So make your strategies and action steps clear and concise with meaning and effectiveness.
  • Choose your training method wisely! Ask yourself would Cesar Millan approve of this method? Just kidding...but...just because some consultant worked well for another site doesn't mean it will for yours. Investigate with your population and goal in mind!
  • Don't bite off more than you can chew! Keep it simple and focused so that you don't stress out. Work on it for a bit, then put it away for a couple hours or until the next day.
What dog breed or animal best describes your SPSA?

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