MTSS & PBIS Coordinators Newsletter

April 2020

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A Message from our Interim Director

Hello NC MTSS Implementers,

During this unprecedented time, I have been reminded just how fortunate our team is to be part of supporting NC educators and students. We are thankful for the opportunity to learn and be strengthened by each other as this season pushes us to grow. While growth can include exciting additions and promising changes, it also sometimes includes sad “see you laters”. Thus, I want to announce several growth opportunities that the Integrated Academic and Behavior Systems (IABS) Division is experiencing this month.

First, we are very excited to welcome two new IABS Consultants to the state team. Jade Tornatore and Julie Weatherman officially begin on May 1st as Regional IABS Consultants.

Jade comes to our team from Charlotte-Mecklenburg County where he served most recently as the MTSS Specialist/District Coordinator. He brings a wealth of practical implementation experience gained through his 17 plus years at the school and district levels. We are excited that he will utilize those experiences to benefit the Southwest Region as well as the IABS team .

Julie comes to us from Mitchell County where she served as an elementary principal allowing her to work with both school and district teams towards PBIS and MTSS implementation. She also has experience as a former district level Behavior Support Specialist and previous PBIS Regional Consultant within the Exceptional Children's Division, NC DPI. We are pleased that she is coming back to the agency level as the knowledge she's gained during her 18 year educational career will further strengthen our IABS team and support for West Region stakeholders and partners.

Effective July 1, internal division changes include Anne Nixon, Northeast Region IABS Consultant, who will be transitioning to providing statewide support for IABS as SEL and Mental Wellness Consultant. Anne has been supporting the Northeast Region since 2017. Osmond Lister, whose home is in the Northeast, will be transitioning from his role as IABS Consultant in the Southeast Region to the IABS Consultant in the Northeast Region. Osmond will continue supporting the Southeast Region until this vacancy is filled.

Finally, we extend our sincere congratulations to Angie Cloninger on her retirement effective May 29th, 2020. Angie has been with the Department of Public Instruction since August 2006 when she began serving the Southeast Region as Regional Consultant for Literacy with the Exceptional Children Division. She joined the original IABS team as an MTSS Consultant in June 2014. During the past 6 years, she continued to support the Southeast Region as well as putting to use her creative skills to serve as an IABS Professional Development Consultant supporting statewide MTSS implementation. Her tireless efforts to create and provide engaging, relevant online and face-to-face professional development will have a long lasting impact on educators and students in North Carolina. We are deeply appreciative of Angie’s dynamic contributions to this work and her incredible service to North Carolina for the last thirty plus years. Her fierce determination, consistent collaboration and timely humor will be missed. We wish her a very fulfilling and relaxing retirement.

These changes will open up a vacancy for an IABS Consultant in the Southeast region. We will work with our LEA partner to expeditiously fill this vacancy with a qualified applicant in order to provide seamless support to NC MTSS implementers. This job posting will be shared through the MTSS Coordinator listservs as well as via our official social media channels.

Thank you for joining me in congratulating Angie on her retirement and welcoming Osmond to the Northeast, Anne to her new role and Julie and Jade to the Regional Consultant positions. Our team is grateful to serve the districts, schools, students, families, educators and staff of North Carolina and appreciates your valiant efforts towards supporting public education. If there is anything we can do to support your teams especially at this time, please don’t hesitate to contact us.


Angel Goodwine Batts, M.S.Ed.

Interim Director

Integrated Academic and Behavior Support Division

IABS Grant Timeline

We will sharing addtional communication and guidance regarding the IABS Grant End of Year procedures next week.

Research & Evaluation

FAM-S Administration Guidance

We want to contine to share different support options for continued administration of the FAM-S. Please note that there is not a requirement or deadline for FAM-S completion from IABS. As there are many things that are currently a priority, postponing administration of the FAM-S may be a viable option right now. It is recommended you continue to assess this as a school/district moving forward & regional consultants are happy to help support those conversations.

Support Options:

  • Hold school meetings virtually: based on readiness of school team
  • Hold combined meetings with schools and district leaders to facilitate when schools are back in session
  • Hold off on administration until there is a clear timeline of the school closures and then plan accordingly

FAM-S Yearly Comparison Reports: Now Available!

Yearly comparison reports are now available on the FAM-S website. This set of reports will compare School FAM-S ratings by item and critical component for the 18-19 and 19-20 school years. Directions for generating the report are included in the file. Check out the link below to the FAM-S google site for more information and contact your regional consultant with any questions about generating or using this new report!

Check & Connect Statewide Rollout

Check & Connect Mentor Training for Secondary Schools

A grant from The Oak Foundation has allowed NCDPI and the University of Minnesota to develop a partnership resulting in a team of state-level and district-level Check & Connect Trainers across North Carolina. The IABS Division is now excited to announce a statewide rollout of this evidence-based intervention at secondary sites (grades 6-12) to enhance already existing intervention systems. Please take a moment to explore the North Carolina Check & Connect Implementation Planning Hub to learn more about Check & Connect, its implementation considerations within an MTSS, and how to access FREE training, coaching, and technical assistance for implementation. To be considered for the first round of training beginning in August*, LEA teams will be required to complete a Readiness Tool & Application for Check & Connect Implementation by May 29, 2020.

*Due to COVID-19, the initial training session will most likely be virtual.

Social Emotional Learning (SEL)

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NCDPI Working Groups & Support: Re-entry, SEL & Crisis Response

NCDPI has multiple working groups to support districts and schools as they finish this school year remotely and prepare for a re-opening of brick-and-mortar buildings. One of the working groups is focused on re-entry incorporating Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and crisis response. This group is working in tandem with the North Carolina SEL Implementation Team to provide needed supports for districts and schools across North Carolina. This flyer, NCDPI SEL Supports for COVID-19 and Beyond, was shared with superintendents a couple of weeks ago and includes SEL resources supported by NCDPI that can be found on page 3 of the NC SEL Flyer. In addition, we are sharing current and available resources to support SEL in your district and schools below. Please share this with your colleagues and be on the lookout for upcoming training and support around SEL and crisis response for school re-entry.

SEL Resources

Core SEL Practices Course

The Core SEL Practices Course was released in September and the online course is for district and school teams. Check out the Core Social Emotional Practices flyer. To determine if your district/school is ready for this course, consider the following resources below.

SEL Course Registration Form

FAQ: Core SEL Practices

Readiness Activity: Core SEL Practices

SEL for Educators Course Opportunity

We are sharing another free course opportunity from the Friday Institute centered on Adult SEL. This is available for ALL educators. Registration is now open and has been extended by four months through August 1st, and there is also a four month extension until September 1st to complete the requirements for the course. Once registered there is unlimited access to the course. Please see this registration page to register.

Communication & Visibility

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COVID-19 Response and Resources

Twitter Chat Summer Break!

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Thank you for your participation in our monthly Twitter Chats! We are taking our summer break so please stay connected with us through our social media platforms shared below.

April Twitter Chat Summary

Please take a moment to check out the April Twitter Chat summary on The Importance of Adult SEL and Self-Care. Thank you to all those who joined and we hope to see you again soon!

Check out these tips for participating in a Twitter Slow Chat!