The Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI)

BEST: Building Effective Support For Teaching Students With Behavioral Challenges

The BEST project is a Department of Education and University of Vermont initiative designed to build the capacity of our schools and communities to meet the needs of children and youth with behavioral and emotional challenges. The project strengthens regional capacity across Vermont through grants, institutes, workshops and in-service opportunities.

BEST/Act 230 Grants

For the purpose of meeting the needs of students with emotional behavioral problems, each fiscal year supervisory unions have the opportunity to apply for grants to use for training, program development, and building school and regional capacity.   Requests for funds from school districts must include a plan for training which will result in lasting changes in their school (educational support) systems and give assurances that at least 50 percent of the costs of training include in-kind costs assumed by the school district.

Contact :

Carol Randall , M.Ed.

Title: BEST Director
Office: 120 State St., Montpelier
Phone: 802-828-0553
Email: carol.randall@state.vt.us


BEST Training Initiatives

Training is offered on effective strategies, interventions and curricula that can be used with individual students, classrooms, school-wide or in the community.   BEST features training in PBIS, Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI), Nonviolent Crisis Intervention (CPI). Other topics, such as trauma, classroom management and social skills are offered as webinars.   A train-the-trainer series is offered periodically for LSCI and CPI.   Thus in addition to the BEST team, LSCI and CPI trainers are available regionally throughout Vermont.   Consultation is also available to schools. See below for highlighted offerings.


School-wide PBIS is the integration of

* Operationally defined and valued outcomes,
* Behavioral and biomedical science,
* Research validated practices, and
* Systems change.
* The goal is to prevent the development and intensifying of problem behaviors and maximize academic success for all students.

For more information, go to: pbisvermont.org


Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI)

Nonviolent Crisis Intervention is a safe, non-harmful behavior management system designed to help educators and human service workers provide for the best possible care and welfare of children who become out-of-control or physically aggressive.   Participants learn nonverbal and verbal strategies to prevent and de-escalate verbal acting out behaviors, personal safety techniques to avoid client and staff injury, therapeutic physical intervention techniques, using the team approach in physical control and restraint, and strategies in therapeutic post-intervention.   Each workshop ranges from eight to twelve hours and can be customized to meet local needs.

For more information contact :

Sherry Schoenberg, M.A.

Title: BEST Coordinator
Office: Mann Hall, 3rd/ Floor
Phone: 802-656-9656
Email: sherry.schoenberg@uvm.edu


Life Space Crisis Intervention Training

Life Space Crisis Intervention (LSCI) is a set of strategies that involve talking and relating to "at risk" and "troubled" students while fostering trust, respect, accountability and behavioral changes.   It provides some insights and skills into students' patterns of self-defeating behavior, teaches staff how to soothe hot student feelings instead of inflaming student anger, and promotes better student-staff relationships and promotes better student-staff relationships personal responsibility.   Specifically, training in LSCI teaches staff to (1) de-escalate the crisis; (2) identify and determine successful strategies; and (3) bring about a change in the child's repetitive patterns of perceiving, thinking, feeling and behaving.  

Foundation Courses in LSCI are approximately ten hours long and are appropriate for all school staff. Certification Courses are an additional thirty hours of intensive training and practice, with opportunities to receive three graduate credits.   These courses are appropriate for school counselors, behavior specialists, members of crisis response teams and other staff interested in developing critical skills in this area. Participants have an opportunity to take the training as a 3 credit graduate course.

For more information contact :

Ken Kramberg, M.Ed.

Title: BEST Team Member
Office: Mann Hall, 3rd Floor
Phone: 802-295-2095
Email: kenkramberg@gmail.com


BEST Summer Institute

Each summer during the last 4 day week of June, Vermont's educators have an opportunity to attend a centrally located institute as part of a team from the school where they work. A new theme is chosen each year that focuses on prevention and intervention strategies for creating safe and supportive school learning environments for all students. As many as fifteen different strands (mini courses) are offered, for example: adventure based learning, crisis prevention, diversity awareness, social curricula, violence prevention curricula, and bullying prevention programs. There are also at least fifteen (15) 1½ hour workshops on new or specialized topics offered,   for example: PBIS, educational support systems, planning rooms, social and emotional learning, crisis planning in schools, preventing violence, and student self advocacy. Each afternoon, teams of administrators, classroom teachers, special educators, and other support staff from each of the participating schools meet during a scheduled "team time" to create an action plan that addresses an identified school need. Typically these plans address school and classroom discipline, curriculum and instruction, school climate and environment, and social/emotional learning needs of students. Participants have an opportunity to take the institute as a 3 credit graduate class.

BEST Administrative Support :

Anne Dubie

Title: BEST Administrative Support
Office: Mann Hall, 3rd Floor
Phone: 802-656-5775
Email: anne.dubie@uvm.edu


Behavioral School Consultations & Technical Assistance

Members of the BEST Team provide consultation and technical assistance to schools upon requests from schools in the areas of school climate, discipline systems, harassment, bullying, functional behavior assessments, individual behavior planning, social skills programs and more.

For more information contact :

Sherry Schoenberg, M.A.

Title: BEST Coordinator
Office: Mann Hall, 3rd/ Floor
Phone: 802-656-9656
Email: sherry.schoenberg@uvm.edu



Last modified February 08 2013 11:18 AM

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