BEST: Building Effective Support for Teaching Students

The BEST Project is supported by the Vermont State Agency of Education and is located at the University of Vermont’s Center on Disability and Community Inclusion (CDCI). The goal of the project is to increase and strengthen the regional capacity across Vermont so that schools and their communities are better able to anticipate and respond to the needs of students who are at risk of, or who experience social, emotional, and behavioral challenges. To help schools develop more effective strategies and interventions, the BEST Team facilitates a variety of workshops, in-service training, university coursework, webinars, and an annual Summer Institute. Training and technical assistance are presented within the framework of a multi-tiered system of supports, specifically, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) and are available to school staff, families/caregivers*, community members, and a variety of interagency workforce members.

*Families/caregivers include kin, foster, and adoptive caregivers

BEST/Act 230 Grants

Each fiscal year, Supervisory Unions/Districts have the opportunity to apply for grants to use for training, program development, and building school and Supervisory Union/District capacity.  BEST funds are intended for training and professional learning that will support creating equitable, rigorous learning environments for students with emotional and behavioral needs and are NOT intended to support curriculum implementation at the core/universal instructional level. Conversely, Act 230 Funds are intended for training for the provision of education services to children who require educational supports for academics and/or behavior in each tier of the multi-tiered system of supports.  Generally, all BEST professional development opportunities and coaching activities are approvable costs under the BEST/Act 230 grants.

Laura Greenwood, BEST/Act 230 Program Manager
Vermont Agency of Education
219 North Main Street, Suite 402
Barre, VT 05641
(802) 828-4388

BEST Training

Training is offered on evidence-based strategies, interventions, and curricula that can be used in classrooms and schools to support students who are at risk of or who experience emotional/behavioral challenges.  Training is also extended to education administrators, families/caregivers*, mental health providers, and other interested stakeholders. All activities are posted on our annual Professional Development Calendar at

*Families/caregivers include kin, foster, and adoptive caregivers

Vermont Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (VTPBIS)

Vermont Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (VTPBIS) is a state-wide effort designed to help school teams form a proactive, school-wide, systems approach to improving social and academic competence for all students. Schools in Vermont are engaged in using a formal system of positive behavioral supports in their schools. Involved schools who implement PBIS with fidelity and integrity see a dramatic decrease in the number of behavior problems experienced in their schools. Additionally, students in these schools enjoy greater levels of support and inclusion than those in comparative schools who do not use a system of Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. To learn more, visit our VTPBIS website.