To support the implementation of the five foundational framework components, the Positive Schools Center identified the “Breakthrough Series Collaborative,” a methodology used widely in health care, child welfare, and child trauma, to facilitate and catalyze sustainable system-wide practice and culture change.
The Breakthrough Series Collaborative (BSC) approach to quality improvement was developed in 1995 by the Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) and Associates in Process Improvement (API). It focuses on testing, adapting, spreading, and sustaining promising practices across multiple settings and on implementing changes within organizations to sustain improved outcomes. Unlike more standard training approaches that focus primarily on knowledge acquisition, the BSC approach focuses on testing, implementing, and sustaining actual practices, processes, tools, and strategies in real-world settings. This means that instead of making a change throughout the entire system that requires years of planning for implementation, changes are made quickly in very small increments at the ground level. These changes are measured and monitored closely so that successes can be expanded quickly and failures are not replicated. The PSC is using this methodology to introduce methods that will help shape and improve school climate within the state of Maryland, starting with Baltimore City Public Schools. While the theory behind the BSC is not necessary for school personnel to know and/or master, school personnel commit to identifying areas of their school climate that they would like to change and/or improve in small, manageable increments.
The School Climate Learning Collaborative is a 12-month supported process where school-based teams engage in collaborative learning. All team members will receive free training, coaching, and consultation at the in-person training and learning sessions, as well as via phone conferences. This training, coaching, and consultation will be available from the PSC throughout the course of the entire 12-month process.
Each participating school will have a “Core Team” comprised of 6-8 members who will meet regularly, be actively involved in all aspects of the collaborative, and will be responsible for testing actual changes in practice to achieve the goals of the school.
Each team has a school climate coach who is an expert on building capacity by providing training, coaching, and professional development on:
- Trauma-responsive educational practices
- Restorative and healing practices
- Racial justice and equity
- Building engagement classroom communities
The coaches support school leaders in creating a positive, trauma-responsive school culture and serve as both instructional leader trainers and school data experts.
Each school’s “Core Team” has made a commitment to:
- Meet at least twice per month to discuss and plan for the team’s work in the Collaborative;
- Participate on all Collaborative conference calls;
- Work together on a weekly basis to test small changes and share the results of those tests with others in the Collaborative;
- Collect and share required monthly data developed jointly by the team;
- Attend all three in-person one-day learning sessions;
- Remain engaged throughout the entire Collaborative; and
- Plan for sustainability as practices/policies are implemented.
If your school is interested in joining the yearly cohort, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (410) 706-0725