Pyramid Model Projects
Starting in 2016, Pyramid Model Learning Community (PMLC) meetings have been offered throughout the state. These meetings give participants the opportunities to discuss their use and knowledge of the Pyramid Model in practice, while making valuable regional connections with other individuals and organizations using the approach.
The US Department of Education is implementing a revised accountability system under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). To support this new system, known as Results Driven Accountability (RDA), states are required to develop a State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP). In developing, implementing, and evaluating the SSIP, states have been asked to select a measurable outcome and deliver innovative, evidenced-based practices for students with disabilities to improve the measurable outcome. The Department of Elementary and Secondary Education (ESE) has selected improved outcomes for preschool children with IEPs as the State Identified Measureable Result (SiMR) and the Pyramid Model as the improvement strategy. Massachusetts selected this outcome and correlating strategy based on input from a variety of stakeholders, a thorough data analysis, and an examination of existing state infrastructure. The Pyramid Model is a tiered intervention framework that includes evidence-based practices for promoting the social, emotional, and behavioral development of young children. Using a train the trainer model, the Department is providing intensive support to 18 districts. In addition, related statewide initiatives are being bolstered to leverage existing infrastructure in order to promote expansion and sustainability. Beginning in FY2017, the department will begin the evaluation of the SSIP and make revisions based on data analysis. The Department will report these results annually to OSEP through FY2020.
The Massachusetts Department of Early Education and Care (EEC) has participated in the dissemination of the Pyramid Model approach throughout the state. This includes Educator Provider Support grantees funded through EEC to offer a variety of professional development opportunities are offering CEU-bearing Pyramid Model trainings to community and public early care and education programs.
The Massachusetts Early Intervention (EI) system is implementing a state-wide initiative to embed principles from the Parents Interacting with Infants (PIWI) approach to working with families during home visits. This initiative will focus on supporting all EI specialists to engage with parents by focusing on identifying the dyadic characteristics in each parent (or caregiver) – child relationship and utilizing triadic strategies to strengthen the dyadic relationship for each family. In addition, we are supporting EI specialists to purposely move from using most directive to least directive triadic strategies in their on-going work with families. In the initial phase, we are focused on the EI specialists’ home visits with a parent or caregiver and not child care settings.
A collaboration between three state agencies—the Departments of Early Education and Care, Public Health, and Housing and Community Development, to support young children experiencing homelessness. The project, funded through the Race to the Top Early Learning Challenge Grant, provided training and coaching to shelter staff using the Pyramid Model of early childhood Positive Behavior Support in 2014-2015 across three regions of the state. The training provided them with a new mindset for working with families, as well as a new set of tools. As a result of this training, the staff reported increased confidence and skill in supporting parents to build their children’s social emotional competence.
Since 2003, the United States Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families has contracted with the Institute to provide services to Head Start and Early Head Start programs throughout New England.
UMass Donahue Institute’s Regional Head Start TTA Network worked with 3 Head Start grantees in their implementation of the Pyramid Model approach in their infant-toddler programs. They also sponsored two cohorts at Institutes on Systems for Social Emotional Wellness, which gave teams an opportunity to use the Pyramid Model as a framework for reviving program systems, policies and practices to improve their support of social emotional wellness for children, families, and staff.
Connected Beginnings Training Institute (CBTI) continues to train early childhood professionals in a variety of roles on all levels of the Pyramid Model. To date, CBTI has trained over 3000 early childhood professionals in the Pyramid Model.
In the past year, CBTI has been providing the central support for the development, launch, and maintenance of the new Massachusetts Pyramid Model website. When launched at the end of April 2017, the website will provide the Commonwealth with a much-needed hub of information on all the exciting things going on with the Pyramid Model across the state. CBTI also assisted in the creation and delivery of 11 Pyramid Model Community of Practice (PMLC) meetings in 5 different regions of Massachusetts. The PMLCs provide opportunities for communities to coordinate their efforts related to the Pyramid Model, build capacity, and learn about resources.
CBTI also continues to offer training and technical assistance to support the Pyramid Model efforts in the state of Connecticut, primarily through our relationship with the Solid Ground Project.