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School-based behavioral health screening and intervention

Many communities have identified behavioral health as a top health priority. The state of Wisconsin health plan has likewise prioritized behavioral health. Evidence shows that behavioral health is critical to many aspects of learning and development. This means early identification of behavioral health issues and accompanying intervention help schoolchildren thrive both in and beyond the classroom.

School personnel play an important role in early identification when they provide student support and connect students to effective services. Security Health Plan is proud to partner with Mindfield, LLC, in an effort to promote the behavioral health and well-being of young children in our local communities.

The Behavioral, Emotional and Social Traits (b.e.s.t.) universal screening:

  • Identifies and reinforces positive behavioral development for typically developing children
  • Provides interventions for children with elevated risk status
  • Develops focused interventions for children with targeted needs

b.e.s.t. universal screening provides a systematic method of quantifying behavioral observations in order to translate the principles of mental health wellness into practice. The screening has been used in school districts in Wisconsin and other states across the country, with 20,000 students screened over the past 2 years.   

In addition to sponsoring the b.e.s.t. online screening, Security Health Plan will cover the cost of consultation and project implementation to help schools interpret screening results and integrate interventions into their teaching practice.

Grant Details

  • Only one application will be awarded per school district. However, each district application may include all district schools that are interested in participating.
  • The project will occur during the 2017-2018 school year.
  • The project will prioritize Pre-K through sixth grade screenings.
  • Participating districts will identify a communication lead to facilitate communication between district staff and Mindfield, LLC.
  • Selected school districts will use b.e.s.t. universal screening and attend support sessions scheduled at a given school during staff available hours.
  • The classroom teacher will complete the 26-item online universal screening, typically in October and again in April, with some timeframe flexibility. Individual screenings take approximately 3-5 minutes per student.
  • Teachers will receive immediate reports for individual students after online screening completion; classroom reports are available once screening is complete for every student in a given classroom.
  • Teachers will receive immediate recommendations and interventions for students considered at-risk or in need of additional support.

Participating school districts will be provided with the following, at no cost:

  • Technical support for online universal screening, student registration and report use.
  • Bi-annual universal screening, including access to reports and interventions for each registered child that is screened.
  • A comprehensive training manual, for use as a post-training reference guide and a training aid for future staff. The manual includes information on research, standardization, problem-solving models and functional behavioral assessments.
  • Consultation and support for project implementation, including but not limited to:
    • On-site project overview
    • Professional development, follow-up and support for use of student reports and intervention recommendations.

Learn more about b.e.s.t. universal screening and test out the software here.

Any school district within Security Health Plan’s 49-county service area is welcome to apply. However, the grant will only be awarded to 35 school districts, so we will be selective in choosing applicants.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does b.e.s.t. screen for?
b.e.s.t. universal screening is a tool designed to help educational professionals identify behavioral, emotional and social risk factors in school-aged children. b.e.s.t. enhances long-term educational planning by establishing a uniform benchmark for behavioral analysis and enabling educators to implement data-based solutions.
What makes b.e.s.t. unique?
b.e.s.t. is designed to be highly intuitive, incorporating individual classroom teachers’ insights on student behavioral health with objective standards for communicating about student needs. Suggested interventions for problem-solving teams are immediately populated for review. Normative data is also provided, allowing you to compare your student body to an established baseline.
How much time will it take teachers to complete the screenings for their classrooms?
It will take about 3-5 minutes to complete an online screening for each child.
What information will teachers enter into the online b.e.s.t. universal screening?
Teachers answer 26 questions about each student, using a six-point scale to measure a child’s behavior. The screening process is completed independently by teachers after they have had the opportunity to work with the students in their classrooms (after at least 6-8 weeks of working with a student).
Is the online screening encrypted to keep student information confidential?
Yes, b.e.s.t. has an extensive privacy policy that protects access to personal information with security measures that safeguard unauthorized disclosure.
What do we have to download and install to use b.e.s.t.?
There is nothing to install. The system is entirely browser-based. We encourage the use of Firefox or Google Chrome when possible.
Will our school district be required to share screening results with Security Health Plan?
No, schools will not share screening results with Security Health Plan.
How much training time is required to understand screening results and interventions?
Typically, school staff attend 1-2 (approximately one-hour) sessions.  Districts will be offered up to 5 hours of consultation and support through the b.e.s.t. project.  Districts currently utilizing b.e.s.t. screening have conducted trainings on scheduled in-service days, before or after school, or during scheduled Professional Learning Community (PLC) time. 
How much will this cost our school district?
Security Health Plan will cover the cost of the b.e.s.t. software, screenings and professional assistance during the 2017-2018 school year.
How much will it cost our school district to continue to use b.e.s.t. after the initial year covered by Security Health Plan?
If school districts choose to use b.e.s.t. after the 2017-2018 school year, the cost is limited to the b.e.s.t. universal screening: under $2.00 per student screened.
Has b.e.s.t. been used by other schools in Wisconsin?

Yes, currently 25 schools are using b.e.s.t. and some have been using the screening for the last 3 years. Over the last 2 years, more than 20,000 students have been screened using b.e.s.t.

How are educators using the data obtained through b.e.s.t. screenings?
Educators are using b.e.s.t. screening data to:
  • Standardize screening
  • Develop Multi-Tier System of Supports (MTSS) groups and plans for students needing extra support
  • Refer high-priority students to pupil services or other experts
  • Carry out school-wide initiatives that target behavioral health needs of the wider student body
  • Crosscheck b.e.s.t. data with School Wide Information System (SWIS) data or other behavioral data-storing systems
  • Supplement Positive Behavioral Interventions & Supports (PBIS)

Eligibility

Eligibility criteria

  • Applicants must be a school district within the Security Health Plan service area shown below.

How to Apply

Click HERE to apply.

Award schedule

  • Application due – Friday, Sept. 22, 2017, 5 p.m.
  • Grant notification – Week of Oct. 2, 2017
  • Estimated project start date – Oct. 2017.  Project start time will be customized in cooperation with each school district.

Questions

If you have any questions, please contact:
Allison Machtan, MS, RD
Manager, Community Benefits
Security Health Plan
machtan.allison@securityhealth.org
715-221-9872