Four Overview Perspectives on Engaging Students

Ensuring that students stay engaged in school and the education process itself does not lend itself to one simple technique. Nor is there any one technique that can be used to engage every student. In fact, as many students as are in a given classroom is often the same number of techniques needed to keep those students engaged—and in school.

This session will present four overviews of techniques to keep students engaged in school. While there is no one-size-fits-all technique, these short segments will offer ideas and implications for student engagement that can be adopted and adapted in the full range of K-12 classroom settings. Additional information regarding the techniques presented by each participant will be available through the participants’ Web sites.

This broadcast features:

• Dr. and Mr. Pauley present an overview of the value of establishing positive relationships with students, and how to engage and motivate them to achieve measurable improvement in behavior and academic achievement.

• Ms. Stacey DeWitt and Ms. Elayne Bennett remark on the “culture shift” that has subsequently redirected student motivation from intrinsic to extrinsic and the value of socio-emotional learning in engaging students as a result of this shift.

• Dr. Jean Strait discusses eservice-learning as an effective student engagement practice using eservice-learning in the aftermath of the Katrina flooding as an example.

• Ms. J Ross Parrelli engages students through mentorships designed to encourage students’ creativity through producing and performing hip hop combined with acquiring real-life business management skills.



Elayne Bennett, President and Founder
Best Friends Foundation, Washington, DC

Stacey DeWitt, J.D., Co-founder and CEO
Connect With Kids, Atlanta, GA

Jean Strait, Ph.D., Author and Professor of Teacher Education
Hamline University, MN

Judith Pauley, Ph.D., Consultant
Process Communications, Inc.
Joe Pauley, Consultant
Process Communications, Inc.

J Ross Parrelli, Recording Artist and Founder
Beats Lyrics Leaders

School Transformation Through a Social and Emotional Learning Based Freshman Seminar

Mr. R. Keeth Matheny, teacher, instructional coach, author, and speaker, Austin Independent School District (AISD), Austin, TX, is a Social and Emotional Learning Model Teacher and has been the driving force behind the creation, implementation, and promotion of AISD’s MAPS (Methods for Academic and Personal Success) program. The MAPS program is designed to support freshmen as they transition into high school by teaching skills to help them succeed in school, relationships, the workforce, and life. Over a four-year period, the MAPS program has helped to reduce freshman course failures at Austin High School by 41%, dropouts by 30%, and discipline referrals by 71%.

Mr. Matheny is a 2015 recipient of a National Dropout Prevention Network Crystal Star Award for Excellence in Dropout Recovery, Intervention, and Prevention. He will be joined on this Solutions program by students from Austin High School.

Viewers of this Solutions program will learn:

  • The value of preventative efforts and why the freshman year is a pivotal moment
  • What Social and Emotional Learning is, and why it is important
  • What MAPS is–the Freshman Seminar and MAPS components
  • Program tips and reasoning
  • What students like best about the MAPS course and lessons

View this student-produced video for a short introduction to the MAPS program and Keeth Matheny.


Brief video from Austin Independent School District on the Methods for Academic and Personal Success (MAPS) program.

COC article by R. Keeth Matheny, with overview of Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) and MAPS.  pdf

Article on the importance of the ninth grade year.

Link to meta-analysis on SEL. pdf

SEL pays off 11-1, from EdWeek (study from the University of Columbia).

Link to curriculum Web site used in MAPS course.

Dropout Prevention in the Digital Society

Being a teenager today is very different from when most of us reading this description were struggling with our own teen angst. Today students have no privacy, no “safe place,” and an audience that is truly, truly global. All with the click of a mouse. They are the ‘digital natives’….

Doris Settles, nationally recognized Digital Culture and Safety speaker and author of the recent book, ‘Virtual Parenting’, will discuss solutions for the adult community, ‘the digital immigrants’, to make education, work skills, and social interaction relevant, rigorous, and safe for these ‘digital natives’. This always-on, always-connected environment is foreign to most of us, and the technologically immersed environment in which they live has little, if any, connection to the world run by adults, disengaging those already headed for dropping out even further. The solution, according to Settles, is to work together.


Presentation Slides  pdf

Addressing Bullying in Schools: An Introduction to the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program(2008).  Solutions to the Dropout Crisis.

Cyberbullying(2010). (2009).

Digital Citizenship: Using Technology Appropriately(2010).

eSchool News.

The International Society for Technology in Education(2010).

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2009).  Video: Doris Settles Keynote – As the World Turns. 

Settles, D. (2009).  Virtual ParentingThe Publishing Place.


Building Authentic Relationships with Youth At Risk

Authentic relationships between students and educators are important in the process of learning. Building these relationships with disengaged or “at-risk” students can be difficult at best. This webcast presents an overview of an approach to building authentic relationships based on the experience, insights and educational background of the presenter.

Gayle McGrane is a principal at two schools in Forest Lake, MN, one being an alternative secondary school. As well as being an educational, Ms McGrane is a clinical social worker, and approaches building relationships with students from her background in social work. Building trust as a means to building relationships is presented as the base of this approach. The theory behind it and the five essential strategies to building trust are also presented.


Presentation Slides pdf.

40 Developmental Assets for Adolescents pdf(2006).

Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Systems Theory pdf(2009).

McGrane, G. (2010). Building Authentic Relationships with Youth At RiskEffective Strategies. Clemson, SC : National Dropout Prevention Center/Network.

McGrane, G. (2011).  Building Authentic Relationships With Youth At Risk. Professional Development Series.

Benard, B. (1991).  Fostering Resiliency in Kids:Protective Factors in the Family, School, and Community pdf.

National Storytelling Network.

School Climate and Learning pdf(2004).  Best Practice Briefs

The Comer School Development Program(2010).

The Search Institute(2010).

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2009).  Video: Building Relationships Through Storytelling in Action.

McGrane, G. (2010).  Who Am I? pdfIn  Building Authentic Relationships with Youth at Risk. Clemson, SC : National Dropout Prevention Center/Network.

School Climate Through Students’ Eyes

Dr. William Preble and some of his student leaders will share the work that they have been doing to improve school climate and learning. They will show the importance of inviting disengaged students to serve as school climate experts and school leaders in the SafeMeasures School Climate Improvement Process. They will also share examples of the kinds of data that schools are collecting to better understand and address school climate issues. The broadcast will conclude with effective programs and strategies that are being used to improve school climate in schools throughout the country.


Presentation Slides pdf.

2009-2010 SafeMeasures Action Research Process pdf(2009).

High School Student Data Summary pdf.

MainStreet Academix(2010).

National School Climate Center. (2010).

Respect Continuum Model pdf(2008).

MainStreet Academix SafeMeasures Student-Led Collaborative Action Research Program. (2010).

Preble, B., & Taylor, L. (2009).  School Climate Through Student Eyes pdfEducational Leadership, 66, 35-40.

Student Leadership Self-Assesment(2004).

Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports: What Does PBIS Have to Do With Prevention?

Establishing an effective positive schoolwide climate or culture is an important element of a successful prevention effort. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is one prevention approach that emphasizes the adoption and implementation of evidence-based behavioral interventions to establish a positive school culture and enhance academic and social success for all students. In this webcast, the practices and systems of PBIS will be described and discussed. The emphasis will be how PBIS can support all students to improve school culture, reduce problem behavior, support academic achievement, and promote school and classroom engagement.


Presentation Slides  pdf

Center on Behavioral Education and Research at UConn(2011).

Simonsen, B., Fairbanks, S., Briesch, A., Myers, D., & Sugai, G. (2008).  Evidence-based Practices in Classroom Management: Considerations for Research to Practice pdfEducation and Treatment of Children, 31(3), 351-380.

Horner, R. H., Sugai, G., & Anderson, C. M. (2011).  Examining the Evidence Base for School-Wide Positive Behavior SupportFocus on Exceptional Children, 42(8), 1-14.

Illinois State Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports(2011).

Maryland State Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports(2011).

OSEP Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports(2011).

OSEP Center on State Implementation and Scaling-up of Evidence-Based Practices(2011).

Malloy, J. M., & Hawkins, M. O. (Eds.). (2010).  Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports and Dropout PreventionEffective Strategies.

Fairbanks, S., Sugai, G., Guardino, D., & Lathrop, M. (2007).  Response to Intervention: Examining Classroom Behavior Support in Second Grade pdfExceptional Children, 73(3), 288-310.

Sugai, G., & Horner, R. H. (2009).  Responsive-to-Intervention and School-Wide Positive Behavior Supports: Integration of Multi-Tiered System Approaches pdfIn Exceptionality (pp. 223-237).Routledge.

School-Wide Information System at the University of Oregon(2011).

Sugai, G. (2009).  School-Wide Positive Support and Response to Intervention pdf

Addressing Bullying in Schools: An Introduction to the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program

In this broadcast, Dr. Susan Limber of Clemson University will address bullying prevention in schools. She will discuss what bullying is (and isn’t) and highlight several key research findings about bullying that have particularly informed her work in bullying prevention. She will describe the wide variety of ways that school personnel in the US are trying to address bullying and will highlight the importance of comprehensive school-based approaches. Finally, Dr. Limber will discuss one such comprehensive program – the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program – in some detail.


Presentation Slides pdf.

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Best Practices in Bullying Prevention and Intervention pdf.

Cyber Bullying: Bullying in the Digital Age(2010).

Information about the Olweus Bullying Prevention Program.(2010).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Misdirections in Bullying Prevention and Intervention. pdf. (2010).

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (2012).  Stop Bullying Now!.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2008).  Video: Doris Settles Talks About Cyber-Bullying.

National Dropout Prevention Center/Network (2008).  Video: The Olweus Bullying Prevention Program in Action.

Reducing the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools

Dr. Ryan is a nationally recognized expert in the development of postsecondary educational programs for young adults with intellectual disabilities, in addition to teaching students with emotional and behavioral disorders. His experience includes K-12 instruction in educational settings including resource and self-contained classrooms, special day schools, and a residential treatment center. Dr. Ryan has over 50 publications, and currently serves as editor of the journal Beyond Behavior.

Dr. Ryan will discuss the risks and dangers of applying seclusion and restraint as tools for managing disruptive and/or violent classroom episodes. The presentation will provide viewers with proven and effective alternatives that prevent and/or diffuse aggressive and disruptive classroom behavior while protecting the well-being and safety of the student, teacher, and classroom.

In Reducing the Use of Seclusion and Restraint in Schools, Dr. Ryan will:

  • Explain the use and misuse of seclusion and restraint, and the inherent risks faced by students and instructors when these methods are applied;

  • Introduce curriculum-based, relaxation-based, behavior support, and conflict de-escalation strategies that prevent and diffuse students’ aggressive behavior;

  • And provide resources to violence prevention programs specifically designed for schools.


Presentation Slides pdf

Couvillon, M., Peterson, R., Joseph Ryan, J., & Scheuermann, B. (2010).  A review of crisis intervention training programs for schoolsTeaching Exceptional Children.

Peterson, R. L., Ryan, J. B., & Rozalski, M. (2013).  Physical Restraint and Seclusion in Schools.

Ryan, J. (2015). Program Notes (Solutions with Joe Ryan) pdf.

School is Not Supposed to Hurt: Investigative Report on Abusive Restraint and Seclusion in Schools. pdf. (2009)

Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors