To provide high-quality support for students’ social-emotional and behavioral development educators need to understand where their students are at currently. The Branching Minds platform provides districts and schools the ability to integrate data from several SEL and Behavioral Health assessments, where the results are presented alongside academic assessments, intervention plans, behavior incidents and progress monitoring, and other documents and communications. This allows educators to effectively leverage the data to determine what the students’ needs are and how they should be addressed.
Branching Minds also offers districts and schools access to a set of evidence-based social-emotional competency assessments. The Social-Emotional Competency Assessment (SECA) and Devereux Student Strengths Assessment (DESSA) are grounded in resilience theory and are directly aligned with the CASEL framework. These strength-based assessments are completed by students or teachers and measure multiple social-emotional skill areas, including self-awareness, self-management, social-awareness, relationship skills, responsible decision-making, and goal-directed behavior. The assessments can be administered up to three times across the school year to evaluate progress for individuals or groups of students.
Using SEL Data to Guide Decision-Making and Planning
Once SEL and behavioral data is collected, educators require efficient and effective ways to review the data and take action. The Branching Minds platform includes several tools, features, and reports that not only summarize SEL and behavioral data, but also provides a series of actions that can be taken to ensure students are receiving the type and level of needed support.
For schools implementing behavioral screeners, the bulk tiering tool is used to leverage cut scores and identify students needing more targeted behavioral support. Importantly, this feature allows educators to review tier placements and make adjustments if needed.
Educators then review tier level reports which provide the percent and number of students in each tier broken down by school, grade, gender, race, ethnicity, English proficiency, and FRL status. The platform also provides tier movement reports to understand and to evaluate the fidelity of support across tiers.
The cohort assessment performance report provides teachers, specialists, school managers, and district-level administrators with visibility into the specific strengths and challenge areas across different cohorts of students. Classroom teachers use this report to guide their tier 1 SEL curriculum to focus on certain skills and competencies with which their students are struggling. Counselors, specialists, and social workers use the report to identify groups of students with similar needs and/or develop targeted intervention plans.
Finding and Implementing Evidence-Based Resources
Branching Minds has the most comprehensive and instructive library of evidence-based learning supports of any MTSS platform. The SEL & Behavioral Health library includes the most commonly used evidence-based intervention programs, so that if the school or district has purchased those resources they can be added to a student or group intervention plan. In addition, the library includes hundreds of free evidence-based strategies, activities, and resources that can also be documented for individuals or groups of students. For each of these supports, BRM helps educators understand what the support is, why and for whom it should be used, how it should be delivered, and connects them to the supporting research and additional material. Each support is tagged to CASEL-aligned social-emotional and behavioral skill areas, as well as grade levels, english proficiency levels, and tier levels, so educators can filter and search for interventions and resources aligned to their students’ needs. The availability of supports is completely customizable so districts can add in any district created resources and control which BRM supports are visible in the library.
Our learning science team has curated these resources from the most trusted and respected hubs of evidence-based supports, including What Works Clearinghouse, Intervention Central, PBIS, and CASEL. BRM also has partnerships with free evidence-based SEL programs, such as Harmony SEL and Kindness in the Classroom, so their lessons and activities are available through the library.
Reviewing Implementation and Progress
Educators develop SEL & Behavioral Health plans directly on the BRM platform and assign interventions and progress monitoring tasks to specific teachers. All of this work is documented through the platform, which allows for seamless collaboration among educators and clear insight into what was provided and whether or not students are showing improvement over time.
Teachers and specialists review individual student progress through both behavior progress monitoring and behavior incident reporting:
School leaders and administrators use the Cohort Assessment Performance Report and the Benchmark Assessment Growth Report to see how students are improving in their social-emotional skills over time. This also provides insights into the effectiveness of different universal SEL programs and practices being implemented. These reports can be filtered by key demographic characteristics, such as race, ethnicity, english proficiency, and free/reduced priced lunch to ensure that resources and support is being implemented equitably.
Educators can also review the frequency of all behavior incidents across the district, or by school, grade, class, or other demographic variables. This provides insight into certain patterns or trends and can let leadership know where additional behavioral support and resources are needed.
Finally, the Intervention Usage Report is used to review the different types of programs, lessons, and activities provided for students and the level of implementation fidelity for each.
Interested in Learning How to Support the Whole Child with Branching Minds?