Michigan is expanding its view of a Multi-Tiered System of Supports (MTSS) to be a comprehensive framework that aligns evidence-based practices and strategies designed to meet the needs of the whole child (academic, behavioral, physical, social, and emotional). Kent Intermediate School District is moving forward with developing an Interconnected Systems Framework (ISF) that promotes the integration of behavioral and mental health services within their MTSS. Through interdisciplinary collaboration, Kent has brought together mental health services (Project AWARE - SAMHSA), Positive Behavioral Interventions & Support (PBIS) and the Community School Framework (Kent School Services Network) to support student learning and development, family and community engagement, and access to health and social services. Participants will engage in exploration of how collaborative partnerships can unify systems to achieve greater student, family and community outcomes.
Kirsten works closely with Michigan’s Integrated Behavior and Learning Support Initiative (MIBLSI) to deliver professional development for district leaders and teachers in the areas of Implementation Science, Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS), Scientifically Based Reading Systems, and Databased Decision-Making. Before her current position, Kirsten spent two years as a district-level PBIS Consultant for Grand Rapids Public Schools in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She also worked for ten years as a school social worker.
Elizabeth Newell serves as the Mental Health Coordinator for Safe Schools/Healthy Students and Project AWARE through the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services in collaboration with the Michigan Department of Education. As a former public school teacher and mental health clinician, Elizabeth frequently observed the gaps existing between the education and behavioral health systems that serve our youth and families. In devotion to systemic integration, Elizabeth has dedicated her career as an Educational Specialist in Educational and Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in Mental Health Practices in Schools, to the pursuit of developing a comprehensive intervention system for learning supports in Michigan.