MTSS in Nevada
The Nevada Department of Education (NDE) and the Nevada Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Technical Assistance Center are working collaboratively to build capacity to establish, scale-up, and sustain a Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS) in Nevada Local Educational Agencies (LEAs). This team has spent the past 9 years partnering with LEAs to build local capacity around the implementation drivers of MTSS. During this implementation period, school sites implementing with high fidelity have seen increased capacity to identify student needs and respond early, reductions in discipline, improvement in academic outcomes, and improvement in overall school climate.

School Climate Transformation Grant
The School Climate Transformation Grant (SCTG), funded by the Federal Department of Education, Office of Elementary and Secondary Education, was released in 2014 as a competitive grant to support state educational agencies to develop, enhance, or expand systems of support for, and technical assistance to, local educational agencies and schools implementing evidence-based, multi-tiered systems for support for improving behavioral outcomes and learning conditions for all students (Source: US Department of Education).

The Nevada Department of Education, in collaboration with the Nevada PBIS Technical Assistance Center, was awarded the five-year grant in October 2014, with the Nevada School Climate Transformation Project (SCTG) officially beginning on January 1, 2015. The SCTP provides the necessary resources to allow for ongoing on-site training and technical assistance through a hierarchy of coaching on behavior and data systems. The multi-tiered behavior framework utilizes School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) to create long lasting climate changes in schools while preventing challenging behavior and teaching social and emotional skills to all students. Capacity of each school district will be built during a 3-year period in which State Coordinators from the Nevada PBIS Technical Assistance Center work closely with External Coaches within each local education agencies (LEA), who are, in turn, working directly with Internal Coaches at each school. Through this project, 7 districts will be provided comprehensive training and technical assistance in building capacity for SWPBIS and 93 schools will be implementing SWPBIS systems by the end of the 5-year period. This project will also build the capacity of the Nevada Department of Education to sustain behavioral systems in Nevada school districts. The districts included in this project were: Washoe, Clark, Humboldt, Pershing, Lander, Lyon and Douglas.

In October of 2018, The Nevada Department of Education, again in collaboration with the Nevada PBIS Technical Assistance Center, was awarded a second five-year round of the School Climate Transformation Grant. The scope of this grant is to continue to scale-up and implement MTSS for new local educational agencies as well as to enhance advanced tier supports for continuing LEA's from the first SCTG.

The overall project objective is to build infrastructure both at the SEA and LEA levels to integrate all of Nevada's school climate practices and initiatives including PBIS, Social Emotional Academic Development (SEAD), Restorative Practices, Trauma Informed Care, and School Mental Health within a single comprehensive framework for delivery. Project objectives include: (1) integrate initiatives and resources into a comprehensive MTSS, (2) build SEA capacity to support LEAs in implementing MTSS, (3) scale and enhance LEA capacity in implementing MTSS, and (4) address the opioid crisis within a MTSS. Some specific project activities include: (1) aligning leadership teams at the local, district, and state levels, (2) improving the SEA capacity for MTSS integration and data collection, (3) integrating initiatives and enhancing fidelity of implementation, especially at the advanced tiers, and (4) incorporating opioid prevention and treatment into the MTSS framework, including evidence-based practice selection and data-based decision making.

This integrated MTSS framework will serve as the infrastructure needed in Nevada and to address the many rising needs of the student populations in both our urban and rural districts as well as evaluate the student outcomes of Nevada's school climate initiatives. The integration of initiatives aims to reduce time, effort and resources, and maximize student outcomes including improved school climate, reductions in discipline, and improved academic outcomes. In addition to the above-mentioned outcomes, the proposed project intends to address the opioid crisis in Nevada through focusing on improvements in school climate in our most vulnerable and high-needs LEAs as well as integrating specific drug prevention and treatment practices into the MTSS. The LEAs included in this current project include: Pershing County School District, Lander County School District, Lyon County School District, Humboldt County School District, Clark County School District, Washoe County School District, Churchill County School District, Nye County School District, State Public Charter Authority, Pyramid Lake Schools, and Carson City School District.

    Nevada MTSS Project Staff

    Ashley Greenwald, Ph.D., BCBA-D, LBA
    Director, Nevada PBIS

    Dr. Ashley Greenwald is a Licensed Behavior Analyst and an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Nevada, Reno.  Dr. Greenwald is the Project Director/Principal Investigator at the Nevada Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports Technical Assistance Center, located within the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities. Dr. Greenwald has extensive experience utilizing organizational behavior management strategies to improve systems and staff performance, conducting functional analyses, consulting with families of individuals with developmental disabilities and neurocognitive disorders, and installing multi-tiered behavior frameworks in schools and other organizations. Dr. Greenwald has been an invited speaker at national, international and regional conferences and has received over $18 million in state and federal grants funds to conduct her work. Dr. Greenwald has authored numerous peer reviewed journal articles and book chapters and gave a TED Talk on her research in January of 2017.  Dr. Greenwald's current research interests include systems development in schools and organizations, service delivery models for individuals with intellectual/developmental disabilities and co-occurring mental health disorders, applications of technology within behavioral medicine, and maternal healthcare.

    Kaci Fleetwood, M.Ed., BCBA, LBA
    State MTSS Coordinator

    Kaci Fleetwood is faculty at the College of Education within the University of Nevada, Reno. She works for the Nevada Center for Excellence in Disabilities (NCED), the Nevada PBIS Technical Assistance Center, and in conjunction with the Nevada Department of Education's Office of Safe & Respectful Learning Environments. Kaci Fleetwood is an elected board member on the International Association for Positive Behavior Support (APBS), a licensed clinician by the Nevada Board of Psychological Examiners (LBA), and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst (BCBA). In her current role as the State Coordinator for MTSS in Nevada she facilitates LEAs to install, scale, and sustain Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS). She has trained nationally and internationally on MTSS as well as for SAMHSA's (Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration) Mental Health Technology Transfer Centers as a subject matter expert in installing School Mental Health systems. Prior to focusing on clinical work and implementation science in large-scale systems, Kaci began her career as an educator; teaching special and general education at the elementary and high school levels. She has worked at the classroom, school, district, regional, and state levels in education. She holds Nevada Educator Licenses in Elementary Education, Special Education, Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), Instructional Coaching, and as a Literacy/Reading Specialist.

    Brooke Wagner, MSC-SC, M.Ed
    Regional MTSS Coordinator

    Brooke earned her Elementary Education Degree (2007) from Nevada State College. She went on to pursue a graduate degree in School Counseling and has worked as a part of Pershing County School District for over 15 years. Most recently, Brooke was able to graduate with a Master of Education with an emphasis in Special Education and Behavior. Currently a candidate for an applied behavioral service licensing. Serving in many capacities ranging from Adult ELL Educator to Early Childhood Special Education Teacher. Brooke holds additional endorsements in Early Childhood Special Education and Computer Literacy with the State of Nevada. Brooke began work with the School Climate Transformation Project in June 2015 as a Regional PBIS coach, working with three frontier school districts to implement and sustain Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. She transitioned in 2019 to work as a Regional Coordinator at the Nevada PBIS Technical Assistance Center at the University. Her work emphasizes integration between projects as well as building systems for prevention. Training expertise, building coaching capacity, and implementation support are a few areas that Brooke is passionate about.

    Felicia Rutledge, Ph.D
    Regional MTSS Coordinator

    Dr. Felicia Rutledge is an empowerment advocate for both scholar and adult brilliance. She
    attended Canisius College of Buffalo receiving a Bachelor of Arts in English and a Master of Science in Deaf Education. In 2017, Dr. Rutledge received a Doctorate in Education with an emphasis on Special Education Leadership from Capella University. She began her teaching career with Clark County School District teaching a range of subjects in early childhood, elementary, and middle/high school education. She served as a Multi-Tiered System of Support Project Facilitator creating and presenting district-level professional learning sessions and supporting school teams with academics and behavioral tiered supports. Dr. Rutledge is passionate about her commitment to education and serving her community. She has written award-winning grants to support teacher collaboration time, provide scholars with community-based learning, and increase language, literacy, and communication skills. Dr. Rutledge looks forward to continuing her commitment to scholarly achievement, supporting families, human talent development, and implementation of systems that are rooted in access, equity, and liberation as a MTSS Regional Coordinator with the University of Nevada, Reno.