Behavior Today (CCBD Newsletter)

Feb 2017 32 (1)


Opportunity to Participate in a Research Study

January 25, 2017

Dear CCBD members,

We are pleased to announce a survey study which seeks to determine the college preparation and job support needs of teachers who work with children with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD).  The study is being conducted by Leroy Smith for his Walden University dissertation.  The researcher invites participation by all teachers of students with Emotional Disturbance, Severe or Serious Emotional Disorders, Behavior Emotional Disabilities, Emotional Impairment, or Emotional Behavior Disorders.

CCBD recognizes the importance of empirical research in advancing efforts to improve educational outcomes for students with emotional and behavioral disorders. As a service to our members, CCBD considers requests to link members to surveys as per the guidelines below, both of which have been met for this study.

1. CCBD reviews requests to promote field studies which include the survey to be administered and evidence of IRB approval for the study.

2. CCBD will consider the alignment of field studies with the CCBD mission.

Therefore, the opportunity to participate in this study is made available to you by CCBD; however, endorsements should not be inferred.

If you are willing to provide your opinions to support this important work, please you use the link below to complete the 20 minute survey. The consent form and survey are included in the link.  The link will be accessible until March 24, 2017.

Mr. Smith appreciates your consideration of supporting this research to inform practices of preparation and support of teachers of students with emotional and behavioral disorders.


Kathleen Lynne Lane, CCBD President

Nick Gage, President Elect

Justin Cooper, Vice President

Wendy Oakes, Past President



Changes to CCBD Journals

The Council for Children with Behavioral Disorders is proud to announce some recent changes to the premier research journal in the field -- Behavioral Disorders. These changes include the appointment of a new editorial team of Bryan Cook, PhD (University of Hawaii) and Daniel M. Maggin, PhD (University of Illinois at Chicago). In addition, Behavioral Disorders has joined the Hammill Institute on Disabilities. Hammill is the leading publisher of special education research and practice and affords several benefits that will assist the journal remain at the forefront of research on students with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD). Examples of these benefits include enhanced visibility; increased support for authors, reviewers, and editors; use of Manuscript Central / Scholar One's user-friendly online system for manuscript submission; online archiving of journal issues; online first version of articles that will provide readers with immediate access to the most up-to-date research; and a return of hard copies in addition to the electronic versions of the journal for subscribers. These exciting developments will allow Behavioral Disorders to better serve students with EBD and the dedicated professionals working in their service through the dissemination of rigorous and relevant research.

Beyond Behavior (BB) has also joined the Hammill Institute family as a journal designed specifically for practitioners (e.g., teachers, administrators, counselors, paraprofessionals) who work with children with EBD. BB will now be publishing six articles each issue that promote evidence based methods and materials for use in a wide variety of educational programs and settings.


Want to submit a manuscript? Check out the link below for changes and information! 

Submit manuscripts at 


Come to the TECBD 2017 Conference 

In collaboration with CCBD, Arizona State University is proud to announce that the Call for Proposals for the 40th Teacher Educators for Children with Behavioral Disorders (TECBD) Conference
October 26-28, 2017 in Tempe, AZ is now open!

Submit proposal online at:

All proposals must be submitted by July 1, 2017. Appropriate topics for consideration include:

· Academic interventions
· Culturally responsiveness in EBD

· Behavioral interventions
· Internalizing behaviors

· Aggression and violence in schools
· Assessment issues

· Restraint and Seclusion
· Research to Practice

· ASD research and interventions
· Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS)
· Characteristics of students with EBD
· Multi-tiered Systems of Support (MTSS)

· Juvenile Justice
· Transition


Regional Services and Membership, Lonna Moline

Welcome to Winter! The cold weather hasn’t stopped the activities around the regions. Dedicated professionals have continued to provide service to students and families, networked to support each other, engaged in professional development, and where needed, reactivated their states. The determination and commitment from those in our field never ceases to amaze me. I am so proud to be a member of CCBD and to name it as my professional organization.

If you would like to increase your involvement or even just make a connection, please contact me ( I will be at the CEC convention in Boston. One of my favorite things is meeting members face to face at our membership table. Make sure you stop by! We will also be having a networking event. More information will be coming. Last year’s was so much fun!!

Following are the reports from around the regions. Check out Region 5. Every state if active!! Way to go Bev Johns and way to go Midwest CCBD! Also included this month is a Regional Coordinator Spotlight. Sonya Harris won an award for her creative gardening project and research. Check it out.

As I look forward to another year working with CCBD, I want to take the time to thank all the Regional Coordinators. They put in the time and effort to be there to support you. Our members, YOU, are our valuable resource.

See you in Boston,



Region 2-Calli Lewis Chiu

We are excited to announce that CCBD Nevada has been reactivated.

The new board members are as follows:

President: Robbie Marsh

Vice President: Brett Greenwald

Secretary: Katelyn Zirkus

Treasurer: Michelle Cumming 

Congratulations, we look forward to working with you!


Region 3- Chad Rose

The Minnesota Council for Children with Behavior Disorders, in collaboration with the Teacher Education Department of the University of St. Thomas, held their first annual “Intervention on a Stick” Fall Conference. The focus was on interventions that teacher could use immediately in their classrooms.  Topics included vocabulary and math interventions, data tracking, technology, reinforcement strategies, and universal design. Other sessions focused on working with paraprofessionals, collaborating with school administrators, and mental health interventions.

The day ended with a networking happy hour, which allowed the CCBD Board Members and conference participants to talk shop in a relaxed and friendly atmosphere.  We are looking forward to our second annual Fall Conference next year!


Region 4- Glenna Billingsley

Texas CCBD is on our way to becoming an active state chapter. Thanks to Dr. Candace Gann, we even have a logo! We distributed a survey to all members regarding interest in serving on the revitalization team, as well as assuming a leadership position once we are active. At this time, we are preparing materials for elections. Hope to see you in Boston!


Region 5- Bev Johns

Special thanks to all subdivisions in our region. I am happy to report that all our subdivisions are now alive, active, and well.  Here is a report from 100% of our subdivisions!


News from Wisconsin CCBD

Planning is underway for the Wisconsin CCBD Annual Conference! The conference, titled Endless Possibilities: Supports for Students with Disabilities will be held Thursday August 3 from 9-4 at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater campus. Cost is only 35.00 and it includes lunch. Dr. Ozalle Toms, president of Wisconsin CEC, will coordinate CEUs for participants who are interested. Registration will be available in February. The conference is unique in that it is offered in collaboration with Wisconsin FACETS and Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. The 2016 conference had 243 participants and we anticipate a similar turn out for the 2017 conference. Upcoming planning dates are January 24 from 9-10, February 17 from 1-2, April 21 from 1-2, May 23 from 1-2, June 6 from 9-10. We welcome any input from members who would like to participate in the planning process and Shannon Stuart can provide call in or location information if you contact her at 


News from Indiana CCBD

Welcome to our new Indiana CCBD Officers

George Van Horn---President—

Alisa Stovall—President

Kelli Servizzi—Vice

Shawn Ann Huisinga—Secretary—

Sarah Wareham--Treasurer—

Bobby Van Horn—Liaison to Indiana CEC—


They held their first board meeting via Zoom on January 11 and are now working on their strategic plan and will meet again on February 8.


News from Illinois CCBD

Illinois CCBD will be holding their annual Drive In Conference at the Hyatt Lisle on February 3-4, 2017.  Guest speakers will include Sheldon Braaten, Rick Van Acker, Gerry Moreno, Ed Cancio, Mary Camp, and many more.  Poster sessions are planned along with exhibits.  The Luncheon keynote speaker will be Dr. Vinni Hall on “Understanding and Respecting Diversity in Today’s Classroom.  To register go to:

After the conference, the ILCCBD board will meet on Saturday evening and Sunday to engage in strategic planning.

A great turnout is expected.


News From Ohio CCBD

Ohio CCBD is busy preparing for their annual summer institute which will be held on June 15 and June 16, 2017 on the campus of the beautiful University of Toledo. Suzi Leone is the President. For further information contact Suzi.


News from Michigan CCBD

Michigan CCBD has been meeting monthly over the phone. They have been focusing a lot on establishing the foundations of the organization. They will be sponsoring a strand at Michigan CEC. They are also looking into what they can do regarding a conference, day training, or social get together that they can sponsor. They have a Facebook and Twitter account.  Vikki was able to set up a meeting with some of the leadership in the state regarding social and emotional learning standards. They continue to look for opportunities to be engaged and involved in the state. 


News from Kentucky CCBD

Save the date for the 2017 Kentucky Behavior Institute on June 12-13, 2017 at the Galt House in Louisville, Kentucky.  Registration opens 2-1-2017. Strands will include Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, Academic and Behavior Response to Intervention, Social Emotional Learning, Instruction to Increase Academic Engagements, Mental Health and Trauma, and intensive mental health and behavioral needs.  Registration is $150 CCBD member registration fee.


To register go to:


Region 6- Sonya Harris

NJ is about to hold its first reorganization meeting, the week of January 16th. Once the NJ chapter is on it's way to revitalization, we will collaborate to help jumpstart the other chapters in our region. Through the use of social media, we have been able to reach many interested educators who are joining CEC and CCBD.


***Regional Coordinator Spotlight: Sonya Harris***

Sonya Harris is a Teacher of Special Education at the Dorothy L. Bullock Elementary School, in Glassboro, NJ.  She is currently a co-teacher in a 3rd grade Inclusion Classroom.  She has been teaching for 20 years, & at Bullock for over 10 years, and the kids call her the “Garden Teacher” for her role in partnering with Elite Landscaping in Berlin, NJ and Celebrity Landscaper Ahmed Hassan to build an organic edible garden/Outdoor Classroom for the children of Bullock Elementary.  Sonya is passionate about the Bullock Children’s Garden becoming a hub for the community and local neighbors to harvest organic produce for their families, in order to reduce the effects of the surrounding food desert many of her students live within.  She is proud of Bullock’s partnership with Jersey Fresh’s Farm to School program, and was the first recipient of the Jersey Fresh Farm to School Award for promoting the cafeteria’s usage of the Bullock Garden to provide healthy and fresh produce to students by incorporating Bullock Garden and farm fresh ingredients in school.  She also leads the Garden Team’s drive to promote wellness for children through the partnership with FoodCorps, starting the Bullock Garden Wellness Wednesdays program, where students prepare and eat healthy food.  She participates in an afterschool garden club, incorporating gardening outdoors and indoors, teaching children the joys and benefits of eating fresh & organic foods, and how to grow them in their own homes.  She strongly believes that every school (especially in her home state of New Jersey – The Garden State), regardless of socioeconomic demographic, should utilize garden education into the curriculum, to inspire future farmers, landscapers, engineers, biologists, teachers…the list is infinite.  As Sonya says, “When we plant these seeds in the lives of our children, the harvest society will reap is filled with endless possibilities!”

Here are some excerpts from The Bullock Garden Project – Utilizing Gardening and Ecopsychology to Decrease Negative Behaviors.

The Bullock Garden Project began as a seed idea, of a group of teachers, wanting to provide hands-on learning opportunities for our “babies” (grades 1-3) who were struggling with the increased educational demands in a system designed to produce a product…ONLY high-academic-content-achieving students.  As teachers who comprised both general and special education, we knew our children needed a different experience to reach that goal.  We began to witness rebellion and defiance from children who struggled.  We began to witness increased boredom from children who needed challenges.  We began to realize that we, ourselves, needed to reconnect with the profession we love and that we all needed (children and teachers) to take teaching and learning in a different direction.  Hence, the idea was born to start a school garden.  Now, the story behind the Bullock Children’s Garden is very interesting and fun to tell (and can be viewed here:, however, we are limited by time and space on the page.  Therefore, I will show how this garden has changed our approach to providing emotional support to the children we serve.

Throughout the 2015-2016 school year, teachers and administrators at the Dorothy L. Bullock Elementary School began to notice an increase in aggressive student behavior in the form of physical contact, abusive/violent language, and oppositional behaviors.  As noted in administrative data 100% of the students who were reported to display this type of behavior during that school year were African-American.  Out-of-school suspensions in African-American children, according to the US Department of Education, are disproportionate to their white counterparts, 16.4% to 4.6%, respectively (US Department of Education Office for Civil Rights, 2016).  The concern is not only are these children frequently referred, many of the children we serve are also facing additional issues in their personal lives…abuse, homelessness, parent(s) incarcerated, food insecurity, poverty…The answer is not frequent referrals and suspensions.  We must keep the children in their classrooms in school to meet our school district’s mission for each child: “The Glassboro Public School District (Glassboro Public Schools, 2009) creates a culture that values learning and prepares all to think, achieve, and succeed.”  As a founder of the Bullock Garden Project, I believed one possible solution to reducing the number of aggressive behavior referrals with this group of students, in order to help them become successful in school was to provide an alternative incentive through participation in a Garden Leadership Club, during which students learned the basics of growing edible plants and tending to the school garden.  Children were able to watch their seeds germinate and grow, then produce an edible reward.  This hands-on experience assisted in teaching children to value learning, provide opportunities for higher-level thinking and problem-solving skills, as well as social opportunities and reflective opportunities. 

This is a project that I thoroughly enjoyed as much as the children did.  I was unsure of how teachers would receive this request for student time, and of how the focus children would behave within a large group of 25 students, but I am pleased to have the opportunity to collaborate with teachers who see the positive results of the children participating in the Garden Leadership Group, and watch the excitement on the children’s faces as they gently care for their little seedlings or when they see me in the hallway and whisper, “Ms. Harris, I’m earning my points for Leadership Group.”  The children in the group also started teaching their classmates (and some teachers) about elements of the garden.  Teachers reported children who demonstrate boosts in self-esteem, reduced negative behaviors, and increased willingness to help others.  Most important, the focus students, who are at a higher risk for falling behind academically, started demonstrating improvement and increased time-on-task.  By giving the children an opportunity to experience the District’s mission to critically “…think, achieve and succeed.”

For more information, or for information on how to start a garden at your school, please contact me via email at  We have begun to mentor schools, sharing what we have learned (and are learning) about gardening with children.  


The Janus Project: Conversations from Leaders in the Field

A Conversation with Dr. Greg Benner


Jim Teagarden, Robert Zabel, & Marilyn Kaff

Kansas State University


For the past decade the Janus Project has collected and disseminated the reflections of the leaders in the field of educating children with emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) regarding the past, present, and future of the profession. The Midwest Symposium for Leadership in Behavior Disorders (MSLBD) has provided support for this oral history project.

Each participant is asked a series of questions designed to tap their views about people and events that have influenced their career, the state of the field, and advice for those entering the field. To date nearly 70 conversations have been collected in video form at the following URL:

Dr. Greg Benner is professor of education at the University of Washington Tacoma and executive director of the Center for Strong Schools (CSS). His work focuses on preventive approaches for meeting social-emotional and academic needs for children with EBD. His work has helped schools implement sustainable, comprehensive systems of support. Dr. Benner has made hundreds of presentations and written many publications disseminating best practices to the field. He received the Wesley Becker Award for Outstanding Research in 2002. What follows is excerpted from the Janus Project conversation with Dr. Benner.


JANUS:   What do you see in the future of education for children with emotional/behavior disorders?


Benner:  I feel that even though we’ve learned a lot about systems change through positive behavioral supports, our focus on schools may not be broad enough. I see our field moving toward collective impact with a system of care or wraparound model for a whole community level. There have been some efforts nation-wide like Promise Neighborhoods or the Strive Network which try to get everyone in the community on the same page with the whole child. That includes benchmarks to measure progress toward indicators of health — the academic, social and emotional well-being of the child. It involves having common data and common benchmarks, like we would do in a school using PBIS, but involving a whole community.

Cities like Cincinnati, Portland, OR and South King County in the Seattle area are doing that well. In the Seattle area there is a collaboration among seven school districts called the Road Map Project. This takes a huge amount of effort to coordinate the efforts of schools, community agencies, and both private and public agencies. For me that is very, very exciting, because wouldn’t be great if a whole neighborhood was brought into PBIS? It could mean that wherever kids go, they are taught to be respectful, safe, and responsible. It wouldn’t matter if they were in the park, school, on the bus, in the Boys and Girls club, or the YMCA, the expectations would be the same. That could happen if you have all of these community partners on the same page, using the same PBIS processes, but applying them on a whole neighborhood or a whole community level. How exciting that would be!

We are trying to do that same work in Tacoma, WA right now. In Tacoma there is a shared vision because we’ve talked to so many different people and gone door to door. We’ve learned that people believe in being respectful and responsible, so we have agreed that we want to teach these two behaviors everywhere across Tacoma.

All of he community agencies and schools teach these two things, and that’s powerful. If you are a third grader and you’ve been through a lot in your life, you wake up in the morning, your mom or your dad comes in and talks to you about, “Okay, are you ready to be respectful and safe today at school? Alright, one respectful responsible thing you can do is to get ready right now.” Then they get on the bus and they hear it on the bus. They hear it when they get to school and after school. If they go to Boys and Girls Club, they’re going to hear it there and so on. That is an added level of consistency in a vulnerable child’s life. Wouldn’t that be amazing?

So, I think we need to think in terms of systems broader than just schools and look for ways to get on the same page with the whole neighborhood or whole community. That might sound utopian but I really believe that we can get there. I think that the knowledge we have about implementation provides us with a kind of road map for getting there, and I’m excited about that.


JANUS:  What advice do you have for those entering the field now?


Benner:   The first thing that comes to mind, and I know this is going to sound very cliché, is that it is a marathon. When you run a marathon, you’ve got to keep moving. You can’t stop, you’ve got to keep going. So, my advice for a researcher, if you’re just getting your PhD and are excited about getting your first faculty position, would be to hit the ground running and to keep running. Someone mentioned a goal to write 2000 words per day. I think that’s a good goal for any new researcher. Write every day, and don’t just write but study every day.  

I was reading a leadership book the other day. There was a quote from a Hindu man who was asked, “Why are you calm all the time?” He said, “I never leave my sacred grove.” He finds time on his own to study every day. He keeps that with him and that brings him peace.It helps him to always be a beginner in learning. It’s important to keep a beginner’s mind a Zen mind — whatever you want to call it. So, keep learning. Keep studying and make a commitment every day to do that.

For practitioners, researchers don’t know much. We might know methods, which is good, but to be honest, we have a lot to learn. Learn from those who are actually implementing. Study that and write about how things are implemented in the real world. I think that’s very important.

 Also, I think that being innovative is critical. We can become deficit-oriented and fixated on problems and admire problems a lot. We can write books admiring problems. One advice I would have for anybody in the field is to look for and create solutions. 

There are people thinking of a particular behavioral intervention or something but they have never felt like taking that next step to actually write it up or to explain it to somebody. Something that we can do a lot better is to free ourselves a bit, to innovate, to brainstorm, to come up with ways to better meet the kids.

And I think we should work with people in the private sector as well. I have learned a lot from working with different companies because they are looking for ideas. They are in the business of taking ideas and moving them to scale. I think we also should not fear working with companies that might be interested in some of our good ideas and actually bringing them to fruition. They might have the technological sources, the funding, and so on to actually take some good idea and actually turn it into something. Be innovative. Don’t fear it but embrace it.


Gregs efforts to provide creative proactive support for challenging children can serve as a model for our field. Keeping what he termed a “beginners mind” will help provide a more positive experience for many children and the communities in which they live. The video of the entire conversation with Greg Benner may be accessed at the following URL: Upcoming issues of Behavior Today will include excerpts of Janus Project conversations held with other leaders in the field.