Certified Instructors Share How CPI Training Helps Their School Districts

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We’ve been making the case for a culture of caring and safety in schools for nearly 40 years here at CPI—and we’re not done yet. Inside or outside of the classroom, our values of Care, Welfare, Safety, and Security℠ apply to every staff member and every student. We know that each of us has the power to do something about school safety, and that by empowering professionals to strategically improve their school climate, student outcomes will improve.
Taking a strategic step to get school staff trained isn’t just an investment in the immediate safety of your school—this decision has the power to impact our society’s future. But don’t take our word for it—check out what teachers, administrators, safety officers, school psychologists, and transportation coordinators have experienced since implementing CPI training in their school districts.

Michele Brand:
“Some of the successes that we've had is, you know, sometimes we'll have students move into the district that are in crisis. And they'll go to a building that has not had restraints or not even had the need to use them. And what CPI has allowed us to do is utilize that common language. We can establish a plan, expectations, and then get to know our students to be able to de-escalate those behaviors. So you know, those kids that are in crisis, that's why our numbers drop off is because we figure out a plan to meet them so we can avoid using restraints.”
Hear the rest of our conversation with Michele Brand and her colleague Becky Eckhardt, from the South Sioux City school district.

Pattie Steele:
“Don’t call me a restraint trainer. I’m not just a restraint trainer. I’m an intervention trainer. And if we can get all our preventions into place, then we probably don’t have to end up in restraint.”
“[When] I have an ‘Aha!’ moment, I can’t wait to call up one of the program directors, and I’ll call and say, ‘You know what? We need to get in there, and we need to do a training on just setting limits or just verbal interventions because after reading this report, it’s really clear to me, had we had a more preventive approach, we wouldn’t have reached that other level.”
“CPI, the Crisis Prevention Institute, has indeed become a family for me. It’s not just an organization where I received a certificate. It’s become a family, and the resources and the tools and the training and just the contacts and the networking that I have made over the past 15 years, have helped me be successful. And I’m not sure that I would be as successful as I am without my connection with the Crisis Prevention Institute.”
Hear the rest of our conversation with Pattie Steele, from the South Coast Educational Collaborative.

Drew deLutio:
“In the absence of a culture that promotes and supports and values the public school as the last bastion of true diversity, true, unadulterated, organic diversity, be it socioeconomic, ethnic, whatever, if we don’t value that as a society, then really what we’re saying is that we don’t believe that human beings should have to learn how to coexist.
And that’s very, very dangerous because the entire purpose of public schooling in our society was to create spaces in which we were building citizens. And in a diverse society, how can you build a citizen in the absence of diversity?”
Hear the rest of our conversation with Drew deLutio and his colleagues Pamela Hansen and Travis Pinter, from the Milwaukee Public School Violence Prevention Team.

Carleen Doucet:
“You can have the best academic curriculum that you want, but if you don't have a behavioral component, and a strong behavioral component such as CPI and those techniques, they [new teachers] fail every time. It's amazing when you get those new teachers (and we try to get in within the first two weeks of teaching to train them), that they say, after a year, ‘My god, this saved my life. This saved my career.”
Hear the rest of our conversation with Carleen Doucet, from the Lafayette Parish School System.

John Heiderscheidt:
“I think there's a link. There's other things obviously. There's PBIS—that’s a significant win for us. We're working really hard on community partners. But the substance of CPI, I believe and hopefully others understand this: that's your practice; this is your template. And all these other agencies and people will have different things they can bring to it, but you have your core of how we approach situations when they happen, how we view escalations and agitations, and how we move into those situations.”
Hear the rest of our conversation with John Heiderscheidt, from School District U-46.
Candace Burckhardt:
“As adults, you know, we have so many tools through CPI that we can use to really help you exploit a crisis through our nonverbal gestures, our verbal language. And when participants begin to realize that student behavior is an alternate result of those Precipitating Factors such as their trauma history, then they can begin to really treat the student in interventions and in a more open, exploratory, and loving way, other than viewing CPI as a punishment or a punitive sort of a training.”
Hear the rest of our conversation with Candace Burckhardt, from Indigo Education.

Maria Navone:
“Well, I guess I want staff to come away with the hope, to have faith that if they set these goals for themselves, if your goal is to train an entire school or an entire side of town or district or whatever your goal is for your training, stick to it. Don’t give up, because it’s just so much easier to say, ‘Oh, it’s an uphill battle and I’m not getting any response.’
Just it took a lot of persuasion, a lot of persistence, a lot of I didn’t accept no for an answer. Every time they came at me with an excuse not to train, I came up with an example of why you should. For example, ‘Well, I’ve had umpteen staff get injured this year. I’ve had umpteen students get injured this year.’
Well, why don’t you send them to my class? Let’s work on some strategies. Let’s work on getting them certified. Let’s work on that de-escalation part of it. And tell me in six months. Give me six months and let me know is it working? Is there a decrease? And when they come back and say, ‘You know what? Yes. We see it.’”
Hear the rest of our conversation with Maria Navone, from Milwaukee Public Schools.

Jesse Hill:
“If we can get them trained quickly, it helps alleviate some of that anxiety level that they might have when they get onto a bus and a student is starting to act out and they just don't know what to do. It kind of gives them that. So we do train, just on a constant rotation right now. We have about 230 employees in the transportation department itself. And from our bookkeeper all the way down to the mechanics, to all supervisors, bus drivers, paraprofessionals, everybody has been certified.”
“If we can teach our drivers and our paraprofessionals, our mechanics, anybody that deals with people, if we can teach them to recognize the anxiety level beginning to rise, and how to verbally de-escalate the situation, we're ahead of the game.”
Hear the rest of our conversation with Jesse Hill, from the Academy School District 20 in Colorado Springs.

You can do something about school safety—and CPI can help. If you’re ready to dive deeper after listening to these experts weigh in, read up on our tips and resources for improving school climate, find out what children are looking for from the staff they encounter at school each day, and consider what a lack of school safety is costing your school district.
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“Our aim is to help you always consider the entire realm of options available to you during any crisis moment. And to help you always choose the least restrictive intervention possible.”