How to Successfully Implement De-escalation Training in Schools

July 8, 2023
Female teacher arms crossed looking into the camera

For more than 40 years, CPI has helped educators and administrators implement an evidence-based approach to de-escalation training in the classroom.

A key part of that help is a 4-step implementation process that supports you as you work to meet the unique needs of your school’s general education, special education, and other support functions. The process lays the foundation for lasting changes that benefit your students, staff, and community.

Here’s a closer look at CPI’s 4-step implementation process.

Step 1: Discover

During the Discover phase, the CPI Professional Services team will work with you to understand your goals and motivations for pursuing CPI de-escalation training.

Together we’ll uncover:

  • How your staff work
  • Where they find success
  • Where they are challenged
  • What other factors may impact their training

At this stage, we’ll discuss your vision for training staff and the benefits for staff and students. We’ll also review any requirements for other stakeholders to facilitate CPI’s de-escalation training.

And you will get to see the breadth of resources available to you. All so you can make a lasting, positive impact on the culture of your school, students, staff, and learning environment.

Step 2: Diagnose

All too often, a one-size-fits-all approach is taken when deciding what training to provide to staff. This puts staff at risk of being over-trained, under-trained, or receiving irrelevant information. CPI’s Diagnose phase will provide you with specific recommendations based on data and your unique needs—all to help you achieve your short- and long-term goals.

Every school community is different, with its own risks, responsibilities, and needs. That’s why we customize a training solution based on your strengths, capabilities, goals, and current behavior management strategies.

Step 3: Design

During the Design phase, CPI will partner with key stakeholders in your school to develop your implementation strategy. This is where we’ll discuss:

  • Technology implementation
  • Direct delivery vs instructor certification
  • Prioritization of training
  • Training reinforcements
  • Other factors that lead to successful adoption

You’ll also determine training cadence, target audience, and training logistics.

Once a strategy has been determined, CPI will work alongside your team to identify candidates for your Instructor Certification program. Your CPI Certified Instructor will have a significant impact on the overall success of the CPI training program and your organization. The best Certified Instructors display the following 4 skillsets:

Professional attitude

You embrace a philosophy of respect and dignity toward all students and staff, and a supportive attitude toward diverse populations.

Appropriate knowledge base

You understand internal policies and procedures and demonstrate sound judgement when faced with challenging behaviors.

Coaching competency

You can verbally and physically explain, demonstrate, and coach concepts related to the prevention and management of challenging behaviors.

Presentation skills

You communicate clearly with groups and individuals, addressing challenges and questions in a positive manner.

Step 4: Deliver

The Deliver phase is composed of two parts.

Part 1: Your CPI Instructor Certification Program (ICP)

Your ICP event will equip your designated staff member(s) with the tools and materials necessary to deliver a CPI de-escalation training program within your school/district. Your ICP will be led by a CPI Global Professional Instructor who possesses real-life application of CPI content in a professional environment.

Part 2: Your End-Learners

CPI rounds out your Deliver phase by setting up preparation and debriefing sessions with your Certified Instructors; supporting them on their journey as they build confidence as your organization’s Certified Instructor.

“After implementing CPI training, I have more staff sharing their experiences about being able to verbally de-escalate more effectively.”
— Anthony Jacobs, Department of School Safety and Security for MPS

On-Going Support

As your school or district allocates dollars for professional development, consider investing in CPI training to help fulfill your staff development goals. Learn more about training options available for education professionals here.

AlGene P. Caraulia is the Vice President of Integration and Sustainability at Crisis Prevention Institute (CPI). Drawing upon his expertise in organizational behavior, program design, facilitation, and implementation, Caraulia led CPI's Training Department, Global Professional Managers and Instructors in North America, Europe and Asia. In 2018, he transitioned into his current role partnering with enterprises and focusing on the delivery of superior customer experiences to internal and external customers. Caraulia began his career at CPI as a Professional Staff Instructor and has provided Nonviolent Crisis Intervention® and related training to professionals in education, health care, mental health, human service and security/law enforcement practices across the globe.

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