How Arlington ISD Created an Effective Behavioral Threat Assessment Program with Navigate360
Creating a new behavioral threat assessment (BTA) program can be an extensive process. At Arlington Independent School District (ISD) in Arlington, Texas, developing a successful BTA program was a collaborative effort between multiple departments and agencies. Here is how Dr. Nkechi Madueke, NCSP, LSSP; Jade Taylor, LMSW; and Kate Shaw, QMHP successfully overcame these obstacles to create an effective BTA program at Arlington ISD with help from Navigate360.
How Arlington ISD Created an Effective BTA Program
When faced with implementing a BTA program at Arlington ISD, officials faced a daunting task. With over 70 campuses and 68,000 students and personnel, Arlington ISD is a large district serving many students and families.
Dr. Nkechi Madueke, NCSP, LSSP, the multidisciplinary student supports coordinator at Arlington ISD, had her work cut out for her. “The grant required that the police department, the school district and the local mental health authority form a team to identify students at risk of engaging in acts of serious violence and provide interventions to those students,” she says.
With specific requirements from her stakeholders, Madueke and her team needed to solve one major problem first — record keeping. “Data management was difficult for us at first,” Madueke says. “It was folders across the district that were managed by us, so that was tedious because we had to take that information in a spreadsheet elsewhere. So, for us, we needed a more streamlined system.”
Madueke and her team turned to Navigate360.
Using Data to Make Informed Decisions
Successful data management is a crucial step in deploying any BTA program and one that the team at Arlington ISD had to tackle early. The team quickly realized that their existing data management system was creating more problems than it was solving.
“Moving numbers from here to there and keeping track of all of it was difficult,” Madueke says. “We searched existing threat assessment models and what we felt would work best for our district considering our campus and student needs. We didn’t have a threat assessment software system that could house everything we wanted when we first started. It wasn’t convenient. It was not easy to use.”
Through Navigate360’s robust data reporting and management within the Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management system, data management is easier for Arlington ISD’s team.
“We have everything in there [and] we’re able to keep track of everything that’s going on,” Madueke explains. “All the students who’ve been referred, those that were open, those that are closed, the category levels — all of that. It is helpful having a system that maintains all of that for us.”
By using Navigate360 Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management, officials were better able to make decisions regarding behavioral intervention and processes. Kate Shaw, QMHP, school violence prevention law enforcement liaison at MHMR Tarrant County, reinforced the team’s opinion on using Navigate360’s case management system for reporting.
“In the system we’re using, [officials] are able to type in notes for each question,” Shaw says. “So what we’re having them do for those that cannot meet at the same time to go through it is to at least put notes in as they go through. Whoever’s the case manager for that assessment can see all the information from each team member’s perspective or at least whatever blocks that have on the different questions. So they are able to come to a determination based on all the information, because all the team members have access to the assessment.”
That makes it easier for officials in separate departments or team members working on cases at different times. Staying connected and sharing critical information helps to guarantee that nothing slips by.
Implementing & Documenting Interventions Digitally
Comprehensive data collection also helps the Arlington ISD threat assessment team make better-informed decisions regarding interventions and next steps for students struggling with negative or concerning behaviors.
“The most important part for us is the intervention planning, what we plan to do for this student from here on out,” Madueke explains. “What type of support does the student need? Because for some students, there are things going on and they need either more support on the campus or they might need counseling; they might need interventions.”
By carefully documenting existing cases, the team at Arlington ISD was able to improve their intervention responses and provide better support for students over time. “As time goes on, we are reviewing to see the documentation of the interventions that we’ll provide based on whatever the team recommended was needed for the student,” Madueke says.
For Jade Taylor, LMSW, school violence prevention program coordinator at the Arlington Police Department, the capabilities of Navigate360 help reinforce the most important aspects of any BTA program.
“That is the ultimate finding for behavioral threat assessments — not what level [students] are [at] and what is going on, but how we are going to intervene and help them become successful and not necessarily escalate on that pathway to violence,” Taylor says.
Improved Compliance for Funding and Grants
Besides the standard issues of data collection and communication, Arlington ISD officials ensure adherence to their grant stakeholders through Navigate360 Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management’s secure, cloud-based data management.
The in-depth tools offered by Navigate360 made this easier for the team, Madueke says.
“A lot of the things that the grant [required] were not quite the things that threat assessment wanted,” she says. “So we’re just data warehousing a bunch of stuff right now. Figuring out what it was we needed to report and making sure we were able to gather that as well within the systems has been a little bit challenging, but we did find that our data collecting has been helpful.”
Madueke says the in-depth tools offered by Navigate360’s case management made this task easier for the team.
On-Demand Webinar: Creating a Successful Behavioral Threat Assessment Program
Watch the webinar version of this case study with Arlington ISD.
Brochure: Behavioral Threat & Suicide Case Management
Identify, assess & manage students who pose a threat of harm.
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