Virtual AWSP & WASA Summer Conference 2020


The Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center School Mental Health Team will be presenting at the first Virtual AWSP & WASA Conference 2020!

Presentation materials & recordings will be posted on this page after the event.

About the Conference: 

AWSP and WASA have been working around the clock to pivot the direction of our 2020 Summer Conference to keep you safe, informed, and connected while navigating this unprecedented time. This conference will include: keynote speakers, live & pre-recorded breakout sessions, and networking opportunities. Attendees will connect with fellow educational leaders to renew their focus, clarity, and insight for the upcoming school year.


Northwest MHTTC Pre-Conference Session 

The Northwest MHTTC is sponsoring the Tiers for Fears: Sowing the Seeds of MTSS session, but you can learn more about the other pre-conferences sessions here.


>> Learn more and register here.


  • Tiers for Fears: Sowing the Seeds of MTSSSession 1: June 11, 2 - 3:30 p.m.
    Session 2: June 25, 2 - 4 p.m.Presenters: Jessica Swain-Bradway, NWPBIS Network, Justyn Poulos, OSPI, Kelcey Schmitz, UW SMART Center & Northwest MHTTC, & Kurt Hatch, Association of Washington School Principals

    Description: If you are considering an MTSS framework in your building or district, or are in the process of implementing, this session is for you. The presenters have worked across the country training, coaching, and evaluating the implementation of MTSS in schools, districts, and other human services settings for decades. Regardless of what stage you are in, this session will provide you with essential foundational information on MTSS framework and logic as well as evidence-based interventions across all three tiers to support even the most challenging situations and provide you with an opportunity to create an action plan for next steps back at your building or district.

    We will address common concerns we are hearing across Washington including mental health integration, disproportionality in school discipline, family engagement, effective classroom practices, restorative practices, teaming, initiative overload, inclusive practices, data-based decision making, and current state level policies, procedures and guidance from OSPI. Bring your tough questions, implementation challenges, and other barriers you've experienced and we will provide the information you need to keep moving forward.

Northwest MHTTC Conference Presentations & Breakout Sessions:

The School Mental Health team is excited to be offering the following pre-recorded breakout sessions for the 2020 AWSP/WASA Summer Conference:


  • Supporting School Mental Health Efforts within an MTSS Framework:  An Introduction to Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center's School Mental Health Supplement

Presenters: Kelcey Schmitz, MSEd & Eric Bruns, PhD, UW SMART Center & Northwest MHTTC

Description: The School Mental Health supplement to the Northwest MHTTC, funded in 2018 by SAMHSA, has allowed for the expansion of training and technical assistance on evidence-based, school-based and school-linked mental health services in Alaska, Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. This regional effort is being lead from the University of Washington's School Mental Health Assessment, Research and Training Center, a national leader in developing and supporting implementation of evidence-based practices (EBPs) in schools, including prevention, early intervention, and intensive supports. Training and technical assistance is vital as districts and schools work to implement a comprehensive school mental health approach within an MTSS framework. This session will introduce participants to new school mental health training packages and other web-based resources, tools, and materials that district and school teams can use at no cost to build capacity for implementing school mental health across all three tiers.


  • Interconnected Systems Framework: Integrating PBIS and School Mental Health

Presenters: Kelcey Schmitz, UW SMART Center & Northwest MHTTC, Tawni Barlow, Medical Lake School District

Description: This session will help you begin to learn how to expand your MTSS to prevent, screen and respond to mental health needs. ISF is a structure and process for creating a comprehensive system of social, emotional, and behavioral supports and moving school mental health from a co-located approach to an integrated approach. Key messages of ISF will be shared which include a single system of delivery, mental health wellness as a protective factor, measuring impact as opposed to access, and using the MTSS framework to guide an integrated approach. ISF is the approach being used within the Washington School Climate Transformation Initiative and two Washington districts are part of a National ISF Demonstration project. Medical Lake School District and North Mason School District will share examples of efforts underway in their districts to implement school mental health in coordination with PBIS. Participants will become familiar with free and easy-to-access resources, tools, and other materials they can begin using immediately.


About the Presenters:

Dr. Jessica Swain-Bradway is the Executive Director for Northwest PBIS Network. Her work in school-wide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SW-PBIS) and multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) focuses on equipping teachers with high leverage strategies for instruction, relationship-building, and designing effective learning environments. She has extensive experience supporting districts and states to build capacity for PBIS implementation and working across agencies to maximize resources for developing the organizational health of the school environment. Dr. Swain-Bradway also has expertise aligning restorative practices, mental health practices, including trauma informed care, and academic RtI into the SWPBIS framework.


Kurt Hatch M.Ed. A former teacher, instructional coach and award-winning principal, Kurt Hatch has served as a leader in a variety of systems including Puyallup, Kent, University Place, North Thurston and Shanghai, China.  Currently based out of Olympia, Kurt serves as Associate Director at the Association of Washington School Principals.  His work includes policy analysis, advocacy, leading the Mastering Principal Leadership Network and facilitating professional learning on topics such as: Systems Improvement; Distributed Leadership; and Equity, Bias and Race. Kurt also mentors early-career principals and trains school leaders on the implementation of a school-wide student support system that has helped recapture thousands of hours of instructional time, increase teacher efficacy and eliminate the use of suspensions.


Kelcey Schmitz, MSEd, is the Multi-tiered System of Supports (MTSS) and School Mental Health Training and Technical Assistance Specialist at the University of Washington School Mental Health, Assessment, Research and Training (SMART) Center. Kelcey has been involved in many Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) efforts providing training, coaching, and evaluation to schools, districts, families and community organizations to support the social, emotional, and behavioral strengths and needs of students within an MTSS framework. She brings extensive experience leading state-wide MTSS efforts. Kelcey is also part of the Washington Partnership Access Line (PAL) for Schools pilot project and the Washington State School Climate Transformation Grant. Kelcey has a master’s degree in Special Education from the University of Kansas.


Dr. Eric Bruns PhD, Associate Director, SMART Center, is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the University of Washington School of Medicine. Dr. Bruns’s research focuses on public child-serving systems, and how to maximize their positive effects on youth with behavioral health needs and their families. Toward this end, Dr. Bruns focuses primarily on two areas with high public health significance. The first is intensive care coordination models for youths with serious emotional and behavioral challenges. In this area, Dr. Bruns co-directs the National Wraparound Initiative ( and the National Wraparound Implementation Center (, and directs the UW Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team (


Tawni Barlow is the Student Services Director for the Medical Lake School District. She oversees nursing, 504, special education and mental health services for the district. Prior to working in the education field, she worked in behavioral science, corrections, and social work for close to 20 years, specializing in crisis response, counseling, and behavior management. Tawni’s experience as an administrator as well as line-level staff has given her the perspective to effectively communicate with all levels of an organization. She holds an Educational Staff Associate (ESA) certification in both school counseling and school psychology, and prior to becoming an administrator she worked as a School Psychologist in the local community. She earned a Bachelor of Liberal Studies in Humanities and a Masters of Education (M.Ed.) in counseling, with an emphasis on research, from Whitworth University, and an Educational Specialist (Ed.S.) degree in School Psychology through Eastern Washington University. Tawni is currently an adjunct professor for Whitworth University and provides clinical supervision for the Marriage and Family therapist interns.


Justyn Poulos, recently joined the Washington’s Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction team as the Director of MTSS. Prior to coming to Washington, he supported statewide MTSS implementation for the past 10 years in Wisconsin as Wisconsin's PBIS Coordinator and Assistant Director of the Wisconsin RtI Center, the training and technical assistance hub for MTSS in Wisconsin. Justyn's background is as a school psychologist, practicing in Alaska, Arizona, and Wisconsin.


Want more information and school mental health resources? Visit the Northwest MHTTC's School Mental Health page and sign up for our monthly newsletter for regular updates about events, trainings, and resources available to the Northwest region.

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