Training and Technical Assistance Core


The core mission of the UW SMART Center is to produce and apply research evidence that promotes accessible, effective, and equitable school-based behavioral health services for children and youth, across all tiers of effort, from prevention to individualized intervention. As a key component of this mission, UW SMART has developed strategies and related infrastructure for providing training and technical assistance to state and local education agencies as well as individual school districts that mobilizes evidence-based strategies across the tiers, while also adhering to principles of implementation science.

The SMART Center’s “TACore” provides:

  • Training and workforce development focused on developing workforce capacity (among school staff and community partners) to deliver research-based strategies, policies, and practice models relevant to the education context.
  • Technical assistance focused on building evidence-based, multi-tiered systems of school-based behavioral health, using collaborative decision-making processes guided by local data as well as research evidence.
  • Program evaluation focused on collecting and analyzing secondary (e.g., administrative) datasets as well as data from primary data collection efforts (e.g., surveys, focus groups) to determine the impact of new or existing programs, practices, and policies.

Services/What we do


SMART Center training activities are designed to align with the growing literature on implementation science, which recognizes that development of skillful practice in staff and practitioners requires multiple phases of effort. These include:

  • Readiness development in the host environment, including among school staff and leadership at multiple levels;
  • Knowledge transfer, such as through high-quality training that is guided by principles of adult learning;
  • Follow-on consultation and coaching, that allows practitioners to develop expertise through data-driven feedback
  • Sustainability activities that include development of local expertise and resources to minimize drift from practice expectations and assure that new staff are consistently brought to skillful practice.

Examples of research-based practice models and school- and district-wide strategies supported by the SMART Center are listed below.

  • Cognitive-Behavioral Intervention for Trauma in Schools (CBITS) – a school-based, group and individual intervention designed to reduce symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), depression, and behavioral problems and improve coping skills, functioning, grades and attendance.
  • Brief Intervention Strategy for School Clinicians (BRISC) – a “Tier 2” engagement, assessment, brief intervention, and triage model for middle and high school students presenting with emerging mental health problems.
  • Evidence based practices (EBPs) used by school and community based providers who serve students (e.g., Cognitive behavioral therapy, motivational interviewing)
  • Trauma-informed school models at clinical, administrative, and school staff levels
  • Disproportionality in discipline reduction strategies that also improve school climate, such as:
    • Relationships to Enhance Learners' Adjustment to Transitions and Engagement (RELATE)
    • Greet-Stop-Prompt
    • Establish-Maintain-Restore
  • Multi-tiered systems of school-based behavioral health supports (MTSS) – Trainings and follow on support to buildings and districts on service system development and practice models
  • School-based health center (SBHC) development, including fiscal, administrative, and practice models
  • Individual support plans in the classroom (iBESTT) – a web-based approach to developing effective behavioral support plans for students with behavioral challenges
  • Measurement-based care (MBC) in school mental health, to improve monitoring and effectiveness of any school-based mental health strategy
  • “Tier 3 Wraparound” (T3W) – An adaptation of the National Wraparound Initiative’s evidence-based care coordination model to schools
  • Social skills training for students with autism spectrum disorder

Note that this list is meant to be illustrative, as SMART TACore capacity to support specific models, treatments, and strategies varies over time and as a function of the context in which implementation support is sought.



In addition to ensuring high-fidelity implementation of the research-based practice models and strategies cited above, the SMART Center specializes in providing technical assistance to schools, communities, and local education agencies regarding development of their overarching MTSS and School Mental Health strategy, including community collaborative building efforts; funding and sustainability models; monitoring and evaluation; and selection, implementation, and sustainability of specific research-based school mental health strategies.

Examples of specific UW SMART technical assistance partners include:

  • Public Health - Seattle King County
  • Seattle Public Schools and School-Based Health Centers
  • Skagit County Public Health and 7 school districts
  • North Sound Behavioral Health Organization (NSBHO)
  • Lake Washington School District
  • Marysville School District
  • Battle Ground School District
  • Highline School District
  • Thurston-Mason BHO and Capital Region Educational Service District
  • Puget Sound Educational Services District
  • Ontario, Canada School Mental Health ASSIST
  • Washington State Office of the Superintendent for Public Instruction (OSPI)

The SMART Center routinely conducts evaluations of new and existing programs, practices, and policies that are focused on student social, emotional, and behavioral wellbeing. Activities involve both the integration of existing datasets (e.g., district administrative data) as well as collection of novel quantitative (e.g., survey) and qualitative (e.g., focus groups; interviews) information. Analyses are frequently multilevel (students, educators, buildings, districts) and employ mixed methods to combine qualitative and quantitative data to address evaluation questions developed in collaboration with community partners.

Examples of programs that have been the focus of SMART Center TACore evaluation projects include:

  • Seattle Public Schools / City of Seattle Office of Education Family Support Worker Program
  • Seattle Public Schools / Public Health of Seattle-King County School-Based Health Centers
  • Seattle Public Schools’ Minority Engagement and Discipline Reduction program.
  • Lake Washington Schools’ Social Emotional Learning programs.
  • Ontario, Canada, BRISC implementation and outcomes evaluation
  • Skagit County, WA, Multi-Tiered Systems of Supports implementation evaluation 


TAC Core Project Management and Outreach Team,