The Expanded Menta Method (EMM) Model
The Expanded Menta Method (EMM) model is the framework that guides that practice of administrators, teachers, and staff at all Menta schools. The model is based on 30 years of institutional knowledge and experience in working with challenging students and is strongly grounded in the principles of behavioral science. The EMM model teaches that adult responses greatly impact student behavior and student learning. It challenges adults to take responsibility to ensure that the school environment is optimal for students. The EMM framework provides adults with a common language, strategies for developing common expectations and procedures, and a common lens for understanding the school environment and the needs of students. When adults share the same language, expectations, and understanding, they can more powerfully collaborate to support the needs of all students in a school community. The EMM model provides both content and methodology for training educators in the strategies that we have found to be successful in supporting the performance of students.
Although originally developed to support the work of adults in our own schools, EMM coaches have successfully utilized the same framework to guide their work with a variety of public schools and school districts in response to requests for assistance in solving a range of problems. EMM professional development incorporates workshops for staff and administrators but these experiences are supported with ongoing job-embedded coaching, an evidence-based methodology that significantly increases the rate of implementation of new skills and strategies. The EMM coach works on-site with school staff and administrators as they go about their daily work in all settings within a school program, from the classroom to the hallways, lunchroom, gym, dean’s office, and so on. Coaching takes place wherever school staff work with students, administrators work with school staff, and adults work collaboratively with each other. In addition, because coaches work individually with staff members, coaching sessions are responsive to the assessed skill level of each individual, further supporting successful implementation. The duration of coaching services is dependent on the needs of the particular school. Generally, coaching is provided weekly for each cohort of school staff over the course of a semester. Many districts choose to use a train-the-trainers model to increase sustainability well after our direct involvement has ended.
EMM training programs have been initiated with varying target goals, depending on the unique needs of the schools and districts involved. For example:
- A district that was struggling to respond to the needs of a dramatically changing school population.
- An elementary school that was working to develop a more collaborative school culture that supported their belief that all students can be successful.
- A middle school that was in a period of transition, in the process of moving to a new building and anticipating a shift in leadership.
- Several urban elementary schools that wanted to create learning environments that would support increased academic performance by their students.
- Several therapeutic day schools that needed assistance in program development and implementation as part of their school improvement process.
- A district-wide ED Instructional Program that used the EMM framework to develop common expectations and programming across schools, increase consistency in implementation of their social skills curriculum and behavior system, and better support ED students across grade levels in both self-contained and inclusive settings.
- A district that implemented the model school-wide in all their middle schools in order to decrease discipline referrals, suspensions, and parent concerns.
- An urban charter school that requested assistance in building the capacity of their staff to effectively respond to the social-emotional needs of their students, many of whom exhibited challenging behaviors.