Joanna Bivins is a Region 5 Comprehensive Center Subject Matter Expert. As such, she guides the development of our online resources and leads our efforts to provide capacity-building services to state education agencies (SEAs). Joanna sat down with us to answer five questions.
When you think about your R5CC work with West Virginia, what are you most proud of? Why?
The state is working with their higher education programs and their community partners to address school-based mental health provider shortages. We have helped them connect to other states as they do to hear how they have approached the issue. WV has been open to feedback and they have been working collaboratively to better define the barriers and needed supports. It’s been great to witness how they are taking a solution focused approach and for the group to think outside the box while doing so.
When you think about R5CC’s upcoming work with states, what capacities are you the
most excited about building? Why?
The West Virginia team is beginning on developing a Networked Improvement Community (NIC). This will help the team take a more focused approach within their department on and to bridge the gap with districts.
What’s one thing you wish others knew or understood about the work of the R5CC?
We are resource that is meant to build the SEA’s capacity. It can be overwhelming work in a state education agency and its helpful to reach out and get free assistance as well as learn from other states.
What’s one recent non-work accomplishment of which you are especially proud?
I foster rescue dogs. One the most recent dogs I had was very anxious and had a hard time in the shelter prior to coming to me. He was successfully placed a couple of weeks ago and I just got a great report from the family who adopted her.
What’s one goal you have for the R5CC in the coming year?
To meet the needs of WV and for them to be able to move forward expanding the work they have started.