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IES Grant

Title: CICO-High School: Evaluation of an Effective Tier 2 Behavior Intervention for Students in High Schools
Center: NCSER Year: 2023
Principal Investigator: McIntosh, Kent Awardee: University of Oregon
Program: Social, Emotional, and Behavioral Competence      [Program Details]
Award Period: 5 years (07/01/2023 – 06/30/2028) Award Amount: $3,799,999
Type: Initial Efficacy Award Number: R324A230091

Co-Principal Investigators: Kittelman, Angus; Flannery, Brigid; Strickland-Cohen, M. Kathleen

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to evaluate the initial efficacy of Check-In Check-Out (CICO)-High School (CICO-HS). CICO is a well-established and empirically validated Tier 2 intervention that has demonstrated effectiveness in reducing problem behavior and enhancing academic success for elementary and middle school students but has lower rates of adoption and less empirical support in high schools. CICO-HS preserves the core features of standard CICO, while adapting the intervention to align with the contextual features of high schools by adding a mobile data collection application to improve efficiency and increasing emphasis on student agency and self-regulation.

Project Activities: The researchers will use a randomized controlled trial (RCT) to test the efficacy of CICO-HS. They will also conduct an implementation study to examine feasibility and fidelity of implementation of CICO-HS by school personnel and a cost-effectiveness study to identify resources needed to implement CICO-HS and school costs to achieve the desired student outcomes.

Products: This project will result in evidence of the efficacy of CICO-HS for improving high school students' behavior and academic engagement as well as publicly available intervention materials such as the accompanying mobile app. The project will also result in a final dataset to be shared, peer-reviewed publications and presentations, and additional dissemination products that reach education stakeholders such as practitioners and policymakers.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The study will take place in public high schools in Oregon, Missouri, and Utah.

Sample: The sample will include school Tier 2 behavior support teams from six high schools, 400-500 teachers, and 300 students with or at risk for disabilities who have been identified as needing Tier 2 social-emotional-behavioral support and their families.

Intervention: CICO-HS is a Tier 2 behavioral intervention that expands procedures shown to be effective in elementary and middle school to fit the developmental and social context of high school. Standard CICO includes (a) orientation and training for students on behavioral expectations, (b) check-in before and after school with an adult, (c) teacher feedback to the student on their performance after each class period, (d) home-school communication, and (e) organizational systems for monitoring and adapting support. CICO-HS has the following additional features: (a) training for students on self-regulation and goal-setting strategies, (b) use of an app to guide self-monitoring and self-evaluation with each class period, and (c) use of automated electronic messaging to ensure home-school communication.

Research Design and Methods: An RCT will be conducted across 4 years of the project. Each school will participate for 2 years, with implementation beginning in the spring of the first year and continuing throughout the second year. The RCT will be conducted in three waves (two schools per wave). During the RCT, 300 students will be assigned to either CICO-HS or a waitlist control condition on a rolling basis throughout the school year as the students are nominated for Tier 2 intervention services by one or more classroom teachers. Treatment students will receive the intervention for 6 weeks. Active technical assistance by project staff will be used to support high fidelity of implementation. The effects of CICO-HS on student outcomes will be assessed with pre-test and post-test measurement of student outcomes from both groups.

Control Condition: Students assigned to the waitlist control condition will receive typical school supports throughout the 6-week trial but will receive the intervention after the completion of post-test data collection.

Key Measures: The research team will measure student academic engagement and problem behavior, and student perceptions of student-teacher relationships, using three standardized assessments—the Behavior Intervention Monitoring Assessment System 2, Direct Behavior Rating Single Item Scale, and the Student Engagement Instrument. Extant student academic and behavioral data (quarterly grades, office disciplinary referrals, and attendance) will be collected, as well as measures of implementation fidelity and treatment acceptability. School, teacher, and student demographic data will also be collected.

Data Analytic Strategy: A partially nested Time × Condition (T×C) analysis will be used to examine the impact of CICO-HS on student outcomes. The T×C model tests differences by condition in student gains.

Cost Analysis: The research team will identify, measure, and value the resources needed to implement CICO-HS, including new expenditures and reallocations of existing resources, and calculate costs from a societal perspective. They will separate start-up costs and maintenance costs, investigate potential economies of scale, and assess sensitivity of cost estimates to factors that may vary and affect cost. They will also identify, document, and collect cost data for other possible Tier 2 supports provided in control schools. They will then use these cost estimates to calculate cost-effectiveness ratios for key outcomes.

Related IES Projects: Adaptation of an Effective Tier 2 Behavior Intervention for Students in Secondary Schools (R305A180015).