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IES Grant

Title: Implementing A Comprehensive Data-Based Coordinated System Of Care For School Districts To Promote Youth Academic Success And Social Emotional Development: A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership
Center: NCER Year: 2017
Principal Investigator: Reinke, Wendy Awardee: University of Missouri, Columbia
Program: Researcher-Practitioner Partnerships in Education Research      [Program Details]
Award Period: 2 years (8/1/2017 7/31/2019) Award Amount: $397,211
Goal: Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Award Number: R305H170023

Co-Principal Investigators: Lou Ann Tanner-Jones, Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition; Aaron Thompson, Keith Herman, Frances Huang, and Sarah Owens, University of Missouri; Darin Ford, Chris Felmlee, John Downs, Peter Stiepleman, Shawn Schultz, Lynn Proctor, Boone County Public Schools

Partner Institutions: The Boone County Schools Mental Health Coalition is a collaboration of six independent school districts in Boone County, Missouri and researchers at the University of Missouri's College of Education, Department of Educational School and Counseling Psychology and School Counseling, the Missouri Prevention Center, and the School of Social Work.

Purpose: The federal government encourages the use of a flexible and tiered response to student needs that avoids the use of special education services for students who are responsive to less intensive interventions. In reality, however, many school systems are ill-equipped to implement tiered response models. This project will validate the Early Identification System (EIS), an assessment of academic, behavioral, and emotional risk administered tri-annually to support the social emotional and behavioral health of youth in Boone County, and investigate whether there is a relationship between EIS implementation student academic and behavioral outcomes.

Project Activities: The researcher-practitioner partnership will conduct a validation study of the EIS, examine the social validity of the EIS among teachers and school-based teams who use the assessment, and explore the relationship between fidelity to the model and student academic and student behavioral outcomes.

Products: The partnership will summarize the findings in a series of reports and presentations for schools, district, and state partners; national conference presentations; and publications in peer-reviewed journals. The project will also increase the capacity of Boone County schools to conduct research.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The setting includes six school districts in Boone County, Missouri: Centralia, Columbia, Hallsville, Harrisburg, Southern, Boone, and Sturgeon.

Sample: The sample includes fifty public schools, 3,500 school personnel, and approximately 22,400 students. In the largest school district, 20% of the student population is Black, 6% Hispanic, 5% Asian, and 5% Bi-racial.

Research Design and Methods: This project will build on prior work done with the EIS in Boone County by using data gathered with the EIS and the Behavioral and Emotional Screening System to examine the reliability, validity, and sensitivity of the EIS. The project involves three related studies: (1) validating the EIS to summarize county, district, school, grade, and individual student level social, behavioral, emotional, and academic risk factors; (2) examining the social validity of the EIS among teachers completing the assessment and school-based problem-solving teams who use the data to select appropriate evidence-based programs (EBPs) at the universal, selective, and indicated levels; and (3) exploring the relationship between implementation fidelity of the EIS and academic and behavioral outcomes for students.

Control Condition: Due to the nature of the design, there is no control condition.

Key Measures: In addition to researcher-developed measures (e.g., focus group protocols; a measure of perceptions of the social validity of the EIS), the researchers will administer the BASC-3 Behavioral and Emotional Screening System teacher, parent, and student scales (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2015)—which assess problem behavior, social problems, and adaptive skills—to validate the EIS. Missouri Performance Assessment state achievement scores, office disciplinary referrals, suspension and expulsion rates, will be collected from school archival records each year of the project.

Data Analytic Strategy: For Study (1), the research team will use confirmatory factor analysis and classification accuracy statistics. For Study (2), researchers will code focus group data by themes, and will examine associations between social validity, fidelity, and level of classroom and school risk using regression analysis. For Study (3), the researchers will conduct hierarchical linear modeling analyses to determine relationships between fidelity and student outcomes.

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