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IES Grant

Title: Adaptation of an Effective Tier II Behavior Intervention for Students in Secondary Schools
Center: NCER Year: 2018
Principal Investigator: Flannery, K. Brigid Awardee: University of Oregon
Program: Social and Behavioral Context for Academic Learning      [Program Details]
Award Period: 3 years (09/01/2018 - 08/31/2021) Award Amount: $1,399,904
Goal: Development and Innovation Award Number: R305A180015

Co-Principal Investigator: McIntosh, Kent

Purpose: The purpose of this project is to adapt a Tier II intervention called Check-in/Check-out (CICO) for use in secondary schools. CICO appears promising for reducing problem behavior and enhancing academic success for elementary school students with challenging behavior, but it has been implemented and tested less frequently in middle and high schools.

Project Activities: Over the first two years of the project, the researchers will work in two high schools to modify CICO and test it for usability and feasibility. In the final year, they will conduct a small-scale randomized controlled trial (RCT) in two different high schools to obtain preliminary evidence of the effects of CICO-Secondary on student behavior and academic outcomes.

Products: Researchers will produce the Check-in/Check-out Tier II behavior intervention for secondary schools (CICO-S), including an electronic Daily Progress Report (eDPR) and electronic messaging to parents/guardians, implementation manuals, training materials, and researcher-developed measures. They will produce a research-to-practice brief that will be shared through the Office for Special Education Programs (OSEP) Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports website and peer-reviewed publications.

Structured Abstract

Setting: The study will take place in two urban school districts in Oregon.

Sample: Development activities and initial feasibility and usability testing will take place in two high schools with approximately 40 students and their teachers, counselors, behavioral specialists, and parents. Researchers will pilot test CICO-S in two new high schools with about 60 students.

Intervention: CICO is a Tier II behavior support intervention that includes (a) check in before and after school with an adult, (b) use of a daily progress card, (c) teacher feedback to the student on their performance on behavioral expectations, and (d) home-school communication. CICO has been implemented and evaluated at the elementary school level primarily and has evidence of efficacy for these students. To improve the standard CICO intervention for use at the secondary school level, CICO-Secondary will be aligned with relevant secondary school contextual features and include: (a) student and teacher training materials to emphasize an increased student role, (b) daily check-in/check-out protocol to emphasize student self-regulation skills and acceptability of feedback, (c) an electronic Daily Progress Report (DPR) to increase user acceptability and overall efficiency in teacher-student communication, (d) student-directed ratings and feedback protocol, and (e) more efficient home/school communication through automated electronic messaging to parents/guardians.

Research Design and Methods: In Year 1, the researchers will modify CICO, deliver both CICO and CICO-S to students to test out new components, and conduct focus groups. In Year 2, they will use design-based research to examine feasibility and usability. In the final year they will conduct a small-scale RCT in which students with challenging behavior will be randomly assigned to CICO-S or typical practice to obtain preliminary evidence of the effects of CICO-S on high school student behavior and academic outcomes.

Control Condition: Students randomly assigned to the control condition will receive existing high school interventions already in place in the schools for students with challenging behavior, but will receive CICO-S after the completion of post-test data collection with the treatment group.

Key Measures: The researchers will collect data on academic performance and attendance (school records), problem behavior (Behavior Assessment System for Children-3[BASC-3]), academic engagement (direct observation), and student perception of engagement (Student Engagement Instrument[SEI]). They will use an implementation checklist and acceptability questionnaires, as well as in-person observations by project staff to assess fidelity and feasibility of CICO-S implementation.

Data Analytic Strategy: The researchers will use descriptive analyses of surveys and qualitative analyses of focus group data for the development work in Year 1. They will use descriptive and inferential statistical techniques (means, standard deviations, and paired t-tests) to determine feasibility and usability. In addition, they will use mixed model analysis of variance (MANOVA) to analyze the RCT data.