Teachers and students were drawn from 34 elementary schools in Albuquerque Public
Schools, New Mexico.
A sample of 260 teachers from grades 1–3 in 34 elementary schools were randomly assigned
to an intervention or usual care control condition across two cohorts (one for the 2005–06
academic year and the other for 2006–07). Random assignment occurred at classroom level
within cohorts. Prior to random assignment, the SSBD was used to identify students who were
exhibiting the most severe behavioral concerns within each classroom. The student with the
highest average ranking across the SSBD Stage 2 measures was targeted for inclusion in the
study; these students were described as exhibiting antisocial behaviors, including victimizing
others, severe tantrums, and aggression. Parental consent was obtained for students in 210 of
the 260 recruited teachers/classrooms (81%). In cohort 1, parents were more likely to decline
participation in the study if their child had been randomized to the comparison condition;
thus, the authors randomized a larger proportion of classrooms to the comparison condition
in cohort 2 to achieve a balanced design across conditions. Of the 210 consenting students
across the two cohorts, approximately half were in classrooms that were randomly assigned to
the experimental condition (n = 107) and half were in classrooms that were randomly assigned
to the control condition (n = 103). The analysis sample consisted of 101 treatment and 97 control
students, although specific sample sizes varied by outcome. Participants were predominantly
Hispanic (57%) or Caucasian (24.5%), 73% were males, 70% were eligible for free or
reduced-price lunches, and roughly 16% were English language learners.
Intervention students were exposed to both the CLASS and HomeBase components of the
group program. The HomeBase component was started by the behavioral coach on the 10th day of
the intervention and consisted of 6 one-hour home visits by the behavioral coach. The study
assessed intervention fidelity, teacher-coach alliance, and student and parent program compliance.
Implementation was assessed via expert raters four times, focusing on behavioral coach
tasks and the beginning, middle, and end of the teacher phase using a First Step to Success
checklist. Additional post-intervention fidelity scales and assessment of the alliance among
teachers, coaches, and parents also were used. Student compliance was measured by the
number of times students successfully completed an intervention session without having to
repeat it. Authors did not report concerns pertaining to intervention fidelity.
Control classrooms were described as usual care comparisons.
The study included a measure of academic engaged time (AET), teacher and parent ratings on
the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) Problem Behavior and Social Skills Subscales, teacher ratings on the Social Skills Rating System (SSRS) Academic Competence Subscale, teacher
ratings on the Systematic Screening for Behavior Disorders (SSBD) Adaptive and Maladaptive
Behavior Indexes, the Woodcock-Johnson III Diagnostic Reading Battery (WJ-III DRB) Letter-
Word Identification Subset and a series of oral reading fluency passages (i.e., average correct
words read per minute from a set of passages). For a more detailed description of these outcome
measures, see Appendix B.
Support for implementation
Behavior coaches, who implemented the first five days of the classroom portion and all six
home visits, attended a two-day training institute. The coaches remained in close contact with
supervisory staff and were scheduled for fidelity monitoring checks regularly. The trainer held
weekly videoconferences to answer questions and address problems. Parents were trained
by the behavioral coaches during the home visits. Teachers were taught how to monitor child
behavior, give praise, and provide feedback to parents.