Scaling up Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) in Rural Idaho Schools

Overview

This project will examine the scale-up of Schoolwide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (SWPBIS), specifically focusing on rural schools in Idaho. The Idaho Rural Implementation Model (I-RIM) is an approach designed to improve SWPBIS implementation in rural schools, via strategies such as capacity-building, regional coordination, online learning modules, and technical assistance. The study uses a cluster randomized design to allocate 40 schools to one of two conditions: control and intervention. Schools in the control condition will receive basic SWPBIS training. Schools in the intervention condition will receive the basic SWPBIS training plus additional I-RIM supports. To assess SWPBIS implementation and outcomes, process and outcome measures will be collected. Outcomes will include school implementation observations, and teacher and staff implementation measures. Student-level outcomes will include behavior, perceived climate, and academic achievement as measured by the standardized state test. Student-level data include those that are part of standard data collection by schools (such as academic outcomes) and will be de-identified by school officials before sending to the researchers for analysis.

Full Title of Study: “Scaling up Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) Framework in Rural Settings Through the Idaho Rural Implementation Model”

Study Type

  • Study Type: Interventional
  • Study Design
    • Allocation: Randomized
    • Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
    • Primary Purpose: Prevention
    • Masking: Single (Outcomes Assessor)
  • Study Primary Completion Date: June 30, 2021

Detailed Description

The long-term goal of this project is to support rural schools in implementing practices that can improve student safety and social-emotional outcomes, through the use of Schoolwide Positive Behavior Intervention Supports (SWPBIS). Rural schools experience challenges in implementing systems-changes, and the Idaho Rural Implementation Model (I-RIM) is an approach specifically designed to improve SWPBIS implementation in rural schools through strategies such as capacity-building, regional coordination, online learning modules, and technical assistance. These approaches are all designed to meet the unique challenges and strengths of schools in rural settings.

The study uses a cluster randomized design to allocate 40 schools to one of two conditions: control or intervention. Schools in the control condition will receive basic SWPBIS training. Schools in the intervention condition will receive the basic SWPBIS training plus additional I-RIM supports. This trial is designed to address several aims:

Aim 1: To test the impact of the I-RIM intervention on student-level outcomes, including behavioral outcomes, academic test scores, and perceived safety/climate.

Aim 2. To examine whether changes in student outcomes are mediated by school-level improvements in the speed and fidelity with which SWPBIS is implemented.

Aim 3. To identify school-level factors that are associated with SWPBIS implementation (moderators of intervention effectiveness).

At all schools, baseline data collection will begin in early 2019. The intervention will begin in the spring of 2019 with selected elements of the I-RIM intervention (regional meetings, and a coaching institute) for schools in the intervention condition. All schools will begin SWPBIS implementation in the 2019-20 school year, which will continue through the 2020-2021 school year. Data collection points will be identical for schools in both conditions. Primary student outcome measures include data that are already gathered by schools, including: behavioral outcomes including office disciplinary referrals, suspensions, and expulsions; academic test scores; and perceived climate.

Interventions

  • Behavioral: Idaho Rural Implementation Model
    • The Idaho Rural Implementation Model (I-RIM) includes several aspects to support implementation of schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports (SWPBIS). In the first year, schools will send a staff member to a coaching institute to build internal capacity. Schools will also receive technical assistance (on-site twice per year and virtual support as needed). Schools will also receive statewide professional learning opportunities, through one group meeting per year, and through access to an invitation-only professional learning community.
  • Behavioral: Control
    • Schools in this condition will receive a four-day training session about SWPBIS.

Arms, Groups and Cohorts

  • Active Comparator: Control
    • Schools in this condition will be provided a four-day training about Schoolwide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, and bi-yearly feedback about progress monitoring and action planning.
  • Experimental: I-RIM Intervention
    • Schools in this condition will be provided the same basic training as the control condition, plus the elements of the Idaho Rural Implementation Model (I-RIM).

Clinical Trial Outcome Measures

Primary Measures

  • Change over time in student disciplinary outcomes
    • Time Frame: Change from baseline to following school year (Year 2); change from Year 2 to Year 3
    • Percentage of students receiving Office Disciplinary Referrals each school year
  • Change in student academic outcomes
    • Time Frame: Change from baseline to following school year (Year 2); change from Year 2 to Year 3
    • Percentage of students scoring “Advanced” or “Proficient” on state standardized test (Idaho Standards Achievement Test) in English Language Arts and Mathematics

Secondary Measures

  • Fidelity of school implementation of positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS)
    • Time Frame: Twice annually (March and October) for 3 years
    • Observational data collection using the Schoolwide Evaluation Tool (SET; Horner et al 2004) to obtain degree of fidelity of implemention on 0-100 scale
  • Student perceptions of school climate
    • Time Frame: Twice annually (March and October) for 3 years
    • Changes in overall scores on the School Climate Survey (LaSalle et al 2016). The overall scale score is created by averaging all items, resulting in scores from 1 to 4 with higher overall scores indicating better climate.

Participating in This Clinical Trial

Inclusion Criteria

  • School is a public school in a rural location in the state of Idaho, serving students in any combination of grades Kindergarten through grade 12.
  • Staff work at a school participating in this trial.
  • Student attends a school participating in this trial.

Exclusion Criteria

  • None.

Gender Eligibility: All

Minimum Age: 5 Years

Maximum Age: N/A

Are Healthy Volunteers Accepted: Accepts Healthy Volunteers

Investigator Details

  • Lead Sponsor
    • Boise State University
  • Collaborator
    • U.S. Department of Justice
  • Provider of Information About this Clinical Study
    • Principal Investigator: Lindsey Turner, Research Professor – Boise State University
  • Overall Official(s)
    • Lindsey Turner, PhD, Principal Investigator, Boise State University
  • Overall Contact(s)
    • Lindsey Turner, PhD, 208-426-1632, lindseyturner1@boisestate.edu

References

Horner RH, Todd AW, Lewis-Palmer T, Irvin LK, Sugai G, Boland JB. The School-Wide Evaluation Tool: A research instrument for assessing school-wide positive behavior support. Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions 6(1):3-12, 2004.

La Salle TP, McIntosh K, Eliason BM. School climate survey suite administration manual. Eugene, OR: OSEP Technical Assistance Center on Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports. 2016.

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