Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $1,475,000)
The Brief Interventions Enhancing School Safety project will investigate the effects of building capacity within schools to make data-driven decisions using early warning indicators to select and deliver evidence-based, brief, relatively low-cost interventions proven to improve students mindsets and school belonging, two constructs linked to increased school engagement and safety. This translational research project is focused on applying scientific research findings in the school setting focusing on specific early warning indicators of attendance and behavior. Primary research questions guiding this investigation will be analyzed using multilevel models, modeling outcomes
using time periods nested within students and schools. Traditional model-building approaches will be utilized. A three-level multilevel modeling approach will be conducted to evaluate treatment effects and examine potential moderators of treatment effectiveness. We will analyze whether there
is a significant effect between condition and academic and behavioral outcomes using multilevel models and several dependent variables: such as, aggressive behavior, academic engagement, attendance, and disciplinary actions. Improvements will be evaluated using the Washington Assessment of the Risks and Needs of Students. School administrative data, ALFA-Q and scales
for: sense of belonging, growth mindset, theory of intelligence, learning goals, effort beliefs and behavior rating, all of which will be made public once the project is complete.
The study will take place in six junior highs in Northshore School District located in the Puget Sound area of Washington. It is a multidisciplinary partnership between the district, Puget Sound ESD, King County MHCADSD (formerly Behavioral Health) and the University of Washington. A total of 4,626 students are enrolled in these schools, 1,524 of whom met initial early detection criteria of truancy and at-risk behaviors. Approximately 260 students will be recruited and randomized for the study. A randomized control design with longitudinal follow-up will be utilized to test the effects of the proposed intervention on identified at-risk students relative to enhanced typical care delivered by school staff. Brief interventions will include the Growth Mindset Intervention (GMI) and Social Belonging (SBI). Interventions will be delivered by school staff weekly for three weeks in customized advisory periods. We anticipate observing significant differences in the intervention group in numbers of sanctionable event (behaviors leading to suspensions, truancies), and in self-reported markers for violence potential as well as noticeable improvements indicating a safer school climate. Any data sets resulting from our funded research will be sent to the National Archive of Criminal Justice Data (NACJD) to be archived. ca/ncf