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Promote social, behavorial, and academic school success - School conduct problems​ PI Duration Sponsor
Middle School Class-wide Function-related Intervention Teams (MS CW-FIT): Improving Academic Engagement and Outcomes for Middle School Students

 Will (PI), Kamps (PI),  B. Mason (CoPI)



Topic/Goal: Social and Behavioral Outcomes to Support Learning CFDA 84.324A Goal 2

Purpose: The purpose of the MS CW-FIT project is to develop a multi-tiered, class-wide, positive behavioral group contingency intervention for improving middle school teachers’ classroom management practices and students’ engagement, behaviors, and academic performance.

Setting/Sample: Five middle schools will be recruited from two sites in Kansas and Utah, including two in urban settings serving a high percentage of students from ethnic-minority backgrounds and with 50% or higher free/reduced lunch counts. Teachers and their students in core academic area classes, grades 6-8 will be eligible for inclusion. Thirty-five teachers, 20 other school staff and 40 students will comprise focus groups; 15 teachers, 300 peer students,

and 30 students at risk for school failure and for Emotional Behavioral Disorders- EBD will participate in Component Trials; and 10 teachers, 200 peer students, and 25 at risk students will participate in Feasibility Tests. A minimum of 30 classrooms with 300 peer students and 75 students at risk or with EBD will participate in the Pilot Study.

Intervention: The project will develop a middle school version of the CW-FIT program. During the first two years of development, the project staff will conduct Component Trials in year 1 and a Feasibility Test in Year 2. During Year 3, a Pilot Study will test implementation and fidelity of the program. Building on CW-FIT evidence across two efficacy studies in elementary schools and informed by close partnership with middle school staff, students and parents, project aims are: Aim 1. Develop Tier 1 class-wide components (i.e., classroom rules, behavioral lessons, group contingency, constructive teacher feedback, goals, and rewards) to improve student behaviors, engagement, and learning in middle school classrooms. Aim 2. Develop Tier 2 components of the intervention (i.e., self-management, help requests) for students in need of additional classroom-based supports. Aim 3. Implement a Pilot Study of the MS CW-FIT and use the outcomes to inform practice and prepare a Goal 3 Efficacy study proposal.

Research Design and Methods: To address research questions of the Pilot Study regarding effects of the intervention, a cluster-randomized design, where classes are randomly assigned to condition, will be used. We will compare the effects of an experimental group (MS CW-FIT) versus an equivalent comparison group not using MS CW-FIT

Key Measures: Measures will include: (1) direct observation of class-wide on task, student on-task/disruptive behavior, teacher praise/points and reprimands; (2) teacher ratings of student behavioral performance using standardized measures; (3) student performance (i.e., assignment completion, achievement data, grades); (4) fidelity of implementation measures; and (5) teacher and student satisfaction.

Data Analysis: Analyses will include General Linear Model (ANOVA) of classroom level outcomes and the General Linear Mixed Model (multilevel analyses) of students’ outcomes because of the hierarchical structure of the data (students nested within classrooms). Single case design including visual analysis and effect sizes will be used for Tier 2 interventions. All project data will inform preparation for a Goal 3 Efficacy Trial proposal submission at the end of the study.


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  • Postdoctoral Researcher: The KU Life Span Institute at Juniper Gardens is interested in developing expertise in behavioral interventions and outcome measures for individuals with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). For more information and to apply, click hereKU is an EO/AAE
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