Strengthening Children's Lives Through Science and Community Engagement

Return to Research Categories

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.


What's New
Job Opportunities
  • Lead Application Developer/Research Engineer: We are seeking a full-stack Application Developer to lead development of single-page web applications, as well as maintain, troubleshoot and improve applications already in production. Existing applications at JGCP include learning management systems, web apps that help manage and report child outcomes to guide teacher’s instructional decisions, and mobile apps to support parent-teacher communication and student self-management. As a member of JGCP’s Technology Innovation, Development & Research (TIDR) lab, the developer will gain experience across multiple research projects. Review of applications will begin Sept 18, 2018 and continue until position is filled. For more information and how to apply, click hereKU is an EO/AAE
  • Postdoctoral Researchers (Early Intervention): Juniper Gardens Children’s Project (JGCP) is recruiting 2 postdoctoral researchers interested in developing expertise in designing, implementing and disseminating research carried out while developing evidence-based practices with community partners focused on early intervention, early care, and early education settings. The postdoctoral position is a full-time (100% FTE), 2 years, research-dedicated fellowship. Postdoctoral researchers will learn and develop new advances in the prevention and intervention of learning and behavior problems in young children. For more information and to apply online, click hereKU is an EO/AAE
  • Student Hourly (Data Collectors): Juniper Gardens Children’s Project, a community-based research institute affiliated with the University of Kansas, is conducting a research program aimed at evaluating how a Practice Based Coaching model (Literacy 3D) can be used to enhance the literacy focus of early childhood (EC) teachers through data-driven decision making and strategies that boost children’s opportunities to respond in literacy activities. We are seeking 4-10 student hourly employees who will be responsible for data collection activities with preschool students and teachers, including administering literacy assessments to children, observing classroom instruction and interactions, and assisting in the preparation and delivery of data reports in the Kansas City Metro, as well as data management and entry at our offices in downtown Kansas City, KS. For more information and to apply online, click hereKU is an EO/AAE
  • Assistant/Associate Research Professor - Statistician: The KU Life Span Institute at Juniper Gardens is seeking to hire an Assistant or Associate Research Professor with statistical skills to work in a team environment on a range of educational and applied research projects. For more information and to apply, click here.  KU is an EO/AAE
Latest News
We are thrilled to partner with @tfckc on the Start Young Project! Start Young is a public-private collaborative de…