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A MODEL FOR SYSTEM-WIDE COLLABORATION TO SUPPORT INTEGRATED SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND LITERACY EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES

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A MODEL FOR SYSTEM-WIDE COLLABORATION TO SUPPORT INTEGRATED SOCIAL BEHAVIOR AND LITERACY EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES
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  Psychology in the Schools, Vol. 49(5), 2012  C  2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.View this article online at wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/pits DOI: 10.1002/pits.21607 A MODEL FOR SYSTEM-WIDE COLLABORATION TO SUPPORT INTEGRATED SOCIALBEHAVIOR AND LITERACY EVIDENCE-BASED PRACTICES ERIN A. CHAPARRO University of Oregon KEITH SMOLKOWSKI Oregon Research Institute SCOTT K. BAKER, NATALIE HANSON, AND KATHLEEN RYAN-JACKSON University of Oregon In the face of dwindling financial resources, educational leaders are looking to refine resourceallocation while maintaining a focus on improved student outcomes. This article presents initialfindings from a professional development state initiative called Effective Behavioral and Instruc-tional Support Systems (EBISS). The EBISS initiative aims to teach practicing educators abouttwo evidence-based systems of practice and how to blend those practices for more efficient andeffective school systems. The targeted systems are School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventionsand Supports and School-Wide Reading Model. Descriptive statistics from 140 participating ele-mentary schools suggest there was an increase in (a) the administration of behavior and literacyscreeningtools,(b)thenumberofteamsexaminingandanalyzingthesedata,and(c)theimplemen-tation scores and student outcomes at selected grade levels. Continued exploration of data-basedcollaboration in school buildings appears warranted.  C   2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. Researchers have documented a gap between knowledge of effective programs and knowledgeof how to implement those programs as intended to receive the full potential benefit of improvedstudent outcomes (Burns & Ysseldyke, 2005; Carnine, 1999; Fixsen, Naoom, Blase, Friedman, &Wallace, 2005; Greenwood, Kratochwill, & Clements, 2008; Stein et al., 2008). The act of adoptinganevidence-basedpractice(EBP)andnotimplementingitfullyischaracterizedintheresearchworldasaproblemwithtreatmentintegrity,butinpractice,itisfrequentlyreferredtoasan“implementationgap” (Fixsen & Blase, 2009; Gresham, 2009; Reeves, 2007). There are many possible reasons whythisimplementationgapexistsinschools.Severallongitudinalstudiesonavarietyofcomprehensiveschool reforms revealed that fewer than 50% of teachers received training on the chosen practice,fewer than 10% of schools used the comprehensive school reforms as intended, and the majority of students did not benefit (Aladjem & Borman, 2006; Vernez, Karam, Mariano, & DeMartini, 2006).The lack of impact on students as a result of poor implementation is a critical point to underscore asmore schools try to adopt specific practices. For example, Hulleman and Cordray (2009) describethe stark difference between positive treatment effects realized in “laboratory” settings and the lack of effects once the treatment is implemented in more authentic education settings. The importanceof treatment integrity and implementation science has therefore taken a prominent role in the debateabout the use and effectiveness of EBPs (Backer et al., 2011, August 15–17; Sanetti & Kratochwill,2009).Toaddresstheimplementationgap,educationalresearchhasextendeditsfocusfromidentifyingEBPs to implementing those practices effectively and sustaining quality implementation over timeto increase student achievement (Fixsen et al., 2005; Reeves, 2007). The purpose of this article is The research reported here was supported by the Oregon Department of Education, through ED Grant NumberH323A060007 to the University of Oregon. The opinions expressed are those of the authors and do not representviews of the Oregon Department of Education.Correspondence to: Erin A. Chaparro, University of Oregon, Center on Teaching and Learning, 5295 Universityof Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5292. E-mail: echaparr@uoregon.edu 465  466  Chaparro et al. to present the conceptual background, implementation features, and preliminary descriptive resultsfrom one state’s efforts to address the implementation gap. Results from the first 2 years of a 5-yearprofessional development initiative entitled Effective Behavioral and Instructional Support Systems(EBISS; http://ctl.uoregon.edu/pd/projects/ebiss) are presented. The goal of the EBISS initiativeis to provide an implementation infrastructure for districts and schools to more efficiently install,implement, and sustain a continuum of effective school-wide academic and behavioral practices,designed to culminate in measured improvements in important student outcomes.E FFECTIVE  B EHAVIORAL AND  I NSTRUCTIONAL  S UPPORT  S YSTEMS Although an array of EBPs are available for educators to choose from, the EBISS initiativeblends the key elements of the School-Wide Reading Model (SWRM; Kameenui & Simmons, 1998)and School-Wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS; Sugai & Horner, 2002).The SWRM and SWPBIS share many core components. Both systems use a multitiered model of prevention that identifies struggling students through systematic screening and provides increasinglevels of support that match the needs of students (McIntosh, Horner, Chard, Boland, & Good,2006; Sadler & Sugai, 2009). Both systems encourage teachers, school administrators, and districtleaders to collaborate and make decisions based on student performance data (Ervin, Schaughency,Goodman, McGlinchey, & Matthews, 2006; Sadler & Sugai, 2009). A review by Stewart, Brenner,Martella, and Marchand-Martella (2007) indicates that an integrated, three-tiered model may leadto larger literacy gains than a reading intervention alone. As instructional variables can have aninfluence on behavior problems, the instructional improvements from a multitiered reading modelalso have the potential to reduce behavior problems (Munk & Karsh, 1999). Finally, an integratedmodel may offer a more cost-effective approach to reading and behavior challenges (Stewart et al.,2007; Sugai & Horner, 1999).S CHOOL -W IDE  R EADING  M ODEL The SWRM (Kame’enui, Simmons, & Coyne, 2000; Kameenui & Simmons, 1998) is an inte-gratedsystemofresearch-basedinstructionaldesignanddelivery,screeningandprogressmonitoringassessments, and curricula to improve reading achievement and prevent reading problems (Bakeretal.,2011).AlthoughtheSWRMcanbeappliedtokindergartenthrough12thgrade,thisarticlewillfocus on implementation within an elementary setting. All students from kindergarten to 6th gradeare screened for risk of reading problems at the beginning, middle, and end of the school year. Basedon screening results, students are placed within core instruction, core instruction plus supplementalinstruction, or highly intensive interventions. Intensive intervention can include additional instruc-tional time, smaller group sizes, a very explicit instructional delivery style, and narrow skill-basedcontent focus (Good, Simmons, & Kame’enui, 2001). The SWRM includes seven essential elements(Baker et al., 2011; Kame’enui et al., 2000; Simmons et al., 2002):1. School-wide priorities and practices focus on the essential content in beginning reading de-velopment: phonological awareness, alphabetic understanding, reading fluency, vocabulary,and comprehension (National Reading Panel, 2001);2. Reliable and valid assessment data inform instructional practices (Black & Wiliam, 1998;Fien et al., 2010);3. Protected and sufficient time (60-120 minutes) is allocated to reading instruction to makesure students reach key reading goals and benchmarks (Baker et al., 2011; Carnine, Silbert,Kame’enui, & Tarver, 2010);4. High-quality implementation of research-based instructional programs is emphasized, in-cludingexplicitinstructionaldelivery(Foorman,Francis,Fletcher,Mehta,&Schatschneider,1998; Gunn, Smolkowski, Biglan, Black, & Blair, 2005; Mathes et al., 2005);5. Differentiated, multitiered instruction provides supports based on individual student need(Baker, Gersten, Haager, & Dingle, 2006); Psychology in the Schools  DOI: 10.1002/pits   Effective Behavioral and Instructional Systems  4676. School leadership uses data to support effective instruction (Simmons et al., 2002);7. High-quality professional development drives efforts to continuously improve the quality of instruction (Joyce & Calhoun, 2010).In their study of the SWRM, Greenwood, Tapia, Abbott, and Walton (2003) were able toincrease teacher implementation of effective literacy instruction through professional developmentand coaching. Over 3 years of training and implementation, Greenwood et al. documented anincrease in student outcomes on CBM reading assessments in kindergarten and first grade. Bakeret al. (2011) demonstrated improvements in CBM reading assessments, as well as on summativemeasures of reading and comprehension associated with the SWRM (e.g., Stanford AchievementTest, 10th ed.). At the core of this model are collaborative teams that help extend teacher learningbeyond the traditional 1-day workshop. These examples, as well as others (Reis, McCoach, Little,Muller, & Kaniskan, 2011; Simmons et al., 2002), have demonstrated moderate to strong evidencefor the foundations of the SWRM (Gersten et al., 2009). School-Wide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports SWPBIS aim to improve student adjustment, social behavior, and academic success throughmethods that increase positive behavior and make problem behavior irrelevant (Bambara & Kern,2005; Carr et al., 2002). To accomplish this, SWPBIS takes a systems approach that incorporatesEBPs, such as explicit instruction, applied behavior analysis, and data-based decision making.Like the SWRM, SWPBIS organizes prevention and intervention efforts into primary, secondary,and tertiary tiers of support (Horner, Sugai, Todd, & Lewis-Palmer, 2005; Walker et al., 1996).Primary or universal supports include explicit instruction for all students in the school’s behavioralexpectations, encouraging desired behavior with positive reinforcement, discouraging inappropriatebehavior through clearly defined consequences, and the use of data for making decisions andevaluation. Secondary prevention efforts include behavior management strategies, and possiblyinstructional adjustments, for students at risk for problem behavior but who have not yet developedthe need for intensive intervention. Students with the most intense problem behaviors fall into thethird tier, where they receive comprehensive and individualized support (Bambara & Kern, 2005;Horner & Repp, 1999).SuccessfulSWPBISimplementationgenerallyrequirescommitmentfromeducatorstoimprovetheir students’ behavioral and social competence, regular meetings of a behavior leadership team,administrative leadership, budgetary commitment, allocation of the necessary personnel and staff time, and a data collection and reporting system for decisions and evaluation (Horner et al., 2005;Sugai&Horner,2002).Leadershipteammembersroutinelyexaminetheschool’sPositiveBehavioralInterventionsandSupports(PBIS)practicesandreviewrelevantstudentdata,suchasofficedisciplinereferrals, attendance rates, suspensions, academic performance, or other measures that will help theteam support students. The team members might, for example, identify environments within theschool that contribute to certain potentially problematic behaviors (e.g., noise, running). The teamdevelops and adjusts the plan accordingly, which could include increasing adult supervision andintroducing precorrection strategies (e.g., Lewis, Colvin, & Sugai, 2000).SWPBIS has been shown to be a cost-effective, prevention-oriented approach to reduce theamount of problem behavior within schools, suspensions, and students’ need for school-basedcounseling services. Also, SWPBIS improves the amount of time available for instruction, positiveinteractions between students and teachers, and perceptions of the schools’ organizational health(e.g., Blonigen et al., 2008; Bradshaw, Mitchell, & Leaf, 2010; Hawken & Horner, 2003; Horneret al., 2009; Muscott, Mann, & LeBrun, 2008; Turnbull et al., 2002). In a randomized controlledtrial with elementary schools as the unit of assignment, Horner et al. (2009) observed that SWPBIS Psychology in the Schools  DOI: 10.1002/pits  468  Chaparro et al. implementation improved students’ perceptions of school safety, led to an increase in third-gradereading performance, and reduced office discipline referrals. Although evidence for SWPBIS hasrecently grown, most of the evaluations have focused on elementary schools (e.g., Bradshaw, Koth,Bevans, Ialongo, & Leaf, 2008; Horner et al., 2009), with less attention given to middle schools andnearly no evaluations in high schools. Although many of the core principles and practices remain thesame across types of schools, Flannery, Sugai, and Anderson (2009) suggest that high schools havesome unique challenges that affect successful and sustainable implementation. For the purposes of this article, the focus of implementation of SWPBIS is only at the elementary level.B LENDING  S CHOOL -W IDE  B EHAVIOR AND  L ITERACY  S YSTEMS Successful examples of the blending of SWPBIS and SWRM generally show positive trends inliteracyperformanceanddecreasesinthenumberofbehaviorproblems(Ervinetal.,2006;McIntoshet al., 2006). Demonstrations of combining SWPBIS and the SWRM have been addressed in theliterature from district and state perspectives. From a district perspective, Sadler and Sugai (2009)report that collaboration and data-based teams were at the core of the district’s blended model.The district reported an increase over time in levels of implementation of SWPBIS on the School-Wide Evaluation Tool (SET; Todd et al., 2005), an increase in the percentage of students reachinggrade-level goals, and a decrease in the amount of office discipline referrals. Anecdotally, theauthors reported that throughout the district, educators focused on the common goal of collaborativedata-based problem solving. The researchers speculated that a common goal, partnered with thehigh-quality implementation of EBPs, led to improved outcomes demonstrated over the course of 5years.From a state-level perspective, Ervin et al. (2006) shared findings from a pilot program of aprofessional development initiative focused on the blending of SWPBIS and SWRM. Their sampleconsisted of four elementary schools that received training and some “seed money” over the courseof5yearstobuildandsustainSWPBISandtheSWRM.Theresearchersconcluded thatalthoughthetrends were consistently positive across all schools, the magnitude of the changes varied accordingto school context. For example, there were smaller changes in student performance at the schoolwith the highest number of students receiving free and reduced lunch. Also, teacher “buy-in” playeda significant role in adoption and sustainability. One school withdrew from SWRM implementationbecause it was not philosophically aligned with the teachers’ ideas on literacy screening. In both of thesemodel demonstrations,attemptswere made toblend twosystemsofEBPs together,and inbothcases, treatment integrity and outcomes varied across school contexts, but findings were generallypositive on student outcomes and implementation variables. Ameta-analysis by Stewart etal.(2007)addressing the blending of academic and behavior systems demonstrated that integrated models of school-wide behavior and reading systems resulted in large effect sizes on reading outcomes andmoderate effect sizes on behavior outcomes. Importantly, integrated models produced larger effectsizes for reading and behavior outcomes than either model implemented independently (Stewartet al., 2007).  EBISS Teaming Framework: A Model for Collaboration The EBISS initiative builds on previous research and blends SWPBIS and the SWRM forgreater efficiency of resources and improved student outcomes. The EBISS initiative uses ongoinghigh-quality professional development and coaching delivered to school and district personnel onthe essential features of SWPBIS and the SWRM to improve implementation and outcomes. ThepurposeoftheEBISSinitiativeistoimproveimplementation ofanintegratedmodelofSWPBISandtheSWRMatthedistrictandschoollevels.Thedistrict-levelfocusishowtheEBISSinitiativediffers Psychology in the Schools  DOI: 10.1002/pits   Effective Behavioral and Instructional Systems  469 F IGURE  1. EBISS Teaming Framework. from previous efforts. At the core of the EBISS initiative is the EBISS teaming framework. TheOregon Coaches Task Force developed the teaming framework; the group was brought together bythe Oregon Department of Education and included a variety of stakeholders. The Oregon CoachesTask Force consisted of experts in both SWPBIS and SWRM from schools, districts, regionalservice districts, and universities. The charge of the Oregon Coaches Task Force was to synthesizethe known research base and examples from high-implementation schools and districts to modela teaming structure that would integrate behavior and reading. The Oregon Coaches Task Forcecreated the EBISS teaming framework, which was used as a central professional development themeof the EBISS initiative.The EBISS Teaming Framework in Figure 1 clarifies the organizational structures requiredto implement a blended model of school-wide behavioral and reading support systems in eachelementary school in a district. The EBISS teaming framework ensures effective and efficient com-munication loops and improvement cycles between the district and school teams and among teammembers within a school building. The district team comprises district administrators plus school-level leaders. The school-level leaders could be teachers, specialists, and/or principals. The districtteam should have individuals who have the capacity to interpret systems-wide behavior and readingdata. Often this data analyst role (Todd et al., 2011) is played by district PBIS or instructional Psychology in the Schools  DOI: 10.1002/pits
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