Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health Center for Effective Schools

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Devereux National

  • Center for Effective Schools

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Grant Funded Projects

Targeting School Climate and Children’s Behavioral Health in Urban Schools

Date:  2012-2017

Key Staff:

  • Ricardo Eiraldi (Principal Investigator, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
  • Barry McCurdy (Co-Investigator)
  • Jennifer Mautone (Co-Investigator)
  • Muniya Khanna (Co-Investigator)
  • Tom Power (Co-Investigator)
  • Abbas Jawad (Co-Investigator)
  • Zulehha Cidav (Co-Investigator)

Funding Source:  Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD)

Project Description:  The Advancing Collaboration for Children’s Emotional & School Success project (Project ACCESS), conducted in partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, is designed to test the efficacy of a school-based mental health model in six urban schools. The model employs a multi-tiered system of support (i.e., school-wide positive behavior support) to address problem behavior across the school, and incorporates two evidence-based group interventions including FRIENDS for Life (Barrett et al., 2000) for children with or at risk for emotional disorders and Coping Power (Lochman & Wells, 2002) for children with or at risk for disruptive behavior disorders.

Addressing Mental Health Services Disparities for Ethically Diverse Children

Date:  2008-2012

Key Staff:

  • Ricardo Eiraldi (Principal Investigator, Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia)
  • Barry McCurdy (Co-Investigator)
  • Nate Clemens
  • Andy Garbacz
  • Sara House

Funding Source:  Center for Disease Control and Prevention

Project Description: The purpose of this project, conducted in partnership with the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia, was to develop and pilot-test a school-based, family-centered system for the delivery of mental health services for children. The proposed delivery of care system, framed within a multi-tiered system of support, incorporated two evidence-based group interventions including FRIENDS for Life (Barrett et al., 2000) for children with and at risk for emotional disorders and Coping Power (Lochman & Wells, 2002) for children with and at risk for disruptive behavior disorders.

Positive Behavior Intervention and Support for Reading Schools (Project PBIS-R)

Date:  2010-2011

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Amanda Lannie (Project Coordinator)
  • Adrea Truckenmiller
  • Lisa Thomas
  • Sara House

Funding Source:  U.S. Department of Education

Project Description:  The project focused on implementing a three-tiered system of behavioral support in high-poverty, urban school environments. Over the course of one year, school-based leadership teams were trained to implement School-wide Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (SWPBIS) in eight urban schools, including two high schools, four middle schools, and two elementary schools.

Facility-Wide Positive Behavior Support for Residential

Date:  2010-2011

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Juan Carlos Lopez (Project Coordinator)
  • Lisa Thomas
  • Kristy Ritvalsky

Funding Source:  U.S. Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention

Project Description:  Given the positive outcomes achieved with SWPBIS in school settings, the purpose of this project was to apply the same three-tiered logic within a residential treatment center (RTC). Through training and technical assistance provided to the leadership team, a systems-level PBIS structure was piloted within an RTC serving female students with disruptive behavior disorders and other comorbid diagnoses.

Building Responsive and Inclusive Teaching Environments (Project BRITE)

Date:  2007-2011

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Jennifer Jeffrey (Project Coordinator)
  • Amanda Lannie

Funding Source:  The Marcus Foundation

Project Description:  The purpose of Project BRITE was to build capacity in urban schools for establishing and maintaining a multi-tiered system of support to improve student behavior and school climate.  With funding from the Marcus Foundation, the Devereux Center for Effective Schools provided on-site training and technical assistance to 15 school leadership teams within the Atlanta Public Schools (APS) across a four year period. In the process, four APS social workers were trained as PBIS coaches, effectively establishing the capacity of APS to incorporate a SWPBIS approach in other schools within the district.

The Philadelphia School-Wide Positive Behavior Support Project

Date:  2009-2010

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Amanda Lannie (Project Coordinator/Trainer)
  • Adrea Truckenmiller

Funding Source:  The United Way of Southeastern Pennsylvania

Project Description:  The purpose of the Philadelphia project was to establish a cadre of 20 demonstration sites for SWPBIS within the School District of Philadelphia.  Partners in the project included Arcadia University’s BBEST program and the Pennsylvania Citizen’s for Children and Youth (PCCY). The project was directed through a community-based leadership team comprised of various city-based stakeholders.

Pottstown School-Based Behavioral Health Initiative

Date:  2007-2008

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Amanda Lannie (Project Coordinator/Trainer)
  • Cathy Kunsch

Funding Source:  Pottstown Health and Wellness Foundation

Project Description:  The purpose of the project was to introduce SWPBIS into one elementary school in the Pottstown School District. During this one-year implementation period, the goal of the project was to build the universal support system of a multi-tiered model.

Literacy Link

Date:  2007-2008

Key Staff:

  • Jennifer Jeffrey (Principal Investigator)
  • Kristy Ritvalsky (Project Coordinator/Trainer)
  • Lauren Dullum
  • Nate Clemens

Funding Source:  The Lincoln Financial Foundation

Project Description:  The Literacy Link project was a two-pronged approach to the prevention of illiteracy in urban youth through early intervention. Literacy Link provided supplemental, web-based literacy instruction to kindergarteners identified as at-risk for reading failure. In addition, literacy workshops were provided for the parents of those students enrolled in the project.

Teaching and Encouraging Effective Management Strategies (TEEMS)

Date:  2006-2007

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Amanda Lannie (Project Coordinator/Trainer)
  • Ernesto Barnabas

Funding Source:  School District of Philadelphia; Safe and Drug Free Schools

Project Description:  The purpose of this project was to examine the impact of the Good Behavior Game (GBG; Barrish, Saunders & Wolf, 1969) as an intervention to improve the cafeteria behavior of students in grades K-8 in one school located in north Philadelphia. Noon-time cafeteria aides were trained to implement the intervention. A multiple-baseline design across cafeteria periods was used to evaluate the impact on student behavior.

Role Expansion and Advancement for Counselors Intending to Help (REACH)

Date:  2003-2006

Key Staff:

  • Brenda Taylor (Project Director)
  • Kristin Sawka (Project Co-Director)
  • Barry McCurdy (Project Co-Director)
  • Jennifer Jeffrey (Project Coordinator)
  • Amanda Lannie

Funding Source:  U.S. Department of Education

Project Description:  Project REACH was designed to promote and evaluate an expanded counselor role within nine elementary schools in a large urban school district. Specifically, the project trained counselors to assume a leadership role in the development and implementation of school-wide positive behavior support. A quasi-experimental, interrupted time series design was used to evaluate the project.

Parent Liaison Service (PaLS)

Date:  2002-2004

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Project Director)
  • Kristin Sawka (Project Coordinator)
  • Candice Ritch

Funding Source:  The Pew Charitable Trusts

Project Description:  High risk families who may be most in need of parent training are less likely to benefit from the intervention due to non- attendance or the failure to complete the program once started. The Parent Liaison Services (PaLS) project, part of a larger grant program funded by the U.S. Department of Education entitled the School-Wide Behavior and Parent Support Initiative (S-WPBSI), provides support for the hiring and training of community-based parent liaison staff to assist in the recruitment and retention efforts associated with a school-based parent training program.

School-Wide Behavior and Parent Support Initiative (S-WBPSI)

Date:  2001-2005

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Kristin Sawka (Co-Investigator/Trainer)
  • Amanda Lannie

Funding Source:  U.S. Department of Education, Office of Special Education Programs

Project Description:  Students in urban schools often present with higher rates of problem behavior due to the multiple risk factors to which they are exposed. S-WBPSI was a model demonstration project funded by the department of education designed to examine the differential impact on student behavior and school climate by implementing school-wide positive behavior support (SWPBIS) and SWPBIS combined with school-wide parent training. The project was conducted in three schools in a large urban school district in the northeastern part of the United States.

Parent Investment Project (PIP)

Date:  2000-2002

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Candice Ritch
  • Michele Nebrig

Funding Source:  The Pew Charitable Trusts

Project Description:  The PIP was designed to address the needs of parents as they struggle to cope with the complex issues presented by their children, particularly those at risk for behavior disorders. Specific goals of the project were to (a) increase parental involvement in school efforts to prevent antisocial behavior, (b) improve home-school consistency through building parenting skills, (c) improve support systems and access for parents, and (d) develop a model for sustainability.

Strengthening Emotional Support Services (SESS)

Date:  2002 – 2003

Key Staff:

  • Barry McCurdy (Principal Investigator)
  • Kristin Sawka (Project Coordinator)
  • Mark Mannella  

Funding Source:  Philadelphia Mental Health Care Corporation

Project Description:  The SESS is a combined training and consultation project designed to build capacity for serving students with emotional and behavioral disorders in special education classrooms. Incorporating a wait list control, the project was implemented with 64 school staff members in a large urban school district.