Students learn best in environments that are safe and supportive, and the College of Education at Boise State is committed to helping schools in Idaho create settings that allow all students to succeed.
Students learn best in environments that are safe and supportive, and the College of Education at Boise State is committed to helping schools in Idaho create settings that allow all students to succeed. A research team has been awarded a four-year grant totaling $5.7 million from the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative, funded by the National Institute of Justice. The team will finalize and pilot a program in 40 rural schools that is aimed at improving student behavior, and then serve as a resource for these schools.
Research has shown that the program can be extremely effective for improving educational outcomes, including grades and scores on academic achievement tests. It also can promote improved attendance, fewer disciplinary referrals, and improved school climate and perceived safety. However, because of the size and location of rural schools, they often do not have access to the training, resources and supports necessary to implement comprehensive changes in their student support systems.
“This record research grant award for the College of Education provides national renown for this important work, and it highlights the value of connecting research faculty with practitioners to inform what works in education,” said Rich Osguthorpe, dean of the College of Education. “Combining our college’s research expertise with behavioral interventions and support expertise in the Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies proved to be a winning formula for securing the type of support that can truly make a difference in schools.”
The project will be led by Katie Bubak-Azevedo, director of the Idaho Positive Behavior Network housed in the COED’s Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies, and Lindsey Turner, director of the Initiative for Healthy Schools and a research professor in COED. Co-investigators who will work with Bubak-Azevedo on the implementation component include Kelli Burnham, the technical assistance coordinator at the Idaho Positive Behavior Network, and Teri Lewis, a national expert and consultant in SWPBIS. Co-investigators who will work with Turner on the research component include Hannah Calvert, a postdoctoral fellow at the Initiative for Healthy Schools, and Carl Siebert, an assistant professor of curriculum, instruction and foundational studies.
“This is such an exciting opportunity,” Bubak-Azevedo said. “Not only will we be learning what truly works in rural schools, but we will simultaneously be setting up Idaho educators and students for success. Our goal is to build sustainable systems that are effective and positive, through capacity building where our team becomes unnecessary but remains available.”