Dutch Broadway Elementary School is located within a suburban Long Island school district just over the Brooklyn line near New York City. Educating just over 1,000 pre-kindergarten through Grade 6 students, there are approximately 60 instructional staff in the school, and 10% of the students receive special education services and 33% receive federally-funded meals due to family poverty. With a high number of discipline problems in the upper grades and increasing incidents of threats, fights, and other serious offenses, Dutch Broadway began its partnership with Project ACHIEVE after receiving a state-funded Safe Schools grant in 2001.
Dutch Broadway's school and its leaders concentrated much of the early implementation during the 2000 to 2001 and 2001 to 2002 school years. In fact, the two primary Project ACHIEVE leaders--an on-site school psychologist and an off-site university-based consultant-- published an article summarizing the outcomes of the first two years implementation [Killian, J.M., Fish, M.C., & Maniago, E.B. (2006). Journal of Applied School Psychology, 23(1), 1-30.].
The outcomes summarized below come directly from this refereed journal article.
Dutch Broadway Elementary School's Project ACHIEVE Results in Brief
The data cited below are summarized from Kilian, Fish, & Maniago (2006). These data were collected at two points in time-- in May, 2001 just prior to actual and on-site Project ACHIEVE implementation, and in May, 2002 after the first year of implementation. Evaluation tools included (a) classroom behavioral checklists, completed by teachers and focusing on the students' social skills, inappropriate behavior and noncompliance with class and school rules, and serious disciplinary offenses; (b) student, teacher, paraprofessional, and parent surveys; (c) actual discipline referrals to the Principal's Office and subsequent consequences, including suspensions; and (d) standardized test scores. A demographically-matched Comparison School within the district was used to evaluate the programmatic impact of Project ACHIEVE.
Student Discipline Outcomes
Analyses comparing the collected data after one year of Project ACHIEVE implementation to the pre-intervention data, provided the following results:
- Consistent decreases in undesirable behaviors occurred across all grades in both classroom and non-classroom settings. For example, bullying behavior decreased by 2,200% in Grade 3, 94.7% in Grade 4, as much as 78.6% in Grade 5, and 82.4% in Grade 6. In the 18 negative student behavior areas tracked, decreased incident rates were noted in 14 of 18 areas in Grade 3 through Grade 5.
- Decreases in more serious offenses-- for example, in the areas of theft and students' use of physical force-- also significantly decreased.
- Students at all grade levels improved considerably in the behaviors evaluated within the Social Skills category.
- Discipline referrals to the Principal's Office decreased 58% (from 101 during 2000-2001 to 42 during 2001-2002).
- School suspensions for disciplinary reasons decreased from 15 during 2000-2001 to 9 during 2001-2002.
Student Discipline Results: Outcomes and Areas Tracked
Eighteen behavioral areas were tracked during the first year of Project ACHIEVE implementation. Below are the areas and the average change (in percentage) in incident levels for Grades 3 through 6 from pre- to post-data collection:
- Inappropriate peer interactions: Down 67%
- Noncompliance with school rules: Down 59%
- Lying, denying, exaggerating: Down 52%
- Forgery: Down 44%
- Inappropriate language: Down 87%
- Bad behavior in specials (e.g., music, art, PE, library): Down 56%
- Bad behavior with paraprofessionals: Down 62%
- Teasing: Down 72%
- Bullying: Down 614%
- Defiance: Down 37%
- Disruptive behavior: Down 46%
- Office referral: Down 62%
- Theft: Down 100%
- Leaving class without permission: Down 52%
- Physical force: Down 69%
- Vandalism/Destruction of school property: Down 9%
- Drugs/Illegal substance: Down 100%
- Possession/use of weapon: No change (No incidents)
Analyses comparing the results of the New York State Grade 4 English/Language Arts Test for the Dutch Broadway versus the Comparison School students during the first year of Project ACHIEVE implementation (February, 2002) provided the following results:
** When compared with the Comparison School, the Dutch Broadway Elementary students scored better across all performance levels as follows:
- 19% of the Dutch Broadway students scored at the highest level of the test (scores of 692 to 800) compared with 16% of the Comparison School students
- 46% of the Dutch Broadway students scored at the next level of the test (scores of 645 to 691) compared with 38% of the Comparison School students
- 32% of the Dutch Broadway students scored at the next level of the test (scores of 603 to 644) compared with 23% of the Comparison School students
- Only 2% of the Dutch Broadway students scored at the lowest level of the test (scores of 455 to 602) compared with 22% of the Comparison School students