In October 2014, the Nevada Department of Education, in collaboration with Nevada’s Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports (PBIS) Technical Assistance Center, was awarded a five-year federally-funded School Climate Transformation grant to improve its capacity to establish, scale-up, and sustain multi-tiered behavioral frameworks in Nevada’s schools. This grant is a critical component of a broader statewide effort to address the educational challenges that many Nevada schools are facing. These are academic under-achievement, low high school graduation rates, and high drug use and mental health needs among students and in communities.
Specifically, the School Climate Transformation grant aims to support schools’ implementation of the School-wide Positive Behavior Support framework, focused on creating a safer and more respectful learning environment for all students. This framework provides a structure for establishing behavioral systems to support student behavior, and data collection methodology to make data-based decisions.
In 2018, the Nevada Department of Education and Nevada PBIS received a second School Climate Transformation grant from the U.S. Department of Education to continue this work for another five years. Since its launch in 2014, the Nevada School Climate Transformation Project has worked with 174 schools and has served over 106,000 students.
Gauging Outcomes of the School Climate Transformation Grant
Nevada PBIS retained Metis to conduct an end-of-grant evaluation for the first SCT grant. The evaluation looked at both implementation and outcomes. The Metis evaluation team reviewed data from different sources. These included:
- Program and professional development records
- Training evaluations
- Tiered Fidelity Inventory, which measures the extent to which a school is implementing a multi-tiered system of support with fidelity
- Nevada state report card and school/district data files
- Nevada School Climate/Social Emotional Learning Survey
Evaluation findings showed that:
- Participating schools and districts have demonstrated important gains in their Tiered Fidelity of Implementation scores, thus reflecting systemic improvements to provide better supports to students.
- Participating schools have shown modest improvement in various dimensions of school climate, according to results from the School Climate/Social Emotional Learning Survey.
- Higher fidelity of implementation led to school-wide behavioral improvements, including lower rates of Office Disciplinary Referrals.
Using and Visualizing Data through an Interactive Dashboard
Metis is currently providing evaluation and data management support for the new five-year SCT grant that Nevada received in 2018. As part of this work, Metis is helping the Nevada team develop a comprehensive evaluation framework, including creating and maintaining data inventories, designing instruments, and providing guidelines for data collection, analysis, and reporting.
Furthermore, Metis has developed a Tableau dashboard designed to assist the Center in reviewing, interpreting, and reporting on data relevant to the participating districts. It includes many data elements used routinely by staff to make programmatic decisions, including:
- School-wide PBIS implementation fidelity
- Participation in and satisfaction with program trainings/coaching activities
- Students’ perceptions of school climate
- Students’ progress in key outcome areas including school attendance, academic achievement, graduation, and behavioral incidences
This dashboard provides critical insights and will support the programmatic efforts of PBIS-Nevada in the implementation and scaling up of their School Climate Transformation grant and Multi-Tiered System of Support efforts.