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randomized controlled effectiveness trial of the universal model

Data for our study came from a group randomized controlled effectiveness trial of the universal SWPBIS model conducted in 37 Maryland public elementary schools to determine the impact of the model on discipline problems and the school environment. Only public elementary schools were eligible for inclusion, and all schools approached about participation agreed to enroll. An open-cohort design was used, allowing new students to enroll at each data collection; however, resources were not available to follow up students who left the participating schools. The schools were matched on select baseline demographics (eg, school enrollment, suspensions), with 21 schools being randomized by the research team to the intervention condition and 16 schools being assigned to the comparison condition, which refrained from implementing SWPBIS for 4 years. Annual assessments of SWPBIS implementation quality were conducted in all 37 schools by trained assessors, who were unaware of the schools’ implementation status, using the validated School-wide Evaluation Tool.The assessments indicated that all schools with SWPBIS reached and maintained high-fidelity implementation by the end of the trial.2The project was approved by the institutional review board at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Passive parental consent procedures were used for student participants.