Abstract: Project Secure: A Multi-Tiered Approach to Supporting Students Exposed to Trauma (Society for Prevention Research 27th Annual Meeting)

574 Project Secure: A Multi-Tiered Approach to Supporting Students Exposed to Trauma

Friday, May 31, 2019
Marina Room (Hyatt Regency San Francisco)
* noted as presenting author
William Carl Sumi, PhD, Senior Principal Education Researcher, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA
Michelle Woodbridge, PhD, Principal Scientist, SRI International, Menlo Park, CA
Introduction: Through their Comprehensive School Safety Initiative, the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) is supporting community-driven, innovative solutions to the pervasive school safety issues plaguing our nation’s schools. In 2016 SRI International (SRI) received a grant from NIJ to implement Project SECURE. The overarching goal of Project SECURE is to evaluate the impact of a multi-tiered evidence-based framework to strengthen the resilience of students who are the most vulnerable to disciplinary exclusion, gang involvement, and trauma. Project SECURE is being implemented as a primary prevention program and trauma-informed intervention in an urban district’s elementary schools while developing a model for replication and expansion that reverses the negative trajectory and boosts the social-emotional and coping skills of all students.

Methods: The goal of Project SECURE is to enhance the physical and emotional security of students in elementary schools in an urban school district by increasing their Safety, Equity, Caring, Understanding, and Resilience. Guided by the principles of evidence-based, multi-tiered, and responsive support systems, Project SECURE will offer universal and targeted interventions (Second Step and Bounce Back, respectively) to improve social-emotional skills, reduce bullying, and ameliorate the devastating effects of trauma. SRI researchers will employ a three-cohort mixed-methods design to test the efficacy of Project SECURE’s trauma-informed tiered system of support to improve school safety.

Second Step is a universal classroom-based program designed to decrease problem behaviors and increase students’ school success by promoting self-regulation and social-emotional competence. The grade K‑5 curriculum includes 20 to 25 lessons per year that address empathy, impulse control, and anger management in developmentally appropriate ways.

Bounce Back is a structured secondary-level group therapy program designed for elementary school children who have experienced significant traumatic stress. School-based clinicians deliver the program through 10 group therapy sessions, 2 to 3 individual sessions, and up to 3 parent engagement sessions.

Results: This presentation will describe the outcomes from the universal intervention (Second Step) and the secondary level intervention for students suffering the effects of trauma (Bounce Back) after two years of implementation.

Conclusions: Results from the study will strengthen the knowledge base regarding effective universal and secondary level interventions for students exposed to trauma in elementary schools. More specifically, Project SECURE is being implemented in a diverse urban school district with the goal to reduce bias and increase access to services for students and families who typically do not receive or have access to evidence-based practices.