A case study of the progressive impact of school-wide positive behavior support on five selected student performance factors in a Missouri K-12 alternative public school
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The purpose of this case study was to examine the School-Wide Positive Behavior Support (SWPBS) impact on five selected student performance factors. A literature review revealed there have been many SWPBS research studies regarding traditional public schools. However, there have not been any published empirical SWPBS studies involving K-12 alternative public schools. Addressing this gap in the literature a Midwestern K-12 alternative public school involving 1,164 students was studied 2007-08 through 2010-11. Data were collected through several school information systems including School Administration Student Information System (SASI), School-Wide Information System (SWIS), and Power School. The independent variable SWPBS was investigated regarding its impact on the five dependent variables academic achievement, attendance, office discipline referrals, dropout rate, and persistence to graduation. Frequencies and percentages of each variable were analyzed using the Chi-square "goodness of fit" test (Field, 2009). Previous studies at traditional public schools reported SWPBS positively impacted the five student performance factors, however this case study did not yield any significant findings at the K-12 alternative public school. Specifically, there were no significant differences between the first year when there was no SWPBS and the fourth year when SWPBS was fully implemented. These outcomes raised more questions than answers. (a) Do the students at K-12 alternative public schools require a different three-tiered level system as compared to those in the traditional public schools? (b) Does the process of advancing from one level to another take a longer time for these students? (c) Does professional development need to focus more on how to provide SWPBS strategies to at-risk and special needs students at K-12 alternative public schools? (d) Does the plan of gradually working through the SWPBS initial stages to full implementation take more years for the K-12 alternative public schools to achieve? Since there are no empirical studies for K-12 alternative public schools to use as guides, future research is essential to answers these questions. The findings and conclusions of this case study will guide building level and school district leaders as they continue the quest for programs and strategies to enhance positive student behavior and academic success. Implications are addressed and recommendations made for further research. The dissertation findings will also add to the gap in the literature and provide a springboard for future research regarding SWPBS effects at alternative public schools.