This study examines an enhanced version of the Keeping Kids in School modified wraparound program, in two northwestern California school districts, seeking to assess and improve school climate and safety, and improve attendance.
This report discusses the developmental research study on an innovative approach to improve school climate and safety and improve attendance among students who are at moderate and high risk for chronic absenteeism. For the study, the authors used an enhanced version of Keeping Kids in School (KKIS), a modified wraparound program, that includes formal school climate and safety component to address Tier 1 whole-school intervention and prevention needs, by incorporating the Whole School Climate 360 (WSC360) Assessment program. The four objectives of the study were to: (1) develop an enhanced version of the KKIS initiative with a focus on whole school prevention strategies; (2) implement and collect formative data on the enhanced program model through rapid cycle evaluations during a developmental period in one school; (3) refine and pilot test the enhanced program model in 10 schools compared to 10 schools implementing the original wraparound-only mode; (4) disseminate the findings to research and school stakeholder communities. Implementation and evaluation included two phases, the first was a developmental period and the second was the rigorous and quasi-experimental implementation pilot study. The primary research questions focused on the impact of the enhanced KKIS program model on school safety and climate factors that impact student engagement. The outcome study made a school-level comparison of student self-reported measures of school climate and safety. Data collection included school discipline data; student self-reported measures of violence, school climate, connectedness of students, and safety; and data from student information systems in both districts. The authors concluded that due to the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, restrictions did not allow for a full examination of this model, but that integrating a school climate improvement plan with a program like KKIS deserves further exploration.