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Comprehensive Assessment of School Climate to Improve Safety in Maryland Middle Schools

NCJ Number
Catherine Bradshaw; Elise Pas; Katrina Debnam; Sarah Lindstrom Johnson
Date Published
January 2020
15 pages

This is the Draft Final Summary Overview of a project with goals related to improving the climate and safety of Maryland’s middle schools.



The specific goals of this project were 1) adapting for Maryland middle schools and assessing the feasibility and acceptability of the Maryland Safe and Supportive Schools (MDS3) Model; 2) to test the efficacy of MDS3 for improving school safety and climate, problem behaviors, engagement, and achievement using a group randomized controlled trial design in 40 middle schools; and 3) to measure the programmatic costs and benefits associated with implementation of the MDS3 model. During spring 2015, the project adapted and finalized the middle school version of Maryland Safe and Supportive Schools (MDS3) model, ensuring that it is feasible and acceptable to implement in middle schools, thereby addressing the first goal. The project team then began a randomized controlled trial (RCT) in summer 2015, involving the successful recruitment, enrollment, and randomizing of 40 middle schools for intervention and control conditions. Baseline and annual follow-up data were collected in the spring of 2015-16, 2016-2017, and 2017-2018 school years via the online MDS3 School Climate Survey. Other project efforts are reported as well.