Academic journal article School Community Journal

The Full Purpose Partnership Model for Promoting Academic and Socio-Emotional Success in Schools

Academic journal article School Community Journal

The Full Purpose Partnership Model for Promoting Academic and Socio-Emotional Success in Schools

Article excerpt

Abstract

In 2003, a partnership between a local system of care and a large urban school district led to the creation of a schoolwide educational model called the Full Purpose Partnership (FPP). This model was implemented in several elementary schools in Indianapolis, Indiana to integrate the principles of systems of care and wraparound with the techniques of positive behavioral interventions and supports. The goal of the model is to build school capacity for simultaneously addressing students' educational, health (including mental health), social, and psychological needs. The overall objective is to positively impact school functioning for all students. The application of systems of care to schools and their integration with positive behavioral interventions and supports is relatively new, and thus, the purpose of the evaluation reported in this paper was to increase understanding. Data were collected through interviews and focus groups with members of the various stakeholder groups involved with the FPP. In addition, one member of the evaluation team acted as a participant observer in the FPP schools. Using an emergent case study design, this study focused primarily on the operation of the FPP model vis-à-vis stakeholder perceptions regarding model implementation. Emerging themes included: (1) the role of Care Coordinators in FPP schools; (2) adult "buy-in" and other factors impacting FPP implementation; (3) school climate; and (4) mental health and behavioral impact. Results suggest that the FPP model is positively influencing not only participating schools but the entire school district.

Key Words: schoolwide reform, positive behavior interventions and supports, interagency collaboration, schools, systems of care, wraparound, full purpose, partnerships, model, academic, social, emotional, students, families, parents

Introduction

In 2003, a school-based pilot project called the Full Purpose Partnership (FPP) was developed and implemented in several elementary schools in Indianapolis Public Schools in Marion County, Indiana (Crowley, Dare, Retz, & Anderson, 2003). The FPP model emerged from a partnership between the school district and a local system of care called the Dawn Project and was designed to integrate system of care (Stroul & Friedman, 1986) and wraparound principles (VanDenBerg & Grealish, 1996) with the techniques of positive behavioral interventions and supports (Eber, Sugai, Smith, & Scott, 2002; Lewis, Powers, Kelk, & Newcomer, 2002; Sugai & Horner, 2002). Systems of care and wraparound have emerged in this country during the past 25 years specifically to serve students with the most serious long-term challenges who require sustained interventions over time from multiple child-serving systems, including child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, and special education (Anderson, Wright, Smith, & Kooreman, 2007). Wraparound has been described as "a philosophy of care that includes a definable planning process involving the child and family that results in a unique set of community services and natural supports individualized for that child and family to achieve a positive set of outcomes" (Burns & Goldman, 1999, p. 13). A core aspect of positive behavioral interventions and supports is its focus on the prevention of problem behavior through the direct teaching of expected behaviors across school settings, as well as providing more intensive and/or individualized interventions for students requiring additional supports to be successful (Horner, Sugai, & Lewis-Palmer, 2005). The FPP model has created a school-based intersection of these approaches. The purpose of this paper is to describe the model and present findings from a process evaluation of the first four schools adopting the FPP approach.

Developing Systems of Care in Schools

Researchers have suggested that better connections among schools, social service agencies, and families can positively influence children's school functioning, including academic achievement (e. …

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