Phase II Development of Online SSP and ESSP

Period of Performance: 09/01/2008 - 02/28/2010


Phase 2 SBIR

Recipient Firm

Flying Bridge Technologies
Charlotte, NC 28217
Principal Investigator


DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): In spite of many seemingly positive trends in U.S. educational settings, many children are still not succeeding in school (Powers, 2005), and school failure is strongly associated with race/ethnicity and SES. School success is a vital protective factor against health risk behaviors in adolescence. Addressing threats to school success in adolescence is imperative, as is working with elementary school children to prevent the development of later health risks. The School Success Profile (SSP) for middle and high school students and the Elementary School Success Profile (ESSP) for 3rd, 4th, and 5th graders are designed to help schools respond appropriately and to students whose school success and healthy development are threatened. This Phase II application seeks funding to build on the successful tasks of Phase I, in which the SSP and ESSP assessments and practice resources were put online and pilot-tested in schools. Three major areas of further development are proposed: (a) implementation of advanced online features of the SSP and ESSP assessment tools and practice resources; (b) development of advanced website features, and (c) a 1-year experimental test of the impact of the product on student outcomes. The long term goal of this SBIR project is to offer, via a state-of-the-art website, everything school staff need to engage in an innovative and proven sequence of assessment and prevention activities. Advanced online features of the assessment instruments and practice resources include an audio option for the online English and Spanish versions of the SSP and the ESSP for Parents, and ongoing updating of content in the Best Practices databases. Audio capability of the surveys will enhance their accessibility to respondents with limited reading proficiency. Advanced website features include features for prospective and current clients. For prospective clients, information on the products, pricing, and funding sources will be available. For current clients, an e-commerce system will be established. E-training modules on all aspects of administration, data interpretation, intervention planning, and evaluation will be available, as well as technical, research, and professional peer support. An advanced search engine function will also be developed to harvest potential changes and additions to the Best Practices database content. An experimental test of the full online ESSP assessment and prevention package will be conducted in Year 2. (Funding for a test of the SSP is being sought separately.) The online ESSP Model of Assessment and Prevention (MAP) includes the assessment tool; a problem-solving process; staff development workshops; and the ESSP Best Practices database. In 5 treatment schools, ESSP teams comprising parents, school staff, and administrators will implement the ESSP MAP for one school year with all low achieving 3rd, 4th and 5th graders. Trajectories of standardized test scores will be used to compare the academic performance of students in treatment and control schools using longitudinal techniques for nested data. Implementation fidelity and sustainability will also be evaluated. The proposed project involves implementation of advanced online SSP and ESSP assessment and Best Practices database features; development of advanced online commercial interface features; and an experimental test of the impact of the ESSP assessment and prevention product on the school outcomes of 3rd, 4th and 5th, grade students. Successful academic and social behavior at school is strongly associated with the avoidance of health risk behaviors in adolescence (including substance abuse, teen parenthood, and violence). Therefore, facilitating the use of the best prevention tools by school staff represents a vital prevention strategy for later public health problems at all school levels.