Project ESSY

The Issue

There are many school screenings that can assess social, emotional, and behavioral (SEB) challenges, but the use of such screeners has not been widespread. They can be expensive and time-consuming and school personnel often don’t know how best to make sense of and use the data they generate.

Many school screeners are created to look at children’s problems, or deficits; they can also reinforce bias. They often do not take the child’s whole context into account. For instance, is the child having behavioral problems because she is hungry? Is he acting out because he can’t see the board? Are they tired because their housing is unsafe and they haven’t been sleeping?

The ESSY Project

We plan to develop and evaluate a comprehensive child screener (the Comprehensive and Contextual Child Screener in Schools, or C3SS) that incorporates contextually relevant information about the whole child and that addresses the personal biases of school staff.

In this four-year project, we will aim to:

  1. develop the instrumentation for the C3SS through input from key groups to focus on child-centered and environmentally-centered indicators;
  2. provide initial psychometric evidence and treatment utility of the C3SS; and
  3. conduct a pilot evaluation of the usability, validity, and reliability of the C3SS in authentic screening contexts.

Where are we in the project?

We received funding in July 2022 and are in the planning phases of the project. For more information contact Project Director Sandra Chafouleas.