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Sponsored Research Office

School Transition and Re-Entry Program (STEP)

Project Director:

 

Dr. Ann Glang - glanga@wou.edu - 541-346-0594

Contact Phone:

 

541-346-0592

Contact Email:

 

prierk@wou.edu

Website:

 

 

Funding Source:

 

US Department of Education - National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR)

Project Description:

Due, in part, to inconsistent procedures for transitioning students from hospital to school, many students with TBI who need support are not identified for special education. As a result, they may not receive appropriate services when they return to school. This federally funded project is studying a hospital-school transition model, the School Transition and re-Entry Program (STEP), which provides hospitals with a simple, consistent process for linking children with TBI and their parents with school personnel and resources. The STEP model includes hospital, school, and family components.

  • Hospital: After obtaining parental consent, the hospital contacts the State Department of Education (DOE) to provide general information about the child and his or her injury.
  • School: The contact person at the DOE informs a trained school STEP facilitator in the student’s attendance area that the student is returning to school. This local educator contacts the student’s parents and provides resources as needed. The STEP facilitator also assesses the school’s need for support and resources and either provides those as needed or points the school toward the necessary resources. The STEP facilitator sets up a process for tracking the student’s progress over time and remains available to provide resources to the family and school staff.
  • Family: After discharge from the hospital, parents receive a parent information booklet with materials about childhood TBI, and the Brain Injury Partners parent advocacy training program (http://free.braininjurypartners.com). In addition, parents can call the STEP facilitator at any time for information about resources available to the student and his or her family.

Project Evaluation

We are currently evaluating the effectiveness of the transition model in a multi-site randomized control trial. Children treated at five hospitals in Oregon, Colorado, and Ohio are randomly assigned to either the transition intervention or a usual care comparison group. Parents and teachers in both groups complete surveys on the child’s academic functioning, behavior, and learning environment. After validating STEP as an effective intervention, project staff will disseminate the model nationally.

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