This U.S. Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences (IES) funded project will develop and test a research-based Tier 3 Wraparound Model for Schools. This $1.4 million project is funded from July 1, 2020-June 30, 2024.


Social, emotional, and behavioral problems are well-documented barriers to academic achievement. Frameworks such as multi-tier system of school supports (MTSS) and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) focus on addressing emotional and behavioral needs of students via effective strategies across tiers. However, at the "Tier 3" intensive level, few research-based strategies exist for students with serious emotional and behavioral challenges (SEBC) that span home, school, and community. This is problematic because students with SEBC experience the poorest outcomes among all students with special needs. Team-based Wraparound care coordination has a rapidly growing evidence base, with positive outcomes found across a range of outcomes. However, there has been little effort to systematically develop or adapt a model specific to schools, with the full package of required implementation supports. Despite Wraparound being widely referenced as a potential intensive Tier-3 option for MTSS and PBIS, there has been no systematic development or research on Wraparound models in education. The purpose of this project is to develop and test a Tier-3 team-based Wraparound (T3W) intervention package.


Researchers will carry out their study in three phases. In the first phase, they will iteratively adapt the existing Wraparound model for use in elementary schools. In the second phase, they will test the feasibility of the revised intervention in elementary settings. In the third phase, they will complete a pilot test to evaluate the promise of the intervention, and with gather cost information.


The project will yield a complete T3W intervention package, including training and coaching curricula, guidelines for districts and schools, supervisor supports, fidelity measures, and data systems, as well as preliminary evidence of the promise of positive outcomes. Researchers will share findings via conference presentations and peer-reviewed publications.

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Jesse Suter is the Co-Investigator and Eric Bruns is the Principal Investigator of a US Department of Education, Institute of Education Sciences grant. Dr. Bruns is the Director of the National Wraparound Evaluation and Research Team and Associate Director of the SMART Center (School, Mental health, Assessment, Research, and Training) at the University of Washington.