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EBPs in Schools: Toolkit

 
Resources
ACT for Youth can work with you to divide EBP modules into classroom periods. See CAPP Shared Resources for examples.

Using PowerPoint slides to provide structure can help with time management. Examples are on the CAPP Shared Resources page.

Adjusting EBPs to Classroom Periods

Many providers have found adapting evidence-based programs (EBPs) for schools to be difficult. Here we discuss some of the scenarios providers have encountered, and possible approaches to these challenges.

Scenario 1

Schools might want to offer an EBP in pregnancy prevention, but only if it can be done in just a few school periods.

Schools need to be educated about the fact that evidence-based programs lead to the desired outcomes only if they are done correctly. Points you can make when talking to administrators and teachers include:

  • EBP sessions cannot be shortened randomly.
     
  • EBP cycles should be completed within a given amount of time according to program design. In some cases, this means presenting the program more than once a week.
When talking with administrators, it might also be helpful to highlight that the EBP addresses some of the required learning standards in health.

This handout for administrators (PDF; Word format) may be helpful, and can be customized and transferred to your agency's letterhead.

Scenario 2

Schools have reviewed the EBP and agreed to the number of sessions outlined in the curriculum. However, school periods are shorter than the modules.

The mismatch between school periods and EBP modules is especially marked for programs that have been developed in out-of-school settings, such as Making Proud Choices!, Be Proud! Be Responsible!, or Teen Health Project. Depending on the length of the school periods at the targeted school, it may be possible to adjust the program sessions. For most programs, it is possible to identify logical stopping and starting points. ACT for Youth can assist in identifying these for specific programs.

It is also necessary to develop some transition statements to accommodate new endings and openings. Naturally, creating shorter sessions will increase the number of program sessions; for example, Be Proud! Be Responsible! might turn from the original 6-session program into a 10- or 12-session program. We highly recommended that you prepare this adaptation in advance and make the school aware of the correct number of school periods needed.

Scenario 3

Schools open the classroom for an EBP (full sequence), but they want to spread it over a longer period of time. They allow for one session every two weeks or even four weeks.

For most evidence-based programs, this would not be an acceptable adaptation, especially when sessions have already been shortened due to the length of classroom periods. Generally, it is better to concentrate sessions than to spread them out. The core messages of the curriculum will be diluted and less effective if the "dosage" is too weak.

If schools require these conditions, out-of-school settings are more appropriate.

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