Research Projects


    Mikva Challenge Argumentative Writing Curriculum Design Research Study
    Robyn Lingo, M.Ed. and Jill Bass, M. Ed.

    Approved:         June 2021
    Timeline:         Fall 2021

    Selected classrooms from several of Red Clay Middle Schools will implement Mikva’s argumentative writing module series. Participating ELA and Social Studies teachers and students will provide feedback to determine if there are any problems with the lessons or activities or if there are any ways to improve the lessons and activities.

    Fraction Intervention Study
    Nancy Jordan, Ph.D and Nancy Dyson, Ph.D. – University of Delaware

    Approved:         April 2021
    Timeline:           Spring 2021 – Summer 2022

    The goal of this study is to evaluate the efficacy of the Fraction Sense Intervention (FSI), an innovative fraction sense intervention (FSI) for 6th graders developed at the University of Delaware. The FSI combines the best practices in math instruction with evidenced-based strategies from the science of learning.  The FSI is teacher-friendly, designed to fit into multi-tiered intervention settings in most schools, and has produced positive and durable results for students in Delaware.  The project is funded by the U. S. Department of Education.

    Impact Evaluation of Teacher Residency Programs
    Mathematica Progress Together, Washington, DC

    Approved: March 2021
    Timeline: Summer 2021 until Summer 2025

    The goal of this study is to provide valuable information for educators, policymakers, and school districts about teacher residency programs. The U.S. Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences is sponsoring this national evaluation. The study will examine whether teachers who graduated from residency programs are more effective at improving student achievement and remain in teaching longer than teachers who graduated from other programs. The study will also examine whether residency graduates use more effective teaching practices and are more satisfied with teaching than other teachers; the characteristics of residency programs associated with teachers’ effectiveness and retention; and thecost-effectiveness of residency programs. It will also describe characteristics of teacher residency.

    High School Athlete Survey
    Robert Itri, Troy University, Doctoral Student

    Approved: March 2021
    Timeline: March- April 2021

    The purpose of this study is to analyze how club/travel sports are affecting high school athletes’ perception of high school athletics. High school students in spring sports in a district high school will be invited to take a survey contains 36 questions with regard to high school sport motivations and high school sport enjoyment level.  

    An Examination of Teachers’ Perceptions of A Reading Instructional Model And its Impact on Reading Intervention Lesson Plans
    Dana Farrior, M. Ed – Wilmington University

    Approved:      September 2020           
    Timeline:        October – December 2020

    This study will create a structure for tier 2 reading intervention teachers in one district school to determine the quality and alignment of intervention lesson plans to the Skill Focused Reading Instructional Model. As a result of this research, lesson exemplars/models will be available for teachers’ use both within schools and across schools in the district; constructive criteria-based feedback will become available to intervention practitioners.  This will be integral in determining where enhancements and revisions are needed in specific areas of their lesson planning. 

    National Science Foundation Study on Socio-Environmental Science Investigation
    Thomas Hammond, Ph.D. and Kate Popejoy, Ph.D. – Lehigh University

    Approved:      Summer 2020 
    Timeline:        June 2020 – May 2024

    This research study will design, develop, and test a series of innovative socio-environmental science investigations (SESI) using a geospatial curriculum approach.  The learning activities include inquiry-based activities aligned to national and Delaware science standards, and geospatial learning tools (Web GIS) which allow for visualizing, mapping, and analyzing multiple layers of geographic data. A goal of this project is to ensure that high school students are provided with technology-rich geospatial learning experiences that develop their content knowledge about important environmental issues and develop important 21st century thinking skills that are needed for entering the STEM workforce.  Data measures will occur through classroom observations and by examining student work produced during the investigations in the classrooms, as well as surveys to provide demographic background and to measure geospatial pedagogical content knowledge. The project will enable researchers to (1) examine how socio-environmental science investigations increase students’ interest in STEM and their motivation to pursue STEM-related careers, and (2) analyze how the geospatial curriculum approach can improve STEM-related skills with students underrepresented in STEM.

    Peer-assisted reading strategies and effect on students’ comprehension
    Jennifer Abernethy, M.Ed. – Wilmington University

    Approved:      September 2020,
    Timeline:        September 2020 – January 2021

    The goal is to use peer-assisted reading strategies to increase the reading comprehension of 9th grade students in English, particularly students who have a profile of low middle school reading comprehension scores. The guiding questions for this study include: (1) To what extent do peer-assisted reading strategies impact the RI scores of students who fit the at-risk profile? (2) To what extent do peer-assisted reading strategies impact students’ RI scores who are not considered at risk? (3) To what extent do peer-assisted reading strategies impact formative reading comprehension assessment scores over time? (4) To what extent do peer-assisted reading strategies impact the rate of students in danger of failing English 9 by mid-January 2021?

    The Impact of Choice in Professional Development on Teacher Efficacy
    Kristen Belair – Wilmington University, Doctoral Student

    Approved:      July 2020                       
    Timeline:        through March 2021

    The purpose of this research is to find effective ways to provide professional development to teachers.  Instead of providing a “one size fits all’ model of PD, teachers will have a choice.  The study will show if giving teachers a choice in PD topics, along with other research-based strategies, impact their self-efficacy.  Increasing teacher efficacy has a direct correlation to students achievement and motivation.

    Growing the whole child: Benefits of teaching self-awareness with elementary students
    Erin NeCastro – Wilmington University, Doctoral Student

    Approved:      July 2020                       
    Timeline:        Fall 2020 – Spring 2021

    The purpose of this study is to help determine whether teaching self-awareness social-emotional skills will have a positive impact on student discipline referrals. Students will take a pre and post surveys. The classroom teachers and counselors will be asked to complete a perception survey after each SEL is taught.

    Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies (PATHS) Program Evaluation 
    Zachary Meehan – University of Delaware

    Approved:      April 2020                    
    Timeline:        Spring 2020

    With support from Delaware LAUNCH, the researcher is examining to what extent PATHS social-emotional curriculum impacts children’s behavioral and academic outcomes.

    Impact of Teacher Cultural Awareness on Behavioral Referrals
    Dayna Woods, Doctoral Student – Wilmington University

    Approved:      May 2020                    
    Timeline:        Spring 2020

    The researcher will evaluate the type and the number of behavioral referrals across two years to determine the effect of cultural awareness training for teachers.

    School-Based Risk Assessments: Observations, Trends, and Needs
    Rebecca Bertuccio, M.Ed. – The Pennsylvania State University

    Approved:      March 2020                    
    Timeline:        Spring 2020

    The purpose of this study is to examine the number of risk assessments (i.e., suicidal Ideation, suicide attempt, self-harm, threats) by analyzing frequency and demographic trends.  Additionally this study aims to gather information about school personnel’s perceptions, opinions, and needs regarding a school district’s risk assessment procedures. The project will include two different measures:  (a) focus groups with school professionals who are responsible for conducting risk assessments, and (b) secondary analysis of de-identified risk assessment data.  

    FINDINGS: Risk Assessment and Threat Assessment in School-Age Youth: Trends and Perspectives

    Red Clay District Vaccination Exemptions
    Anna Melnick, Thomas Jefferson University

    Approved:      March 2020        
    Timeline:        March 2020 – April 2020

    This study will examine de-identified vaccination exemption data of school-aged children in the state of Delaware’s public school system. The researcher will look at any correlations between the variables of: type of vaccination, reason for exemption, gender, race, and age of the student.  The outcomes of these analyses could help shape future vaccination campaign efforts, in hopes that if the state is aware of the demographics of the cohort receiving exemptions, they can better tailor their focus and funding to their targeted audience.  

    Family Sleep Health Study
    Lauren Covington, University of Delaware School of Nursing

    Approved:      August 2019                        
    Timeline:        Fall 2019-Spring 2021

    The purpose of this study is to 1) Describe sleep health (i.e. duration, regularity, timing) in socioeconomically disadvantaged children (age 6-14) using objective sleep measurement. 2) Describe child’s sleep in relation to caregiver factors (i.e. employment, education and marital status, presence of mental health symptoms, sleep duration and sleep behaviors) and sleep environment factors (i.e. household crowding, room or bed sharing, bedroom lighting and temperature.

    High School and Beyond Longitudinal Study of 2020
    Daniel Pratt, RTI International

    Approved:      August 2019                       
    Timeline:        Fall 2019-Fall 2021

    The High School and Beyond Study of 2020 (HS&B:20) will be the sixth in a series of longitudinal studies at the high school level conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics (NCES).  The goal is to provide a comprehensive, broad-based view of the core education achievement and attainment processes affecting high school students, within a fast and continually changing and social world.  HS&B:20 will explore high school experiences-particularly, mathematics achievement, grade progression and high school completion, high school coursetaking, and preparation for postsecondary education and the workforce.  The HS&B:20 full-scale study, set to begin in Fall 2020, will play a critical role in education, providing a rich variety of data to answer questions about how students’ backgrounds and school experiences affect education and life outcomes.  In preparation for the full-scale study, HS&B:20 is conducting a field test to validate assessment and survey instruments and to test the recruitment and data collection prodecures.  The field test will begin in Fall 2019 with a data collection of students in grades 9 and 12 and following up with those nineth graders in the Spring of 2023.

    Assess Head Injuries to Students
    Jodi Muffley, RN, MSN – Wilmington University

    Approved:      July 2019                       
    Timeline:        September – November 2019

    The research is being conducting to determine the clinical significance of a standardized head injury protocol in the school setting. The aim of the project is to incorporate the CDC Heads Up program and increase the percentage of students that are referred for further follow up from a health care provider. Research in the area of concussions and post-concussion symptoms (PCS) shows that there is substantial benefit from early diagnosis and treatment to decrease the risk of PCS. The CDC Heads Up Program is evidence-based and provides a wealth of resources for school nurses, staff, and parents that will be utilized throughout the project. The creation of a standardized protocol will ensure that every student that suffers a head injury in school will receive a comprehensive assessment and appropriate referral to a health care provider for further evaluation.   

    Characterizing the extent of out-of-field science teaching in Delaware high schools
    Amy Trauth – University of Delaware

    Approved:      June 2019                      
    Timeline:        Summer 2019 

    The researcher will conduct a policy analysis of the state’s mandates regarding teacher education and the overall qualifications of high school science teachers,  comparing teachers’ certifications, their degrees, and their teaching assignment.  The intention is to make the case that there is a shortage of highly-qualified science teachers in the state. 

    Middle School Math Teacher Planning Practices
    Matthew Melville – University of Delaware

    Approved:      March 2019                   
    Timeline:        March – May 2019

    This project is an interview study. The researcher will ask middle school math teachers questions about their current planning practices and ideal planning practices.  The goal of this research is to learn about teachers’ perceptions about planning both in their current situation and ideal situation.

    Bridget Duda, University of Delaware Doctoral Candidate

    Approved:      February 2019              
    Timeline:        February-March 2019                                               

    This study focuses on public elementary school use of Single Approach to Mastery (SAM) and Team Approach to Mastery (TAM). Special Educations Directors and SAM and TAM teachers who voluntarily participate will be take a survey and may choose to be interviewed.  

    Identifying the impact of school improvement strategies
    Susan Huffman – University of Delaware Doctoral Candidate

    Approved:      February 2019                          
    Timeline:        February-May 2019 

    The goal of this data collection and research is to identify the impact of school improvement strategies employed in the prior two school years.

    School Safety and Crisis Preparedness: One School District’s Path to Prevention and Mitigation
    Gabrielle Koury, Wilmington University Doctoral Candidate

    Approved:      January 2019                         
    Timeline:        January- May 2019   

    The researcher will utilize building vulnerability assessments collected for the District Leadership Team on Crisis Response to develop follow-up questions for semi-structured interviews with select building Crisis Readiness Team members. Specific recommendations will be provided based on the data.

    FINDINGS: Safe Schools- Safety and Crisis Response Practices

    Classroom teachers’ perceptions of the relationship between academic achievement and exposure to traumatic events among children of color
    Taneeka Harper, Immaculata University

    Approved:      January 2019                         
    Timeline:        January & February 2019   

    The researcher will examine data from a survey of district teachers on the topic. Interested teachers may also voluntarily participated in the interview portion of the study. 

    Fostering Racial Tolerance in High Schools
    Audrey Ha, California high school student

    Approved:      November 2018                         
    Timeline:        November-December 2018   

    This research project aims to look into high schools’ racial awareness and acceptance classes and activities in order to gain insight into which are successful in increasing racial tolerance within the school and wider communities. Participation is voluntary and anonymous.

    FINDINGS: Fostering Tolerance

    Grammar Learning Study
    Amanda Owen Van Horn, Kristina Strother-Garcia – TELL Lab – University of Delaware

    Approved:      November 2018                        
    Timeline:        Fall 2018 – Fall 2019                                                           

    The study examines whether preschool and kindergarten children with Developmental Language Disorder (DLD) learn a novel grammar at the same rate as TD children under 3 different conditions: 1) using a stable distribution with low variability, where all sentences use the same 3 verbs over and over; 2) using a stable distribution of high variability, where 12 verbs are presented two times each; and 3) a skewed distribution verbs, where one verb is presented 13 times and the other 11 verbs are each presented once. The researchers will meet with children for 2-4 visits of about 60 minutes each. The district is only involved in providing information about the survey to parents; research is conducted outside of the school.

    Book-Reading Study for Children 3-5 Years Old
    Amanda Owen Van Horn, Kristina Strother-Garcia – TELL Lab – University of Delaware

    Approved:      November 2018            
    Timeline:        Fall 2018 – Fall 2019

    This study aims to examine whether young children (with and without language impairments) learn a real grammatical form from book-reading better under 3 conditions: (1) low-variability stable input (in which all sentences use the same 3 verbs repeatedly); (2) high-variability uniform (in which 12 verbs are presented two times each); and (3) high-variability skewed input (in which a variety of verbs are presented, but one of them is stable and more frequent than others). Researchers will meet with participants for initial screenings and then meet with eligible participants to conduct further standardized testing. During the book reading period (4 weeks of books/5 visits), parents will be provided with 2researcher-developed books to read to their child each week - one book for each sentence structure target that particular child is working on. Then the researchers will meet, record parents reading to their children, and switch out the prior week's books with new books. Post-testing will determine the degree to which children exhibited growth during the intervention. The district is only involved in providing information about the survey to parents; research is conducted outside of the school.

    Delaware Science Olympiad Kit Survey – 3rd Grade
    Cornelia Ko, Director of Elementary Science Olympiad – Delaware Science Olympiad, Inc.

    Approved:      October 2018                
    Timeline:        November 2018 – April 2019 

    The goal of data collection/research is to investigate if the introduction of the Science Olympiad Kit will raise the interest of the students in science subjects.  Pre and post survey forms will be used to measure the levels of the student interest.  Third graders in one of our district elementary schools will use activities from the kit including aerodynamics, bottle music, operation egg drop, and straw tower, among others.

    FINDINGS: Grade 3 Science Olympiad Kit Survey

    Need in Deed Study
    Elizabeth Soslau – University of Delaware 

    Approved:      8/29/18                           
    Timeline:        September 2018 – May 2019
    School:           Warner Elementary    

    The goal of this project,  funded by PPE/UD grant money, is to provide and evaluate the delivery of a year-long professional development series. The series of on-site professional developments will be delivered by Need in Deed (, a Philadelphia based non-profit. The professional development centers around a culturally relevant teaching framework that addresses the required standards and serves to position children as empowered change agents by connecting classrooms with the community. Additionally, researchers will be on site weekly to support Warner teachers and their students via classroom based co-teaching, small group reflection, and support sessions. Three UD-Teacher Candidates will complete their student teaching with Warner teachers, so that our University of Delaware teacher candidates can learn along side their clinical educators (cooperating teachers). Our UD ETE candidates will have the opportunity to enhance their own understanding of culturally relevant pedagogy while building application skills centered on connecting classrooms with communities and bridging curricula with students’ lived experiences.

    Experiences of Secondary Social Studies Teachers
    Rebecca N. Reed – University of Northern Colorado Graduate School

    Approved:      May 2018                       
    Timeline:        May 2018-March 2019

    The research goal is to answer the following questions:
    Question 1 – How do secondary teachers experience teaching social studies?
    Question 2 – How do teachers interpret and articulate the purposes of social studies?
    Question 3 – How do their experiences relate to these interpretations?

    For this study, participants will be interviewed about their experience with social studies prior to becoming a social studies teacher, what their experience is like as a social studies teacher, and reflect on the “ideal” social studies teaching experience.

    FINDINGS: Experiences of Secondary Social Studies Teachers

    How Can We Teach Students to Read, Write, and Think Like Historians?
    Elisabeth Prueter – University of Delaware

    Approved:      May 2018                       
    Timeline:        May-June 2018    

    This research focuses on how secondary social studies teachers address historical interpretation (DE History Standard Three) in the classroom.  The goal is to answer:  What do teachers understand this standard to demand of students?  What professional development and curriculum materials have teachers used to teach this standard?  What professional development and curriculum materials would be helpful to teachers when addressing historical interpretation? Data will be collected from secondary social studies teachers with an electronic survey. Teachers may volunteer for a follow-up interview.

    School Survey on Crime and Safety (SSOCS) 2018
    The National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) of the U.S. Department of Education i

    Approved:      April 2018                           
    Timeline:        February-June 2018      

    SSOCS is administered on a recurring basis by the U.S. Census Bureau on behalf of NCES. Its data are crucial in helping legislators and education leaders make informed decisions to provide a safe school environment.

    Wilmington Parent Political Efficacy Survey
    Dr. Lauren Bailes and Haley Qaissaunee –University of Delaware

    Approved:      March 2018                   
    Timeline:        March 2018 – March 2019       

    The researchers, working with the Wilmington Educational Improvement Commission, are surveying throughout the Wilmington area in order to learn about how they feel about their student’s school, how they help the school make decisions, and how the school helps them to feel informed and involved. Outcomes of this study will help schools and districts do a better job of connecting with parents and guardians about issues that matter to them.

    The study will address the following research questions:

    1. What demographic characteristics are associated with higher or lower levels of internal and external political efficacy?
    2. How are other attitudes such as trust in schools and sense of efficacy associated with higher or lower levels of internal and external political efficacy?
    3. How do politically efficacious parents/guardians choose to participate in school governance and decision-making?
    4. On average, are parents/guardians of traditional public school and charter school students equally politically efficacious?
    5. Are there ways in which parents/guardians represent themselves to schools that fall outside the formal parameters of school governance processes (e.g., school board elections, PTAs)?

    Economics for Kids Grade 2
    Dr. Amanda Jennings and Dr. Bonnie Meszaros –University of Delaware

    Approved:      February 2018                          
    Timeline:        February 2018 – School Year 2019      

    This project is designed as a partnership between the Center for Economic Education and Entrepreneurship (CEEE) and two school districts in Delaware. The purpose of this project is to evaluate and improve five economics lessons at the second-grade level. These lessons are designed to meet Delaware State Standards (DSS) for Economics as well as align with Common Core State Standards in Mathematics and English Language Arts. Additionally, this partnership will contribute to our understanding of how children learn economics. The CEEE seeks to support the districts’ efforts to meet the DSS for Social Studies. To this end, the CEEE will provide economics curriculum and training to participating teachers within the district.

    Preschool Reading Screener Validation Project
    Kandia Lewis, Research Scientist – Nemours Bright Start

    Approved:      February 2018              
    Timeline:        February 2018 – January 2019

    A primary purpose of Nemours Reading BrightStart! (NRBS) is the early identification of young children who show signs of risk for reading failure. The Preschool Reading Screener (PRS) provides parents with feedback on their child’s skills in four domains as well as suggestions for how to help build skills in any areas that need more support. Research staff will administer a brief reading readiness screener and a “gold standard” reading readiness assessment to participating children to correlate the PRS with an established and trusted instrument, thereby validating the screener for this wider age range.  The validation of the PRS for 3-5 year old children will provide parents throughout the nation with a psychometrically-sound, early identification tool that can be used to help support development of strong reading readiness skills.

    Effects of Guided Exercise on Health and Independence of Adults with Intellectual Disability
    Iva Obrusnikova – University of Delaware

    Approved:      February 2018              
    Timeline:        February 2018 – June 2018

    The researchers will use a systematic program titled PRT-POWER (Progressive Resistance Training for EmPOWERment). The program currently incorporates two technology-based instructional strategies: (a) visual activity schedules and (b) systematic prompting that incorporates video prompts as a way to ensure consistency, independence, and visual feedback. In this study, the researchers will explore the effects of goal setting methodology in the PRT-POWER on the improvement of body composition, cardiovascular function, resting blood pressure, dynamic muscle strength, functional mobility, levels of physical activity, balance and coordination, and personal empowerment in adults with mild to moderate ID.

    Effective Teaching Strategies for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder
    Nicole Gouge – Temple University

    Approved:      January 2018                      
    Timeline:        Spring 2018

    The goal of this research is to behaviorally-based teaching techniques with a student with Autism Spectrum Disorder.  The researcher will use various material, instructional stimuli, prompting strategies, error correction techniques, reinforcement strategies, or other teaching procedures to accompany the technique). Then she will collect data to show if the student acquired, generalized, or maintained the skill. 

    Using Engineering Design to Enhance Student Understanding of Economics
    Kent Frescoln – Valley City State University

    Approved:      January 2018          
    Timeline:        February-April 2018

    Students’ ability to think and work across multiple subject areas to solve a problem is a skill that is becoming increasingly in demand in the workplace and is a skill that many current job applicants are lacking.  The purpose of this study will be to incorporate economic concepts into an engineering design challenge. Additionally, the researcher will survey administrators and interview technology education and social studies teachers.

    Science STEM Learning and Language Intervention
    A. Van Horne, K. McGregor, M. Curran – University of Delaware

    Approved:      January 2018   
    Timeline:        2018 – 2020

    The language used in communication and teaching of science is filled with abstract words and complex grammatical structures; thus, science learning may be especially difficult for students with specific language learning disabilities.  This study uses a classroom based, randomized controlled trial design to test the potential for early intervention programs to improve learning generalization of science concepts in preschool and kindergarten-aged children with Specific Language Impairment. The research will compare three science intervention conditions to provide insight into the relationship between intervention and academic learning.

    Findings: Year 1

    A Study of Success in World Language Among Students with Disabilities
    Constance A. Regan – Wilmington University

    Approved:      December 2017      
    Timeline:        December 2017 – February 2018

    The purpose of this research is to examine the results of inclusion in World Language classes.  Specifically, the researcher will examine whether students with disabilities complete their world language requirements at the same rate as their peers, as well as how their pass rates in world language compare to their pass rates in ELA, where special educations supports are provided. 

    FINDINGS: Special Education Students' Success in World Langauge

    Collaborative Teaching and Reading Comprehension
    Kevin Sorgi – Liberty University

    Approved:      November 2017      
    Timeline:        December 2017 – April 2018

    The purpose of this case study is to answer the question:  How does collaborative teaching influence reading comprehension.  Data will be collected via semi-structured interviews, focus group interviews, classroom observations and a daily journal. The focus will be on progress of the collaborative teaching team in addressing reading fluency and comprehension using best teaching practices with students who have IEPs.

    Engaging Eighth Grade Students Through Self-Reflection
    Ciera Hackett – Maryland Institute College of Art

    Approved:      October 2017 
    Timeline:        Fall 2017 – Summer 2018

    The goals for this research project include examining the degree to which self-reflective prompts can increase student engagement and student learning on diverse ways to reflect on identity through the creation of a mixed-media self-portrait, and improving the researcher’s teaching practice by critically reflecting on the effectiveness of student-centered teaching strategies.

    Findings: Don't Judge A Book By its Cover: Using Self Reflection To Understand Eighth Grade Identities

    The Targeted Reading Intervention Project (TRI)
    Dr. Steve Amendum, University of Delaware

    Approved:      September 26, 2017     
    Timeline:        Fall 2017 – Summer 2018

    The Targeted Reading Intervention Project (TRI) is a professional development and early reading intervention for K/1 classroom teachers and their struggling readers, including young English Language Learners. Teachers work one-on-one with struggling readers for 15 minutes a day and receive weekly or biweekly individualized coaching during instructional sessions via real time web conference.  See for more details.

    Reading and Writing in Content Survey
    Angelena Pellegrino – Wilmington University

    Approved:      October 2017       
    Timeline:        October 2017

    The purpose of this study at one of our elementary schools is to conduct a school-wide, 6 question Reading and Writing in Content Survey to identify 2-3 areas where teachers can increase their self-confidence/teaching practices in the core-content areas.

    Study of Weighted Student Funding and School-Based Budgeting Systems
    Jesse Levin, Ph.D. – American Institutes for Research

    Approved:      September 2017
    Timeline:        October 2017 – December 2018 

    This study seeks to understand how school-based budgeting systems, specifically weighted student funding, have been implemented; the outcomes of such systems in terms of levels of principal autonomy, transparency of resource allocation, empowerment of stakeholders in the decision making process, and the extent to which resources are distributed based on student needs; the interactions with school choice policies; and the challenges that these districts experienced implementing changes to their resource allocation systems.

    Impact of Relationships on School Climate and Outcomes
    Alexis Tiberi – Wilmington University 

    Approved:      September 18, 2017
    Timeline:        Fall 2017 – Spring 2019

    The goal of the research is to determine the impact of relationships on school climate and culture; then to determine the significance of the effectiveness of relationships to other indicators such as student performance and teacher retention. Five years of Delaware School Climate Data for all elementary schools in Red Clay will be utilized (student, teacher, and parent surveys). 

    A Researcher-Practitioner Partnership Examining the Use of Automated Essay Evaluation Software for Improving Students Writing Achievement
    Dr. Joshua Wilson, University of Delaware and Dr. Gaysha Beard, Red Clay Consolidated School District

    Approved:      August 2017
    Timeline:        August 2017 – June 2019
    School(s):      Most Red Clay Elementary Schools

    The purpose of this IES grant funded project is to continue to build a partnership between the University of Delaware School of Education and the Red Clay school district, and to begin to investigate writing achievement in elementary schools. Red Clay is moving toward a one-to-one laptop program and the district is interested in purchasing an automated essay evaluation software, PEG Writing, to help increase student writing achievement without increasing burden on teachers. This partnership project will provide initial evidence as to whether PEG Writing is associated with increased opportunity to write and increased writing achievement for students in grades three through five. The project is described in more detail at the IES site

    Research/Internship –Delaware School Climate Survey Data
    Alexis Tiberi, Wilmington University

    Approved:      April 2017
    Timeline:        May 2017 – July 2017
    School(s):      All Red Clay Elementary Schools

    The goal of this research is to enhance overall school climate in the district’s elementary schools.  The researcher will review Delaware School Climate data, analyze and categorize attributes of the environment of each individual school, culminating with researched recommendations and ideas for improvement. 

    Findings: District Recommendations for Elementary School Climate

    Impact of Religious/Spiritual Integrated Psychotherapy in Adolescents
    Stephanie Wharton, Neumann University

    Approved:      May 2017
    Timeline:        May-June 2017
    School(s):      All Red Clay High Schools

    The goal of this dissertation research is to examine differences between adolescents who receive religious/spiritually integrated psychotherapy and adolescents who do not.  Students between the ages of 13 and 17 who are currently receiving any form of outpatient psychotherapy/counseling, with parent permission, will voluntarily participate in an online survey.

    Factors that Cause Teacher Stress and Burnout, and the impact on Teacher Retention
    Kelly Thompson – Concordia University

    Approved:      April 2017          
    Timeline:        Spring 2017

    The purpose of this study is to explore how teachers in a Title1 school perceive teacher stress, and the impact this has on retention.  Understanding the primary reasons that are causing stress to teachers can help with stress prevention and ultimately teacher retention specifically in Title1 Elementary Schools. Teachers will complete a burnout and participate in an interview to get insight on what is causing perceived stress, and the impact this has on retention.  The questions will also see if teachers feel preventative strategies and/or coping strategies like mindfulness would be beneficial for their stress.

    FINDINGS: Dissertation Abstract-Teacher Perceptions on Stress and Impact on Retention

    Summer Collaborative Partnership Study for Academic Growth in Student Participants 
    Lindroth, S. Altman, T. Stainback

    Approved:      April 2017          
    Timeline:        Summer 2017

    The purpose of this data analysis is to ascertain whether the program interventions improve student outcomes as they return to school and whether benefits are long-lasting.

    FINDINGS: Catherine Lindroth on the importance of The Summer Learning Collaborative

    The Effects of Form Training on Foul-Shooting Performance
    Sarah D’Amico, The Chicago School of Professional Psychology
    Approved:      March 2017         
    Timeline:        Spring 2017
    School:           H. B. duPont Middle School
    The purpose of the study is to examine the effect of form training on: 1) the percentage of foul shots taken with correct form and 2) the percentage of foul shots made for young basketball players. Form training will consist of instruction, rehearsal, and performance feedback. The study hopes to contribute to the field of Applied Behavior Analysis by targeting a younger population than has been researched previously in the literature. It is crucial for young athletes to develop proper form early in their athletic experiences to reduce the risk of injury caused or exacerbated by these mistakes.

    Pilot Survey
    Julia Barta, School Psychologist at A. I. High School
    Approved:      February 2017
    Timeline:        February 2017
    School:           A. I. High
    A.I. High will be piloting the Philadelphia Adverse Childhood Experiences Survey (Phil ACE) and an executive function survey (BRIEF-2) to gain a better understanding of the prevalence and types of trauma and executive function needs in their building. Staff training and outside agency supports will be pursued in areas of need most highly illustrated from the survey result, in order to provide more specialized services for students.

    Project LAUNCH:  Staff Surveys
    Briana Haut, University of Delaware – Center for Training, Evaluation and Community Collaboration (C-TECC)
    Timeline:              January 2017 – September 2019
    School(s):            Shortlidge and Warner Elementary Schools

    The goal of this research is to help evaluate the implementation of Project LAUNCH initiatives.  Teachers, early childhood center employees, and other direct service providers complete a brief survey annually.  The survey will ask providers about their role, opinions, knowledge and utilization of LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health) related services, opinions or requests regarding professional development opportunities, as well as any experiences of perceived “burnout” related to their profession. 

    Implementation of PATHS Curriculum (Promoting Alternative Thinking Strategies)
    Elizabeth Alpert/Adina Seidenfeld, Center for Training, and Community Collaboration
    (C-TECC) – University of Delaware
    Approved:      November 2016
    Timeline:        January 2017
    School(s):      Shortlidge and Warner Elementary
    The goal of the research for Project LAUNCH (Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health), is to evaluate the implementation of the PATHS curriculum.  The PATHS curriculum teaches social emotional skills to elementary children. The researchers will use data already collected as part of the PATHS program implementation to evaluate school personnel attitudes towards the program, what is going well, what could be improved, and how these experiences change over time. This data will aid in the monthly consultation between faculty/staff, PATHS leads at each school, and the PATHS trainer.
    FINDINGS: PATHS Curriculum Implementation Evaluation Abstract 
    Impact on Trauma-based Professional Development on a Sub-group of Students
    Kendall Mobley, Red Clay Consolidated School District
    Approved:      November 2017
    Timeline:        January – March 2017
    School:           Stanton Middle
    The goal of this three-year longitudinal study is to evaluate the impact of professional development focused on trauma.  Ex-post facto discipline referral and suspension data for students with special needs will be compared prior to the professional development and afterwards to determine if there were any significant changes. Findings will inform policy recommendations regarding training targeted to students’ social and emotional needs.
    Impact of RTI on ELL Students & Hispanic utilizing SRI as a measure
    Tawanda J. Bond, Wilmington University
    Approved:        October 2016
    Timeline:          January 2017
    Schools:            Red Clay comprehensive middle schools


    The goal of this data collection is to determine the impact of RTI on the reading achievement of ELL students and Hispanics.  Data will help inform action planning for effective practices.

    Early Achievements (EA) Intervention of Preschoolers with ASD
    Rebecca Landa, Johns Hopkins University – Kennedy Krieger Institute’s CARD
    Approved:      September 2016
    Timeline:        September 2016 – December 2017
    School:           Richardson Park Learning Center
    The purpose of the study, “Evaluating a Social and Communication Intervention for Preschoolers,” is to assess the efficacy of the Early Achievement (EA) intervention in addressing the learning challenges of preschoolers with Autism Spectrum Disorder when implemented by early childhood educators or special educators.
    Delaware Early Childhood Assistive Technology Model Demonstration
    Suzanne Milbourne, University of Delaware, Center for Disabilities Studies
    Timeline:        June 2016 through September 2018
    School:           Early Childhood Program (ages 3-5)
    Delaware Early Childhood Assistive Technology (AT) model demonstration site will explore effective practices related to the use of AT with young children with disabilities and/or developmental delays.  The aim of the project is to build the capacity of professionals and families to increase the instances in which AT is considered for our young children.  To achieve this aim, professionals and families will engage in effective practices, such as:  assessing classroom/child routines and activities and child functional abilities; considering AT services and devices through the use of child-specific planning tool; using effective approaches to conduct on-going consideration/re-consideration of the use of AT; and employing methods for documenting the outcomes of using AT.  To teach the practices an assortment of professional development activities will be implemented and offered to professionals and families associated with the Red Clay early childhood program.
    Governor’s World Language Immersion Program Evaluation
    Shameeka M. Jelenewicz, University of Delaware – Delaware Education Research & Development Center (DERDC)
    Approved:      May 2016
    Timeline:        May 2016 – September 2016
    School:           W. C. Lewis Elementary
    The Delaware Education, Research & Development Center (DERDC) has been asked by the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) to conduct an evaluation of the World Language Immersion program.  The evaluation will provide decision-makers with information about the effectiveness of the program with respect to student achievement outcomes.

    RELATED: DDOE’s World Language Immersion Programs
    Understanding Mathematical Proofs in Secondary Geometry Study
    Michelle Cirillo, Department of Mathematical Sciences, University of Delaware
    Approved:      April 2016
    Timeline:        2015-2016 School Year through 2018-2019 School Year
    The Proof in Secondary Classrooms (PISC) project focuses on secondary students’ success with mathematical proof in geometry – an area of school mathematics that has been documented in the research literature as difficult to teachers to teach and students to learn.  This project is well-aligned with the Common Core Standards for School Mathematics and will support teachers’ and students’ learning through research-based professional development and lesson plans and activities.
    The Infant Caregiver Project at University of Delaware
    Mary Dozier, University of Delaware – Department of Psychology
    Approved:      April 2016
    Timeline:        Through the 2018-2019 School Year
    School:           Red Clay Elementary
    The focus of this study is to follow children from a randomized clinical trial begun in children’s infancy into middle childhood.  We will assess whether parenting during early or middle childhood best predicts outcomes for children during middle childhood, accounting for across-time stability in both child and parent behaviors. A low-risk comparison group is included.
    Implementation of DPAS-II Best Practices
    Katrina Morrison, Research For Action
    Approved:      March 2016
    Timeline:        February – June 2016
    School:           Conrad Schools of Science
    The purpose of this research study is to learn more about best practices around DPAS-II implementation across the state by conducting interviews and focus groups.  The three focus areas of the study are: 1) Communication about DPAS-II goals: How best practice school leaders frame the goals of DPAS-II; 2) High-quality feedback: How best practice school teachers and specialists define specific, relevant feedback; 3) Goal setting: How best practice school evaluators, teachers, and specialists value and use the goal setting process.
    Secondary Teachers’ Perceptions of Delaware Bullying Intervention Programs
    Tracy Jones, Nova Southeastern University
    Approved:      April 2016
    Timeline:        April 2016– June 2017
    Secondary Schools 
    The purpose of this study is to measure the attitudes of teachers about bullying within the state of Delaware.  The intent is to obtain knowledge and awareness to help staff protect and provide helpful resources for children, parents, and educators regarding how to address and prevent instances of bullying.
    YMCA Study 
    Iva Obrusnikova, University of Delaware
    Approved:     February 2016
    Timeline:       February – Summer 2016
    School:         Meadowood
    The aid of the research study is to assess the effectiveness of the System of Least Prompts procedure combined with Video Prompting on the acquisition of two muscle-strengthening exercises of young adults with intellectual disabilities (ID).  Muscle-strengthening exercises were selected because individuals with ID rarely participate in those exercise due to the complexity of the exercise tasks.  As much, it was hypothesized that the participants while provided with video prompts would independently perform all steps of the two muscle-strengthening exercises and be able to generalize the acquired steps when participating in a community-based program.
    CFF Community Schools Program
    Audrey J. Noble, Children and Families First (CFF)
    Approved:      February 2016
    Timeline:        2015-16 through 2019-20
    Schools:         Shortlidge and Warner
    Children & Families First leads the Red Clay Community Schools Program.  It works extensively with key community stakeholders to enhance and expand services provided through the Red Clay Community Schools program, in order to provide a coordinated and integrated set of comprehensive academic, social and health services that respond to the needs of students’ family members, and community members.  This research monitors the desired outcomes for the project, including: improved academic performance; higher attendance rates; positive school environments; and greater parental involvement.
    Case Study of the Red Clay Comprehensive Induction Program
    Anne Matthews and Brenda Higgins, George Washington University
    Approved:      February 2016
    Timeline:        February –May 2016 
    The goal of the project is to identify best practices for new teacher induction. This information will be shared across the state in order to strengthen other existing programs. Data collection will occur through surveys, interviews, and the collection of artifacts from different induction program activities.

    FINDINGS: Delaware New Teacher Induction Evaluation
    Overview of Talent Practices Case Studies
    Claire Robertson-Kraft, Operation Public Education (OPE) at the University of Pennsylvania
    Shanna Ricketts at the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE)
    Approved: February 2016
    Timeline: February 2016
    The Talent Practices study will gather information on districts’ talent hiring, recruitment, selection, and retention practices.  The goal of the site visit is to gather best practices from three Delaware school districts in the following areas:  1) using a variety of recruitment systems, 2) implementing efficient application systems, 3) employing rigorous evaluation processes, 4) having an early hiring timeline, and 5) retaining high-performing teachers.  Site visits will consist of interviews with key district administrators, interviews with a few school principals, , and focus groups with recently hired teachers.
    Role of the Principal in the Era of School Choice
    Christopher Kohan, Liberty University
    Approved:  January 2016
    Timeline:  February – June 2016
    Schools:  High schools
    The purpose of this case study is to describe how traditional, magnet, and charter school principals respond to an environment of total school choice and how they make sense of their role as a principal in the era of school choice.  The research questions for this study will be: (1) Given an environment of total school choice, how do traditional, magnet, and charter school principals make sense of the competition generated by school choice options?  (2) How do traditional, magnet, and charter school principals view the competition of school choice impacting their responsibilities as school leaders?  and (3) How do traditional, magnet, and charter school principals view the competition of school choice impacting the long-tern operations of the school?  Data will be collected from a series of semi-structured interviews, observations, and artifacts.  The data will be coded and emergent themes will be explored to form meaning within the context of the data.
    Improving Students’ Writing Achievement Using PEGWriting Software
    Joshua Wilson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, School of Education
    Approved:  September 2015
    Timeline:  September – February 2015
    Schools:  Mote, Heritage, Cooke, Skyline
    This research study is to learn more about how to improve students’ writing performance through the use of an online writing software program called PEGWriting.  Students will be randomly assigned to one of four conditions by members of the research team: (1) revising by yourself, (2) revising with help from PEGWriting, (3) revising with help from a peer, and (4) revising with help from a peer and from PEGWriting.  Then students will be asked to complete a series of writing activities.  The researcher hopes to better understand whether PEGWriting helps students improve their writing and helps peers compose more helpful peer reviews.

    Evaluation of current Response to Intervention practices in secondary setting.
    Michelle Morton, Capella University
    Approved – September 2015
    Timeline – Fall 2015 – Winter 2016
    School(s) – McKean High School
    The goal of this research is to evaluate the current Response to Intervention practices in the secondary setting.  The process will be a formative evaluation of the problem solving cycle as implemented at Thomas McKean High School.  Collection and Analysis of data will be both qualitative and quantitative to assess student growth.
    Teacher Perception and Usage of Evaluation Metrics
    Lindsay Brown, student Stanford University
    Timeline: September  – December 2015
    Schools: A. I. duPont, H. B. duPont, Skyline, and Stanton Middle Schools
    The researcher will interview Math and ELA middle school teachers to get more complete understanding of the DPAS process and how teachers use the DPAS feedback in their teaching.
    Children’s Thinking about Resource Allocation
    Amanda Jennings
    Timeline: September 2015 – June 2016
    Schools: Brandywine Springs
    The purpose of this study is to investigate how children think about economics.  The researcher will observe children’s interactions with each other to develop a theory that explains how children think about resource allocation.  Ultimately the hope is this study helps design instruction to increase economic literacy.

    FINDINGS: Dissertation Excerpt - Exploring the Autonomous Economic World of Children

    The Effect of Self-Determination and Learning Style Strategies on Student Learning
    Shawn Danyelle Wright, student, Wilmington University
    Approved – June 2015
    Timeline – July 2015
    School(s) – Summer School Driver's Education
    The goal of the research is to study (1) the effect of self-determination on student learning, and (2) whether learning styles strategies affect student learning.The project instrumentation consists of three measures. There will be a Drivers' Education Content pre-assessment and post-assessment administered by the classroom teacher. Students will take a Learning Styles Survey and Inventory and an Intrinsic Motivation Inventory which will be provided by the primary investigator but administered by the classroom teacher.
    Use of Assistive Technology in Elementary Schools
    Christina Schneider, graduate student, University of Delaware
    Approved – April 2015
    Timeline – April-May 2015
    School(s) – Richardson Park Elementary, Richardson Park Learning Center
    This study will explore the use of assistive technology in elementary schools. Data will be collected through an online survey of staff members at Richardson Park Elementary and Richardson Park Learning Center. Information on staff members' knowledge of assistive technology and when and how it is used will be incorporated in a summary intended only for the researcher's personal knowledge.
    The Influence of Penalties, Rewards and Reminders in Increasing Perspective Memory
    Patricia Dallas, doctoral student, Fielding Graduate University
    Approved – April 2015
    Timeline – March – May 2015
    School(s) – Richardson Park Elementary
    This study will explore the influence of penalties, rewards, and reminders in improving prospective memory in elementary school age children. Five and nine year old students from Richardson Park Elementary School will play a 20 minute computer game in which a memory task is incorporated and receive either a reward, penalty or reminder to complete the task. Data will be collected and incorporated with other university students' data. An analysis will determine which, if any, of the three factors increased the frequency with which students remember to perform tasks that rely on prospective memory. 
    Parent Engagement in Schools with Varying Demographic Populations
    S. Elizabeth Lockman, graduate student, University of Delaware
    Approved – April 2015
    Timeline – April-May 2015
    This study will explore parent engagement in schools of varying demographic populations. Three schools – Heritage, North Star, and Shortlidge will take part in this project designed to find out about school climate and factors that lead to a healthy and thriving school community. Data will be collected by informational interviews with school and parent leaders, comparisons of PTA records and climate survey data, and a review of school demographic and performance profiles. Recommendations will be made to help level the community support playing field to enable schools of all demographic abilities to thrive. 

    Student and Teacher Perceptions of Inclusion
    Shaun Orr, doctoral student, Wilmington University
    Approved – March 2015
    Timeline – March-April 2015
    School(s) – McKean

    This study will explore student and teacher perspectives regarding inclusive education. Students at McKean High School will be given a survey to determine their perceptions of inclusive schools and their opinion about the importance of curricular, instructional, physical and/or peer supports. Teachers will complete an online questionnaire to assess their perception of inclusive education. Both student and teacher data will be analyzed to provide research-supported recommendations students believe would contribute to their academic achievement in an inclusive classroom and what professional development would benefit teachers in an inclusive setting.

    The Relationship between Learning to Swim and Academic and Developmental Skills
    Dan Baum, Redwoods Group Foundation
    Approved – March 2015
    Timeline – March-May 2015
    School(s) – Warner, Richardson Park Elementary 

    The goal of this research study is to assess the academic and/or developmental benefits for children who learn to swim. Third grade students in the Water Wise program at Warner and Richardson Park Elementary Schools will be given a pre and post online assessment that focuses on health and well- being. The assessment taken by teachers, in addition to questions about health and well-being, covers teachers' perceptions of academic performance and character traits. Information on each student's swimming skill level will be collected from the YMCA . The study hopes to have a control class complete the assessments during the same time period.

    Postsecondary Data Use in Informing Decision-making, Accountability and Intervention
    Kristin Hallgren, Mathematica Policy Research, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

    Approved – March 2015
    Timeline – March-April 2015
    School(s) – High Schools (3- TBD) 

    The aim of this study, on behalf of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is to understand how states, districts, and schools are using the National Student Clearinghouse (NSC) StudentTracker for High Schools (STHS) and other postsecondary data to inform decision-making, accountability, and intervention. Data will be collected from an interview with a staff member from the Office of Research, Evaluation and Professional Learning and virtual focus groups including principals and guidance counselors from up to three Red Clay high schools. A report will focus on how postsecondary data is used by states, districts, and schools, common practices that have emerged, and supports that are needed to more effectively use NSC STHS and postsecondary data.

    Findings: Mathematica Policy Research

    Student Perceptions of Teaching Quality
    Carol Vukelich, Delaware Center for Teacher Education, University of Delaware
    Approved – February 2015
    Timeline – March-April 2015
    School(s) – elementary classrooms with University of Delaware student teachers

    This project is designed to capture K-5 students' perceptions of the quality of University of Delaware student teachers' teaching. Student teachers in grades K-5, along with a student teacher or graduate assistant from the Delaware Center for Teacher Education will administer a paper survey to K-5 students who have parental consent. Data will be analyzed and used to compare students' perceptions with perceptions of cooperating teachers and university supervisors. It will also help the Early Childhood Education (ECE) and Elementary Teacher Education (ETE) understand more about what student teachers need to do to support student learning.

    Identification of Ecological Factors Affecting Hispanic ELL Students' Academic Success
    Aaron Selekman, doctoral student, Drexel University
    Approved – January, 2015
    Timeline – September 2014 – March 2015
    School(s) – Baltz

    The impact of gender and ecological factors on the reading and math achievement of ELL third, fourth, and fifth graders of Hispanic origin will be evaluated in this research study. Students at Baltz Elementary will be given the Elementary School Success profile online, their teachers will complete a section for each student, and parents will complete an online or hard copy version. Data will be analyzed to identify ecological factors that best support academic success for ELL students of Hispanic origin.

    Common Core Implementation Strategies and Student Achievement
    Antoniya Owens, Center for Education Policy Research, Harvard University
    Approved – January 2015
    Timeline – February – fall 2015
    School(s) – Brandywine Springs, Cab Calloway, Conrad, H.B. Middle, Marbrook, Richardson Park, Stanton

    This research study examines the connection between Common Core implementation strategies and student achievement. It is designed to find best practices in Common Core implementation by analyzing data from principals and teachers in four states and one school district and identifying promising strategies and approaches that educators can use to help students meet the new standards. Teachers and principals at Brandywine Springs, Cab Calloway, Conrad, H.B. Middle, Marbrook, Richardson Park and Stanton will be given surveys either online or on paper during the month of February while student data will be collected from the state. A report will examine all implementation strategies and their association with student learning.

    Utilization of Food Programs Among High School Students
    May Oboryshko, doctoral student, Wilmington University
    Approved – December 2014
    Timeline – December 2014-May 2015
    School(s) – Dickinson 

    This exploratory project will study high school student participation in the summer food program and explore the reasons why students do or do not participate. Students in one classroom at Dickinson High School will be given a written survey, one form used for students who took part in the summer program and a different form for those who did not. After a data analysis is completed in the spring of 2015, a report will be sent to Red Clay.


    Findings: Utilization of Food Programs Among High School Students

    Delaware Stars for Early Success Evaluation
    Approved – December 2014
    Timeline – Fall 2014 – June 2015
    School(s) – Baltz, Warner, Meadwood, Mote

    This study will provide the Delaware Office of Early Learning (OEL) with information about the extent to which rating tiers reflect relevant differences in the quality of home and center-based care providers. It will also help identify priorities for improving early care and education quality. The ultimate goal is to improve the developmental outcomes of young children who participate in ECE programs. Preschool students at Baltz, Warner, Meadowood, and Marbrook who have parental consent will be given assessments in either English or Spanish. Data will also be collected from classroom observations and director interviews and published in a report.

    The School Nutrition and Meal Cost Study
    Maria Boyle, Abt Associates
    Approved – November 2014
    Timeline – 2015
    School(s) – Baltz, A. I. High, McKean, Skyline

    Funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food and Nutrition Service, this research study will provide information about nutrition and meal cost after the implementation of the Healthy, Hunger Free Kids Act. The study will examine student participation in the school meal program, the food and nutrient content of school food, meal cost, and student satisfaction with foods provided. Data will be collected during a prearranged week through web surveys for selected administrators, cafeteria and plate waste observations, interviews, and foods checklists. The USDA will release a final report in 2017.

    Adolescent Depression Awareness Program Evaluation
    Holly Wilcox, PhD, Johns Hopkins University
    Approved – October, 2014
    Timeline – September 2014 – June 2015
    School(s) – McKean, Conrad, A.I. High, Dickinson, Cab Calloway

    This project focuses on evaluating the effectiveness of the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program in the early recognition and treatment of depression. Health teachers at McKean, Conrad, A.I. High, Dickinson, and Cab Calloway attended a one-day training session and will teach the curriculum over two or three class periods. A pre, post, and follow-up survey will be administered and student visits to mental health staff recorded pre and post the awareness intervention by school counselors. The outcome targets include greater depression literacy and treatment during the year of the intervention.

    Level of Caring Difference between Regular and Special Education Teachers
    Dr. Donna M. Sayman, Wichita State University
    Approved – October, 2014
    Timeline – Fall 2014
    School(s) – all

    The goal of this national study is to determine the difference in the level of caring between special education (male and female) teachers and those in regular education. In addition, the study will seek to determine if a level of caring can be nurtured and taught to prospective teachers. An online survey will be given to consenting teachers in all Red Clay schools. Data will be analyzed and information about the perception of caring in both groups published by August 2015.

    FINDINGS: A Different Level of Caring: Navigating the Intersections of Perception of Care in Teaching

    Evaluation of Developing Strategic Writers Initiative
    Joshua Wilson, Ph.D., University of Delaware
    Approved – October 2014
    Timeline – October 2014-May 2015
    School(s) – all elementary schools

    The effectiveness of a district-wide elementary PD writing initiative, "Developing Strategic Writers" will be evaluated in this study. The initiative focuses on increasing teacher use of evidence-based writing instruction and will be presented to building representatives at Writing Council meetings, who will then present it to their building staff. Data collection will include a teacher pre and post survey, principal walkthroughs, direct classroom observations, and student writing samples. Increases in teacher knowledge, teachers' use of evidence-based instruction, and student writing achievement will be documented.

    Article: The Algorithm of Writing

    Findings: Universal Screening with Automated Essay Scoring

    Community in Schools (CIS) Program Effectiveness Evaluation
    James Purcell, Communities in Schools of Delaware
    Approval – October 10, 2014
    Timeline – October 2014-November 2015
    School(s) – Dickinson, McKean, AI High

    This internal evaluation examines the effectiveness of the Communities in Schools program in reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates. Community in Schools is evaluated periodically based on the length of the grant funding the program. Historical data will be used as a baseline in conjunction with current data to compare the progress of CIS-affiliated students to non-CIS affiliated students.

    Findings: Community in Schools 2014-15 Results

    The Effect of Campus Visits on Student Attitude and Knowledge about College
    Dr. Hannah Kim, P. I., University of Delaware
    Approved – September 2014
    Timeline – a two year study beginning Fall 2014
    School(s) – Conrad, McKean

    This two-year study will evaluate how campus visits, including presentations and class participation, affects student attitude and knowledge about college, applying to college, and teacher education. Select 9th and 10th grade classes at McKean and Conrad Schools of Science will be given a pre-visit survey asking questions about their thoughts concerning a college education, the admission process, and becoming a teacher. At the end of the campus visit they will complete a post-visit survey measuring their knowledge about college admissions, financial aid, and teacher education. A written report will be shared with the district after the completion of the study.

    Findings: The Impact of College Visitations on Adolescents’ Thoughts about College Admissions and Teacher Education

    Delaware K-12 Mathematics Partnership Project Effectiveness Study
    Delaware Mathematics Coalition and University of Delaware (conducted by Horizon Research, Inc.)
    Approved – September 2014
    Timeline – September 2014 – Spring 2015

    This study will measure the effectiveness of the Delaware K-12 Mathematics Partnership Project. Research questions include: What is the quality of the teacher professional development and its implementation? What is the quality of project activities designed to further leadership capacity and administrative support for improving mathematics classroom practice? What are impacts of the program on teachers’ mathematical knowledge for teaching? In what ways do teachers change their instructional practice after participating in the program? How is student achievement related to the project’s work with teachers and administrators?

    Findings: Delaware K-12 Mathematics Partnership Project

    Mandated Assessments and Instructional Planning in Fourth Grade Social Studies
    Rebecca Reed, doctoral candidate, University of Northern Colorado
    Approved – September 2014
    Timeline – Fall 2014
    School(s) – Brandywine Springs, Marbrook, Baltz, and Heritage

    This qualitative case study will seek to identify and describe the instructional planning and implementation strategies of 4th grade social studies teachers who surpass the goals set for them. Data will be obtained from individual interviews, classroom observations, and field and researcher notes from a total of four teachers at Brandywine Springs, Marbrook, Baltz, and Heritage. Participants will gain insight on their individual instructional practices and help other educators create effective social studies instructional plans.

    Findings: Opportunity Costs of Mandated Assessments

    The Relationship between Integration and Derivatives
    Siobahn Young, doctoral candidate, University of Delaware
    Approved – September 2014
    Timeline – September 2014-November 2014
    School(s) – Dickinson

    This will analyze how students learn about derivatives, and if learning about integration has an influence on students' understanding of derivatives. Six AP calculus students at Dickinson High School will participate in two task-based, video recorded interviews, one before and one after learning about integration. In addition, four class lectures on integration will be observed by the researcher. Findings from this study will provide information about the relationship between knowledge of integration and understanding of derivatives.

    Findings Abstract: Investigating Backward Transfer Effects in High School AP Calculus Students' Knowledge of Derivatives

    Investigation of Exponential Function Learning in Beginning Algebra Students
    Dr. Charles Hohensee, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware, School of Education
    Approved – July 2014
    Timeline – July-August 2014
    School(s) – Dickinson

    This mathematics education study investigates how beginning algebra students learn about exponential functions and examines how instruction on quadratic functions influences students' prior learning about linear functions. Selected incoming 9th grade students from Dickinson High School will participate in one-on-one interviews both before and after completing an instructional unit that focuses on exponential functions. The goal of this study is to find out how to better instruct beginning algebra students about exponential functions.

    Comparison of Students without Disabilities in Inclusion and Non-inclusion Classes
    Shaun Orr, graduate student, Educational Leadership, Wilmington University
    Approved – April 2014
    Timeline – June 1014 – June 2015
    Schools (s) – McKean

    The goal of this research study is to compare academic and behavioral performance and attitudes of students without disabilities in inclusion verses non-inclusion classes. Data will be collected from student report cards, referral action profiles and a student survey.

    The Effect of Active Videogame Use in ASD Students
    Daphne Golden, doctoral candidate, Biomechanics and Movement Science, University of Delaware
    Approved – March 2014
    Timeline – March 2014 - June 2014
    School(s) – Richardson Park Learning Center

    This research study compares the intensity levels of active video-gaming, brisk walking and sedentary video-gaming to see if active video-gaming can be used as an alternative exercise for children with autism spectrum disorder. Qualifying students will be given a computerized test of executive function, both active and sedentary video games and brisk walking sessions. Evaluation will include an enjoyment scale, parent/guardian social responsiveness questionnaire, and student movement assessment battery. Results will be analyzed and information used in developing curriculums, treatments, and recommendations for improving activity levels and cognitive function of children with autism spectrum disorder.

    Grade-level and ESL Teacher Collaboration Study 
    Ching-yi Yeh, doctoral candidate, Department of Education, University of Delaware
    Approved – March 2014
    Timeline – April-May 2014
    School(s) - Mote, Baltz, Marbrook, Lewis, Linden Hill Elementary

    Data collected from an online survey distributed to elementary grade-level teachers who work with ESL students will be analyzed to determine the perspectives of grade-level teachers regarding different forms of collaboration with ESL teachers. Results from an analysis of the study will be used to determine factors that lead to effective collaboration between grade-level and ESL teachers.

    Findings: Grade-level and ESL Teacher Collaboration Study

    Early Childhood Coteaching Model Evaluation
    Jennifer Gallo-Fox, Assistant Professor, University of Delaware

    Approved – February 2014
    Timeline – January 2014 – May 2014
    School(s) – Warner


    This research project is designed to study the use of coteaching as a student teaching model. Four teachers and student teachers from pre-K, kindergarten, and first grade at Warner Elementary School will participate in the project. Each week, cooperating and student teachers will record a planned meeting, cotaught lesson, and debriefing session. Discussions and interviews will be conducted by Jennifer Gallo-Fox from the University of Delaware and data will be analyzed to see how coteaching is being interpreted within the classroom. Results will be used to improve student teaching programs and professional development of cooperating teachers and shared with cooperating teachers, presented at conferences, and published in educational journals.

    Preliminary Findings: Learning through coteaching in early childhood clinical field experiences

    How Communities Shape Children's Health
    Matthew Deihl, NORC, University of Chicago
    Approved – February 2014
    Timeline – five year study (4 months involving Red Clay schools)
    School(s) – two elementary ant two middle chosen from: A. I. Middle, H. B. Middle, Brandywine Springs, Marbrook, Highlands, Lewis, Baltz, and North Star

    A five year study sponsored by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, and National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute and conducted by researchers from NORC, a non-profit affiliated with the University of Chicago, and Battelle, an R & D non-profit, will look at how different programs and policies within U.S. communities are related to children's eating, physical activities, and health. Over 200 communities across the country will participate, including two middle schools and two elementary schools from Red Clay. Researchers conducting this national study will explore what works at the community level by looking within schools at the school lunch service and physical education activities, conducting principal and physical education teacher interviews, and administering an online survey to the district food service manager and school liaison. Sampled students and parents will also be interviewed.

    FINDINGS: Healthy Communities Study

    Numbers Bee Usage Study
    Sakthi A. Vel, Ph. D., Numbers
    Approved – January 2014
    Timeline – completion by fall 2014
    School(s) – elementary and middle

    This research proposal evaluates the efficacy of the HealthCorps program and curriculum dealing with childhood obesity. Objectives include increasing the awareness of healthful food choices, physical activity, and mental resilience. A survey, given to both students who receive lessons and a control group, will be used to measure changes in student health behaviors. Survey data will be analyzed and a report drafted and distributed to Red Clay.

    Supervisors Perspectives of Curriculum Councils
    Rebecca Reed, University of Northern Colorado

    Approved – January 2014
    Timeline – March-May 2014

    With the introduction of standards-based education, the work to insure alignment of curriculum, instruction and assessment is often left to states, districts and individual schools. This monumental task is not one that should be completed in isolation by one person, but instead should be developed through the collaboration of all stakeholders. Curriculum councils or committees are often formed at the state and local levels to describe content and to provide sequencing and planning documents. The purpose of this study is to provide a vehicle for curriculum supervisors to reflect and construct meaning of the purpose and effectiveness of curriculum councils.

    Findings: Summary of Findings Supervisors Perspectives of Curriculum Councils

    Health Corps Program Evaluation
    Shawn Hayes, HealthCorps
    Approved – December 2013
    Timeline – Spring 2014
    School(s) – McKean

    This research proposal evaluates the efficacy of the HealthCorps program and curriculum dealing with childhood obesity. Objectives include increasing the awareness of healthful food choices, physical activity, and mental resilience. A survey, given to both students who receive lessons and a control group, will be used to measure changes in student health behaviors. Survey data will be analyzed and a report drafted and distributed to Red Clay.  

    Climate Science Education Implementation
    Nicole Shea, University of Delaware

    Approved – September 2013
    Timeline – 2013-2014
    School (s) – H. B. du Pont


    This project investigates the implementation of climate science education by two teachers (one in Red Clay) who completed a weeklong professional development session on climate science and deigned an instructional unit. Classroom observations, teacher interviews, student surveys, and teacher and student generated artifacts will provide the data necessary for documenting student learning outcomes and attitudes towards climate science.

    Influence of Musical Participation Outside of School
    Meghan Scully, graduate student, University of Delaware
    Approved – October 2013
    Timeline – October 2013 - May 2014
    School(s) Dickinson

    High school students' experience with music outside of school and its relationship to musical participation after graduation is examined in this study. A student survey, given in October, was used for data collection. Data will be presented in a thesis in May, 2014.

    FINDINGS: Thesis Abstract

    Longitudinal Fractions Project
    Dr. Nancy Jordan, University of Delaware, School of Education
    Approved – July 2013
    Timeline – 2013-2014 school year
    Schools – middle schools

    This longitudinal study examining the processes and skills that predict students' success and difficulties with fractions includes Red Clay sixth graders who have previously been participants in the study since third grade. Performance and growth on mathematics outcomes will be measured three times during the year with both written and computer activities, reading fluency measures, and fraction computation tasks. A teacher survey on each student and DCAS scores will also be used for evaluation. Aggregate data will be published in research journals.

    Findings: UD Fractions Longitudinal Study SummaryArticle: General and math-specific predictors of sixth-graders' knowledge of fractions

    Girls on the Run Program Effects
    Heather Johnson, Wilmington University doctoral student
    Approved – September 2013
    Timeline – September 2013-May 2014
    School(s) – Highlands, Warner, Richardson Park, Marbrook, Lewis

    The relationship between physical activity from the Girls on the Run program and academics, behaviors, and attendance of low SES students in grades 3-5 in Delaware is evaluated in this study. DCAS scores, attendance records, office referrals, and a student self-esteem survey will be used. Ex post facto data from 2012 and 2013 will be compared to data collected after participation to determine if a relationship exists. Results will be written in a dissertation for Wilmington University and provided to Red Clay and other participating districts.

    Findings: Running For Success: The Benefits of Participating in the Girls on the Run Program

    Predictive Strength of the DIBELS Next Oral Reading Fluency Subtest
    Jaclyn Purcell, Doctoral Candidate
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    Approved – December 2012
    Timeline – completed by December 2013
    School (s) – elementary schools

    This study examines the strength of the DIBELS Next Oral Reading Fluency Assessment on the Wechsler Individual Achievement Test, Third Edition (WIAT –III) Oral Reading Fluency and Reading Comprehension subtests. The Reading Fluency and Comprehension composite is also examined during this study. School psychologists in Red Clay elementary schools will collect sanitized data by March 2013 and submit it for analysis. Results will be published in a dissertation.

    The Effect of Instructional Technology on Math Learning Environments
    Alonzo E. Delaine, Jr. Doctoral Candidate
    University of Phoenix
    Approved – December 2012
    Timeline – completed by June 2013
    School (s) – TBD

    This study will analyze math teachers' use of instructional technology to create a student-centered, instructional technology enriched learning environment that affects student learning, participation, and classroom discussion. Data collection will be collected through interviews, observations, and examinations of artifacts. Student and teacher attitudes towards technology, pedagogy, and content will be examined to improve learning and instruction.

    eMINTS Evaluation
    Dr. Monical M. Beglau
    eMINTS National Center, University of Missouri
    Approved – December 2012
    Timeline – data collected Fall 2010 - summer 2012
    School (s) – Red Clay High Schools

    This study will analyze the effects of eMINTS professional development implementation program in Delaware classrooms. The study will report on analyses of student performance on the math and ELA DCAS test. Findings will include pre and post technology literacy teacher surveys and the results of electronic portfolios. Additionally, student data will be analyzed and connected to teacher data. A report will be provided to the Delaware State Department of Education.

    FINDINGS: eMINTS Delaware Report

    Dropout Prevention Analysis
    Shawn Addison, Doctoral Candidate
    Wilmington University
    Approved – December 2012
    Timeline – data collected by end of March 2013
    School (s) – Red Clay High Schools

    This study analyses the effectiveness of the Red Clay High School Dropout Prevention program. Data will be collected in areas where software was implemented, including the traditional school day and summer school. In addition, interviews will be conducted with students that attend both the Twilight and LACC programs.





    Data Driven Decision Making at the District Level 
    Elizabeth N. Farley, Doctoral Candidate 
    Graduate School of Education, University of Pennsylvania 
    Approved - 11/06 
    Timeline - 2006-2008 
    School(s) - District Office


    The purpose of the study is to understand decision-making processes at the district level and identify types of evidence that district level administrators use to make decisions related to accountability, curriculum, and instruction. 

    The researcher seeks to uncover: 1) the various types of evidence used, 2) the reasons for selecting these forms of evidence, and 3) the ways in which these pieces of evidence are used.  The purpose of this study is not to evaluate or judge the quality of decisions, decision-makers, or districts, but rather to understand how decisions are made at this level so that this knowledge can inform public policy and allow organizations to better support school districts.

    Full Day Kindergarten
    Debbie Amsden, Project Leader
    Center for Disabilities Studies, University of Delaware


    Approved - 11/06 
    Timeline - 2006-2007 
    School(s) - Warner, Lewis, Baltz


    The Delaware Department of Education has funded an evaluation to examine full-day kindergarten during the 2006-2007 school year. Twenty full-day kindergarten classrooms were randomly selected from throughout the state. Three classrooms in Red Clay have been selected in this kindergarten evaluation.  The purpose of the evaluation is to gather information to inform planning for future professional development activities to be implemented to support the state's transition to full-day kindergarten instruction. 

    This evaluation has been designed to: 1) assess the curriculum content in a sample of the full-day kindergarten classrooms, 2) assess the implementation of "effective practices" in the full-day kindergarten classrooms and 3) assess the outcomes of full-day kindergarten instruction on students' ability to develop math skills, writing skills, and general knowledge. The study will target the use of differentiated instruction, content-specific “best practices”, accommodations for those who speak English as a second language, and assessments.

    FINDINGS: Delaware Full-Day Kindergarten Evaluation and Comparison of Second Grade Students Who Attended Full-Day and Part-Day Kindergarten

    Relationship between school climate and student behavior
    Jane Case, Masters Candidate 
    School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, University of Delaware


    Approved - 11/06 
    Timeline - 2006-2007 
    School(s) - Stanton


    This study examines the relationship between school climate and student behavior in schools that have been previously identified as part of the Positive Behavioral Supports (PBS) project offered by the Delaware Department of Education in collaboration with the University of Delaware’s Center for Disabilities Studies. Dr. George Bear, an affiliate of the Department of Education and the University of Delaware, developed a school climate survey that was administered in PBS schools during the 2005-2006 academic year. Data collected through this survey will be analyzed along with previously collected from the Delaware School Survey or the Alcohol Tobacco and Other Drugs Survey.  The findings have the potential to inform key stakeholders in data driven decision-making around school safety policy. 

    Findings: An Exploratory Study of School Climate and Student Behavior in Thirteen Delaware Public Elementary Schools

    Middle School Professional Development Model
    Deborah M.Fetzer, Doctoral Candidate 
    Education Leadership, University of Delaware


    Approved - 01/07 
    Timeline - 2002-2006
    School(s) - All Middle Schools


    This study will address the characteristics of effective professional development and includes analysis of middle school DSTP scores in Reading.  The study examines current practices of professional development in Red Clay.  A synthesis of data and information collected in this study will contribute to the design of a middle school model of professional development unique to the needs of Red Clay middle schools.

    Effectiveness of Literature Circles for English Language Learners (ELL)
    Barbara Prillaman , Doctoral Candidate 
    Education Leadership, University of Delaware

    This study examines best practice related to the use of Literature Circles in ELL classrooms.  Data will be collected through interviews and a survey. This study also uses data from students reading logs that contain student notes about the books they are reading.   Findings should inform a determination of ELL students motivation to read in English increases. 

    Effectiveness of Dual Language Programs 
    Julie Corbett, Masters Candidate
    School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, University of Delaware


    Approved - 01/07 
    Timeline - January 07 - May 07 
    School(s) - Lewis

    This study is based on the review of Theoretical Research on the Effectiveness of Dual Language Programs. Data collection will include observation of general classroom behavior to determine the effectiveness of instructional techniques and how students function in a dual language environment.  Interviews will be conducted with administrators and teachers.  Students will not be interviewed and no student specific data will be collected.  

    Findings: Lewis Dual Language

    Impact of Attendance and Other Variables That Affect Student Achievement in Secondary Schools in a Delaware School Districts 
    Mervin B. Daugherty, Doctoral Candidate 
    Education Leadership, WIlmington College


    Approved - 02/07 
    Timeline - 2004-2006 
    School(s) - All Middle and High Schools


    This cross-sectional study examines student achievement as evidenced by DSTP Mathematics and Reading scores in relation to independent variables among students in grades eight and ten.  The independent variables examined in the study include: attendance rates, Special Education status, English Language Learners status, Socio-economic status, gender and race.  No student specific data or ID's will be collected.

    Effects of Electronic Concept Mapping Tools 
    Dr. Karchmer-Klein, Professor 
    University of Delaware


    Approved - 02/07 
    Timeline - 2006/2007
    School(s) - Heritage


    This study examines the effects of electronic concept mapping tools on fifth grade students' writing. This study is limited to Heritage Elementary School.  Data analysis included in this study is limited to 2006 and 2007 DSTP scores for current 5th grade students at Heritage Elementary.  Parents will be required to sign a consent letter prior to having their child included in this study.  The study will begin after the March 2007 DSTP administration has been completed.  The study will finished by June 1, 2007. 

    Findings: The Effects of Electronic Concept Mapping Software on Fifth Grade Students' Writing

    Effects of using the Accelerated Math Program vs. the Effects of Using the Delaware Procedural Fluency Workbooks
    Mary Theresa Caputo, Doctoral Candidate
    Education Leadership, Wilmington College


    Approved - 02/07 
    Timeline - 2006/2007  
    School(s) - Stanton


    This study compares the effects of using the Accelerated Math Program by Renaissance Learning Company to the effects of using the Delaware Procedural Fluency Workbooks by Mobius Education Group.  The study uses data from students at Stanton Middle School.  This is a quantitative study and will not require interviews.

    Findings: Accelerated math vs. DE Procedural Fluency

    Determining concerns and expectations of Kindergarten Parents as Their Children Transition to First Grade
    Julia Wozniak, Masters Candidate 
    Wilmington College


    Approved - 05/07
    Timeline - 2006/2007
    School(s) - Heritage


    This study gathers information from parent focus groups of current kindergarten students at Heritage Elementary School to determine parent concerns regarding the transition to First grade. Data collected from parent groups will be used to create a power point presentation and resource manual for future Kindergarten parents. Actual parent and student names will not be used during the study.







    Delaware Schools - Expectations and Accountability 
    Glen Silverstein, Doctorial Candidate
    Public Administration and Urban Affairs, University of Delaware 


    Approved - 07/07
    Timeline - 2007/2008
    School(s) - Elementary Schools


    The underlying goal of this research project is to begin to understand the leadership perceptions and interpretations, leadership decisions, organizational decision-making and organizational responses that occurred in Delaware’s pubic elementary schools in response to the mandates imposed upon them by the federal No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB) and the Delaware Student Testing Program (DSTP). Studies, such as this one, that research the interpretations and reactions of public administration to performance mandates, are intended to help public institutions to improve their effectiveness and efficiency through the use of performance measurements.  Data collection includes interviews and surveys. 

    Findings: Delaware Elementary Schools and Accountability

    Secondary English Teaching and Learning Practices
    New English Teachers for Social Justice

    Deborah Bieler, Ph.D.
    College of Arts and Sciences, University of Delaware 


    Approved - 09/07
    Timeline - October 07 - December 07 
    School(s) - Cab, AIHS, McKean, Dickinson


    As a result of this pilot study, researchers will refine a questionnaire instrument for a future larger-scale survey on literacy instruction at the early high school level. The questionairre will examine the transition from middle school to high school academic expectations. Data collected will help researchers identify common experiences and beliefs among students, English faculty and administrators. Long term results will be used to determine how to better support 9th and 10th grade English teachers and students.

    FINDINGS: Patterns in Initial Teaching Assignments

    Achieving Equality in Mathematics Education (AEME): Professional Development Integrating Content, Pedagogy, and Technology
    Dr. Tonya Gau Bartell, Ph.D.
    Dr. Chrystalla Mouza, Ph.D.
    Education, University of Delaware

    Approved - 08/07 
    Timeline - 2007-2010 
    School(s) - AIHS, McKean, Dickinson, Conrad School of Science, AIMS, Stanton MS

    The objective of this program is to improve the academic achievement of all math students in grades 6 through 12 by means of effective teacher development. By the completion of the three year partnership with the University of Delaware, teachers will 1) demonstrate strong subject matter and pedagogical knowledge 2) implement lessons that are consistent with state and national mathematics standards 3) apply teaching methods that support learning by all students 4) integrate technology in ways that positively influence student learning and 5) continuously reflect on classroom practice. Teachers will be eligible for highly qualified teacher status. They will also be offered the option to enroll in UD’s Masters of Instruction graduate program free of cost.

    Related FINDINGS: Learning to Teach Mathematics for Social Justice 

    Teacher Supports in Elementary Schools
    Judith Christensen, Masters Candidate
    Educational Reading, University of Delaware


    Approved - 09/07
    Timeline - September 07 – December 07 
    School(s) - Mote


    This project will determine the effectiveness of school-wide reading programs at Mote Elementary. The underlying goal of the research is to provide professional support to educators teaching literacy so that expert instruction can be provided to struggling readers. Data will be collected through interviews with stakeholders, such as a principal, classroom teacher, intervention teacher and a paraprofessional.

    My Access! In Action: How One Classroom 
    Uses Automated Essay Scoring Technology
    To Support Instruction and Learning

    Charles MacArthur, Ph.D.
    Noreen Moore, Doctorial Candidate
    Literacy Education, University of Delaware


    Approved - 10/07
    Timeline - October 07 – June 08 
    School(s) - Forest Oak


    This study analyzes the application of Automated Essay Scoring (AES) systems as a support for instruction and student revision of writing. AES programs like My Access! are used as more than an assessment tool. They can be implemented to help students write, evaluate, and revise their work. Additionally, through retrospective think-aloud interviews with researchers, students will revisit their thought processes to understand their cognitive progression during writing. Data collected will derive from interviews with stakeholders, classroom observations and evaluations of student writing scores on My Access!

    Findings: My Access!

    The Food Environment and Body Mass Index Z-Score in Preadolescents: A Pilot Study 
    Joanna Holsten, Doctoral Candidate
    Public Health Studies and Nursing, University of Pennsylvania


    Approved - September 2007
    Timeline - August 2007-February 2008 
    School(s) - Skyline Middle


    This pilot study will examine the relationship between Body Mass Index Z-Score and the home, food store, school and restaurant food environments for 10 - 13 students at Skyline Middle School. The school environment is an important setting for the consumption of food choices for preadolescents. Price, promotion, preference, convenience, quality and availability play a significant role in student eating behaviors. By providing individual level data, a cross sectional study can be conducted to determine whether a full study should be conducted in the future.

    Findings: Pilot Study BMI and Food Environment

    Qualitative Assessment of Culture in Small, Stand-Alone, Secondary Magnet Schools
    John Schembari, Doctoral Candidate Educational Leadership Program, Seton Hall University


    Approved - 11/07
    Timeline - November 07-March 08 
    School(s) - Cab Calloway


    The purpose of this study is to investigate the outcomes associated with the positive school climate of small, stand-alone secondary magnet schools on the east coast. Data will be collected through qualitative face-to-face and focus group interviews with the principal and at least two teachers at Cab Calloway School of the Arts. The questions will address the variables of overall school climate, teacher to student relationships, student academic achievement, teacher performance and student absenteeism/drop-out rates. 

    Findings: Culture in Small, Secondary Magnet Schools

    What Makes Schools Work
    Practices and Policies for School Success

    John Cronin, Researcher
    Northwest Evaluation Association & Vanderbilt University

    Approved - 02/08
    Timeline - February 08- May 08 
    School(s) - Linden Hill

    The purpose of this study is to examine practices and policies that promote success in schools, classrooms, and students in reading and mathematics. In turn, the findings will help policy makers, educators, and researchers better understand the conditions under which schools have, or do not have, positive effects on achievement. Data will be collected through surveying principals and teachers to understand what they are doing to help students learn. Student achievement data will be collected from NWEA’s growth research database. What Makes Schools Work is a project of Vanderbilt University's National Center on School Choice, in association with the Northwest Evaluation Association and Mountain Measurement. The project is sponsored by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education.

    FINDINGS: What Makes Schools Work? Lessons from the National Center on School Choice

    Defining the Community Based Education Alliance: Outcomes, Values, Purposes, and Operating Models
    Nick Fina, Doctoral Candidate
    Graduate School of Education, University of Delaware


    Approved - 03/08
    Timeline - April 08- August 08 
    School(s) - Meadowood


    The purpose of the study is to measure the effectiveness of the Community Based Education Alliance (CBEA). CBEA is a campus-based community transition program for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

    The researcher will use a variety of data collection measures: 1) focus group interviews with principals, coordinators, University of Delaware staff, students, teachers, and other external stakeholders, 2) visits with comparable programs that have been deemed exemplary by experts, and 3) a survey of students, families, teachers, and administrators to asses opinions and recommendations about the findings from parts 1 and 2. A narrative report will then be provided to the CBEA Advisory Committee.

    Findings: Community Based Education Alliance

    Effect of Various Strategies on Vocabulary Development
    Deanna Bilecki, Teacher
    Graduate Studies, Wilmington University


    Approved - 06/08
    Timeline - June 08 - July 08
    School(s) - Warner


    The purpose of this action research is to determine the impact of various strategies on vocabulary development. Thirty minutes of daily instruction will be provided daily over a four week period in one summer school class. The reading strategies being used include repeated readings, definitions, direct meaningful systematic instruction, and semantic mapping.

    Findings: Vocabulary Strategies

    Relationship between Home Food Environment and BMI 
    Joanna Holsten, Doctoral Candidate
    Public Health Studies and Nursing, University of Pennsylvania


    Approved - October 2008
    Timeline - August 2008 - May 2009
    School(s) - Skyline Middle


    This study will examine the relationship between the home food environment and body mass index in middle school children. The evaluator will use multiple data collection methods including phone and home interviews focusing on family food purchases, child food intake, child physical activity, child sleeping habits, family demographics, and child weight and height measurements.  Skyline Middle School families will be offered the opportunity to participate in this research. The study is expected to last until May 2009.

    Findings: Middle School Children's Body Mass Index and the Home Food Environment

    Effect of Music on Reading Comprehension 
    Miss Sharma, Senior
    Charter School of Wilmington
    Approved - 10/08
    Timeline - October 08 -November 08
    School(s) - Marbrook
    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of high and low load instrumental music on reading comprehension. Students will complete a short reading comprehension test after listening to no music, music at 60 beats per minute and at 120 beats per minute. The study will last three weeks with fourth graders at Marbrook.

    The Effects of Experience as a Reader and of Observing Readers on Argumentative Writing 
    Noreen Moore, Doctorial Candidate
    Literacy Education, University of Delaware


    Approved - 10/08
    Timeline - October 08 -December 08
    School(s) - Forest Oak

    The purpose of this study is to examine the effects of two peer group activities on fifth grade students’ audience awareness and overall persuasive writing skills. One peer group, the reader response group, will categorize writing according to its persuasiveness. The other peer group will engage in observational learning as it observes discussion among reader groups. Preliminary research will be conducted at Heritage. The full study will be conducted at Forest Oak with fifth graders from October through December. 

    Findings:  Effects of Being a Reader and of Observing Readers on Argumentative Writing

    Factors that Influence Participation in High School Choice
    John Kennedy, Doctoral Candidate
    Wilmington University
    Approved - 10/08
    Timeline - November 08
    School(s) - A.I. High, Cab Calloway, Conrad, Dickinson, McKean

    The purpose of the study is to determine which factors are most influential to parents when they choose a high school. Additionally information will be collected on the importance of various sources of information about schools. The researcher will conduct a voluntary survey with parents who attend choice open houses in Red Clay during fall of 2008.

    FINDINGS: Factors Influencing School Choice in a School District in Delaware

    Action Research: Effects of Creating a Physical Map on Reading Comprehension
    Tracey Moore, Teacher
    University of Delaware


    Approved - 11/08
    Timeline - November 08 – December 08
    School(s) - Heritage


    The purpose of this action research is to determine the impact of a mapping activity on reading comprehension.  A small group of students will create and discuss a physical map of story events. The research will last for four sessions.

    Impact of Steel Drum Program on Student Success
    Dr. Suzanne Burton
    University of Delaware


    Approved - 12/08
    Timeline - December 08 – June 09
    School(s) - Central


    The purpose of the study is to determine if participation in a steel band improves academic achievement and success in school.  Students will receive two 45 minute lessons each week under the direction of Professor Harvey Price from the University of Delaware with Red Clay music teacher Sue Peo.  Approximately 30 students from Central will participate in the study.

    Findings: Steel Drum Program

    The Historical Literacy Project 
    Jennifer Bausmith, Ph.D. Center for Effective School Practices, Rutgers University

    Approved - 12/08 
    Timeline - December 08 – July 09 
    Schools – AIMS, HB Middle, AI High

    The Historical Literacy Project is designed to raise student achievement by improving teacher understanding of traditional U. S. history. The Center for Effective School Practices, Rutgers University, is the independent evaluator for the U.S. DOE Teaching American History Grant  which provides innovative models and cohesive professional development. 

    Four district teachers who are involved in the project will also participate in the research study by supplying their students’ pre and post test data. Their principals will participate in an interview and survey. The participants attend weekend workshops, summer institutes, and evening seminars on improving instruction and written curriculum in American History.

    FINDINGS: The Role of Literacy in Building the Economy

    Relationship between Teaching Techniques, Motivation and Science Achievement
    Yamil Sanchez, Doctoral Candidate
    Department of Education and Human Services, Lehigh University
    Approved – March 2009
    Timeline – April and May 2009
    Schools – AIHS, Dickinson, McKean, & Cab Calloway

    The primary goal of this study is to determine the relationship between the use of affective teaching techniques and student motivation to learn science. The project will include all interested 11th grade science teachers and students. Data will be collected through questionnaires and observations. Results will indicate what factors motivate students in the area of science and how motivation is influenced by modes of instruction.
    Findings: Teaching, Motivation, and Science Achievement
    Ethnic and Gender Differences in Body Images
    Dr. Jaehee Jung, Professor
    Department of Fashion & Apparel Studies, University of Delaware 
    Approved – March 2009
    Timeline – Fall 2010 
    Schools – A.I. Middle and Stanton

    This study will investigate differences in body dissatisfaction and symptoms of eating disorders among adolescent boys and girls in four ethnic groups.  Interested middle school students will complete a questionnaire dealing with body image.  Data will be integrated with middle schools from the mid-Atlantic states and the outcome will be used for the development of a proposal for a grant from the National Institute of Health.  Results will provide information on the influence of media, family, peers, and cultural ideals on body image and eating behaviors, and will influence the development of health programs for adolescent students.

    FINDINGS: Body Dissatisfaction and Characteristics of Disordered Eating among Black and White Early Adolescent Girls and Boys

    High School Longitudinal Study of 2009
    National Center for Educational Statistics, U.S. Department of Education 
    Approved – March 2009
    Timeline – Fall 2009
    School – Central

    This longitudinal study examines the impact of the high school experience on student learning and educational and career choices.  It will provide data about student status upon entering high school, throughout high school and beyond, and provide information about family structure, the educational process, the community, and individual variables affecting student choices and career decisions. This study will also focus on factors associated with choosing and persisting in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) courses and careers. Data will be collected from students, teachers, administrators, and parents through questionnaires and student assessment. It will provide information for researchers to test hypotheses about factors which influence student achievement, educational choices, and career decisions.

    Examining Kindergarten Readiness
    Deborah Amsden, Project Leader
    Center for Disabilities Studies, University of Delaware
    Approved – March 2009
    Timeline – April 2009- October 2009
    Schools – All elementary schools

    This study is designed to collect data about experiences children have prior to entering kindergarten.  A parent survey, Child Find assessment scores, and a Kindergarten Readiness checklist completed by teachers will be used for data collection.  Information obtained by this study will be used to analyze the experiences of children who enter school lacking the necessary readiness skills. Additionally, it will provide feedback to parents and the education system about activities and experiences that are necessary for a successful transition to kindergarten.

    Findings: Children Who Entered Public School Kindergarten in Delaware in the Fall of 2009

    Factors Influencing Children’s Reaction to School Bullying
    Dr. Julie Hubbard, Associate Professor
    Department of Psychology, University of Delaware
    Approved – March 2009
    Timeline – May 2009
    Schools – Marbrook, Richardson Park, Richey, Highlands

    This study will focus on characteristics that predict children’s likelihood of intervening when they witness bullying. Results will inform future school-based bullying intervention programs on how to help children respond more effectively when they witness bullying.  Interested fourth and fifth grade classrooms in several of our schools will take part in the study with students, parents and teachers participating.  Students and teachers will complete traditional measures while parents of participating students will complete an online survey.  Findings will be presented at academic conferences and published in educational journals.   Schools will have an opportunity to participate in newly created innovative bullying prevention programs.

    Findings: Reactions to Bullying

    Teacher Quality Study
    Dr. Carolyn Parker, Consultant
    Commissioned by Delaware Department of Education
    Approved - 12/08 
    Timeline – January-February 09 
    Schools – AI High, Dickinson High, Skyline Middle

    This study investigates highly qualified teacher assignments within schools and across the state, as well as the practices and conditions that affect the distribution of these teachers.  It is being conducted in partnership with the Delaware Department of Education (DDOE) by the mid-Atlantic Comprehensive Center (MACC), the National Comprehensive Center for Teacher Quality and the Regional Education Laboratory-Mid-Atlantic. Surveys will be distributed to content area teachers and building principals at A.I. High School, Dickinson High School and Skyline Middle School.  Interviews will be conducted with the building principals and the Director of Human Resources.  Findings from this study will be published in a report to DOE and will provide information about equitable access to highly qualified teachers for students in all socioeconomic groups.

    FINDINGS: America’s Opportunity: Teacher Effectiveness and Equity in K-12 Classrooms, Delaware p.92-99

    Special Educator Professional Learning Community for Data-Driven Instruction 
    Doreen Palucci Doctoral Candidate, 
    Wilmington University
    Approved – April 2009
    Timeline – April 2009- February 2010
    Schools – Brandywine Springs Elementary

    Research in this study will consist of pre-intervention and post-intervention surveys, interviews, and non-evaluative classroom observations of consenting participants. The professional learning community will engage in the Concerns-Based Adoption Model with activities such as analysis of student assessment data, creation of common assessments, instructional goal setting, and lesson studies. Findings will be used to evaluate the effectiveness of strategies used to teach the professional learning community on impacting student achievement. 

    Findings: Data-Driven Decision Making among Special Educators Participating in Professional Learning Communities

    The Relationship between Teachers’ Mathematical Knowledge and Beliefs and Student Achievement
    Dr. Patricia F. Campbell 
    University of Maryland (College Park) for the Mid-Atlantic Center for Mathematics Teaching and Learning
    Approved – April 2009
    Timeline – May-June 2009
    Teachers- 4th-8th Grade math teachers with less than 6 year’s experience

    This study will investigate the relationship between a teacher’s mathematical and pedagogical understanding and students’ achievement. It will examine how this relationship is affected by student and school demographic conditions and how these understandings are related to teacher educational preparation.  Also addressed in this study is the change in teacher knowledge over time and how that change in knowledge is affected by professional development participation and student and school demographics.  Volunteer teachers in grades 4 through 8 who have been teaching six years or less will complete surveys and multiple choice questions to address understandings directly associated with teaching mathematics in grades 4 through 8, and understandings a teacher may rely on to teach content specific to Delaware. Data from Red Clay will be combined with data from other districts in Delaware and reported to the State of Delaware, all involved districts and the National Science Foundation.

    Findings: Teachers’ Mathematical Knowledge, Perceptions about Mathematics Teaching and Learning, and Professional Qualifications: Impact on Student’s Mathematics Achievement (Executive Summary)Final Report

    Secondary Student Retention in New Castle County:  
    What can be Done?

    Jayson Schablik, Graduate Student
    University of Delaware, Masters of Public Administration Program
    Approved – June 2009
    Timeline – June 2009
    District Interview

    This study, led by the University of Delaware’s School of Urban Affairs and Public Policy, will investigate district efforts within New Castle County to address the school drop-out rate with emphasis on 9th grade.  Information about programs currently in place in the Red Clay School District will be obtained through an interview with district office staff and incorporated with information from other districts in New Castle County.  The data will be compared with national programs to determine which programs can be implemented locally.

    ING Run for Something Better Program
    Rebecca King, RN, MSN, NCSN
    Brandywine Springs Elementary School, Red Clay Consolidated School District
    Approved – June 2009
    Timeline – September-December 2009
    Schools- Brandywine Springs

    The ING Run for Something Better program, in partnership with the National Association for Sport and Physical Education sponsors programs to promote physical activity and fight childhood obesity.  A school based running program designed to introduce 5th-8th grade students from Brandywine Springs School to the benefits of running, physical fitness and a healthy lifestyle will begin in the fall and run until December 2009.  Selected students will participate in training and activity lesson plans to promote fitness.  Collection of data will be from the PACER (Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run); students will also complete online surveys and running logs.

    Findings: An Obesity Prevention Program in a Delaware Elementary School

    Singapore Mathematics Program Pilot Study 
    Dr. Ross Armbrecht, Executive Director Delaware Foundation for Science and Mathematics Education 
    Approved – July 2009  
    Timeline – August 2008 – December 2011 
    School – Baltz

    The Delaware Foundation for Science and Math Education has partnered with 3 elementary schools in the state, including Red Clay’s Baltz Elementary School for a 3 year pilot program studying the effectiveness of the highly ranked Singapore Mathematics Program.  Baltz implemented the program during the 2008-09 school year. The Education Research and Development Group at the University of Delaware and the Mathematics Education Associate at the State of Delaware will manage data collection and research.  NWEA and DSTP results will be analyzed each year until the study concludes in 2011.

    Findings: Exploring the Effectiveness of Singapore Math

    Common Quarterly Assessments: Change in Teacher Practice
    Lisa Ueltzhoffer, Doctoral Student 
    University of Delaware, Education Leadership- Administration & Policy
    Approved – July 2009 
    Timeline – July 2009 – March 2010 
    School – McKean

    McKean teachers in 9th and 10th grade ELA courses collaboratively constructed and implemented common quarterly assessments. This study will focus on if there has been a change of teacher practice through the process of implementing these assessments. Research methods will examine teacher and student survey and student assessment data.

    FINDINGS: Common Quarterly Assessments: Change in Teacher Practice

    Cognition and Science Instruction Study
    F. Joseph Merlino, President The 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education
    Approved – June 2009
    Timeline – January 2010- June 2012
    School – Volunteering District Middle Schools

    The 21st Century Partnership for STEM Education will be conducting this three year study on the effect of professional development specific to three science units at the middle school level.  The purpose of the research is to determine if specialized professional development or curriculum modifications make a difference in student achievement. Participating schools will be assigned to either a control group with no intervention, a group receiving only science content knowledge, or a group receiving both content knowledge and science process skills. Teachers will complete a curriculum survey, take a pre/post science content test and administer an end of unit test to students. Later, control and treatment groups will have the opportunity to receive training in the treatment showing the greatest impact in student learning. This study is funded by the U.S. Department of Education and Institute of Education Sciences.

    Growth in DSTP Writing Scores among Delaware Writing Project (DWP) and NonDWP schools 
    Carolyn Lazar, Wilmington University Doctoral Program 
    Approved – December 2009 
    Timeline – December 2009 
    School – Unidentified ex post facto data

    The purpose of the study is to discover if there is a statistically significant difference in third grade student writing scores from spring 2007 to fifth grade student writing scores for students of Delaware Writing Project (DWP) Partnership teachers and students in classrooms with teachers not participating in the DWP Partnership during the same two year period. The writing measurement used in this study is the DSTP writing assessment. Collected matched-pair student DSTP scores will be analyzed for student growth variations during the two year period. Data will be collected for one Delaware Writing Project school and one non-Delaware Writing Project school in New Castle county, Kent county, and Sussex county. This study may be a springboard for discussion, follow up collaborative studies, and future professional development planning in an effort to improve student writing in the state of Delaware.

    FINDINGS – Delaware Writing Project Partnership: Comparison of student scores  

    Using Data to Inform a Problem-Solving Model for Response to Intervention (RTI) 
    Gerri Marshall, Doctoral Student 
    University of Delaware, Education Leadership- Administration & Policy
    Approved – December 2009 
    Timeline – December 2009- April 2010
    Schools – Elementary

    The goal of this research is to identify systemic tools that will enhance a school's ability to manage the problem-solving process associated with RTI. Components of the problem solving process include problem identification, planning interventions, and evaluating the interventions. The process can provide a framework for decision making tools developed, such as guiding questions and problem-solving protocols, and can support instructional support teams in the process of acting upon data as they implement RTI. 

    Findings: Data Informed Problem-Solving

    Impact of Ninth Grade Academies 
    Dr. Joan Buttram, Director Delaware Education Research and Development Center, University of Delaware
    Approved – December 2009  
    Timeline – January – June 2010  
    School – McKean

    The study is being conducted for the Delaware Department of Education in an effort to improve ninth grade instructional practices. It will compare educational programs of students attending ninth grade academies to those attending traditional high schools. Research methods include classroom observations, administrative interview, and review of student outcome data.

    Findings: A Day in the Life of Delaware's Ninth Graders

    Relationship between Rates of Disciplinary Infractions and Positive Behavior Support (PBS) 
    Dr. Cheryl Ackerman, Delaware Education Research and Development Center, University of Delaware
    Approved – March 2010 
    Timeline – March – June 2010 
    School – non-disclosed

    The study is being conducted for the Delaware Department of Education to examine the relationship between implementing PBS and changes in disciplinary incidences.  Data from the Delaware School Climate Survey will be used as a covariate when comparing the extent of change in rates of disciplinary infractions over time for schools implementing PBS and those not implementing PBS.

    Findings: Positive Behavior Support in Delaware Schools

    Impact of Direct Instruction on Note Taking
    Jennifer Peters, Doctoral Student, Wilmington University
    Approved – March 2010 
    Timeline – March – May 2010 
    School – Cab Calloway

    The purpose of this research is to establish whether direct instruction of note taking skills will improve eighth grade students’ use of note taking skills and to establish whether eighth grade students will use note taking skills if they are directly taught those skills.

    Findings: Effects of Direct Instruction on Note-Taking Skills of Students at a Performing Arts Middle School
    Novice Middle School Teachers Knowledge about Students used for Instructional Purposes
    Dr. Tonya Gau Bartell, University of Delaware
    Approved – March 2010 
    Timeline – April – May 2010
    School – Skyline

    The main purpose of the proposed study is two fold: first, to examine how novice middle school mathematics teachers learn about and use knowledge about their students’ identities in their classrooms and second, to examine how students of these teachers experience these mathematics classrooms. The goal of the project is to understand, both from the perspectives of teachers and students, the nature of the tools teachers use to learn about their students, strategies teachers use to incorporate knowledge gained of their students (through the use of these tools) into their instruction, and the impact of these instructional strategies.

    Findings (preliminary): Enacting Care for Mathematics Learners: Middle School Students’ and Teachers’ Perspectives
    Longitudinal Research from National Institute of Health (NIH) on Effectiveness of Emotion-Based Prevention Program used at Head Start
    Aundrea Wilkins, Carroll E. Izard, and Christopher Trentacosta, University of Delaware 
    Approved – March 2010, March 2011 
    Timeline – Spring 2010, April 2011
    School(s) – Selected Elementary Schools

    The purpose of the data collection in the Red Clay School District is to follow-up with children who participated in the project while they were in Head Start.  This follow-up data collection will enable us to evaluate the longitudinal effects of the preschool interventions.  The overall project will provide new knowledge relative to both intervention and basic research by determining the effectiveness of an emotion-based prevention program.  The project is expected to identify causal mechanisms involved in increasing adaptive behavior and decreasing maladaptive behavior.  

    FINDINGS: Kindergarten Children’s Emotion Competence as a Predictor of Their Academic Competence in First Grade,  Accelerating the development of emotion competence in Head Start childrenCan classroom emotional support enhance prosocial development among children with depressed caregivers?

    Students’ Perceptions of Full Day Kindergarten
    Melissa Denny, Wilmington University


    Approved – May 2010  
    Timeline – Spring 2010  
    School(s) – Heritage Elementary


    This study will examine the  attitudes of 20 kindergarteners about all day kindergarten.  Data will be collected by interviewing and recording conversations between groups of two students and having them draw pictures about their feelings towards kindergarten.  The students will also individually complete a Student Self Assessment Survey scale indicating their feelings at different parts of the school day.  Results of this study will be used to create an action plan to address issues that could be improved for future classes and a paper will be published for Wilmington University.

    Creating Purposeful Teacher Web Pages to Enhance and Promote Stakeholder Understanding of Classroom Objectives
    Yanaka Bernal, Doctoral Student, University of Delaware
    Approved – August 2010 
    Timeline – August 2010 – September 2011
    School(s) – Linden Hill Elementary

    The focus of this research study is to develop a system to modify teacher web pages and monitor the effect of these modifications.  Surveys will be given to teachers, parents, students, and administrators concerning their wants and needs for teacher classroom web pages.  The results will be compiled into guidelines which will be incorporated into web pages by volunteer teachers. Website traffic data will be calculated and shared monthly with each teacher.  Parents and students will complete a survey in the spring of 2011 to see if they found the modified websites useful.

    FINDINGS: Creating Purposeful Teacher Web Pages

    Effects of Tonal Music Aptitude and Singing on Beginning String Players’ Intonation 
    Kathryn Makos, graduate student, University of Delaware
    Approved – October 2010  
    Timeline – October 2010 – December 2010 
    School(s) – Cab Calloway School of the Arts

    The focus of this research is the relationship between stabilized tonal aptitude and the ability to play a string instrument in tune. This study will provide teachers with information about the way children learn music by investigating the relationship between string players’ tonal aptitude and the ability to play in tune, as well as the relationship between singing in tune and playing in tune. Data will be collected through a tonal sub test, a musical etude, and an instrumental/vocal continuous rating scale.  After students complete the tonal subtest, the researcher will teach an etude over four consecutive classes, and then student’s singing and playing will be recorded for later analysis.

    Findings: Effects of Tonal Music Aptitude and Singing

    Informal Music Learning Contexts
    Brian Bersh, graduate student, University of Delaware
    Approved – October 2010 
    Timeline – October 2010 – January 2011 
    School(s) – Cab Calloway School of the Arts

    The researcher will study the effect of an informal music-learning environment on the practice habits and musical achievements of middle school students.  This 3 month study will also provide information on students’ and teachers’ perceptions of students’ musical ability and transfer to other music contexts.  Data will be collected through the use of journals, field observations, interviews with teachers and students, video recordings, and questionnaires.  Students will prepare for and present a musical selection at their winter concert.  

    Findings: Student Perceptions of Informal Learning Experiences in Instrumental Music Ensembles: A Phenomenology
    Study of Brand Influence on Children’s First Impressions of their Peers
    Dan Freeman, Ph. D., University of Delaware
    Approved – December 2010 
    Timeline – January- February 2011 
    School(s) – Brandywine Springs, Stanton, Linden Hill, Forest Oak

    The influence of clothing brands worn by unknown peers is the focus of a research study with 5th and 6th grade students.  The goal of this study is to determine whether specific clothing brands influence the way students are treated and perceived by others. The researcher purports the study’s importance because prior research suggests that first impressions are pervasive and frame future interactions. Participating students will be asked to complete an online survey that examines opinions of peers pictured, brand recognition, and brand perceptions.  Data and results will be used in a revised manuscript for the Journal of Consumer Psychology and a report of key findings will be sent to Red Clay.

    FINDINGS: Tweens' Knowledge of Marketing Tactics: Skeptical Beyond Their Years

    Beyond P3
    Joan L. Buttram, Ph. D., University of Delaware
    Approved – March 2011  
    Timeline – March 2011  
    School(s) – McKean and Dickinson High Schools

    Beyond P3 (Powerful Pedagogical Practices) is a research project conducted to improve the quality of teaching and learning mathematics. It provides curriculum-centered professional development to teachers and administrators and is designed to help teachers become better diagnosticians of student thinking.  Teachers will learn and implement problem solving instructional strategies and improve their ability to anticipate, inquire, and provide feedback to their students. Information will be gathered through student and teacher interviews, a student survey, student work, classroom video data, and teacher observations.  This research study will describe the impact of the P3 Project on the teaching of secondary mathematics in all Delaware high schools. Findings will be summarized in a report to be distributed statewide.

    Classroom Meetings
    Jessica L. Hanger, Graduate Student,  Neumann University
    Approved – March 2011 
    Timeline – March-April 2011 
    School(s) – Richey Elementary
    The focus of this action research is the relationship between students’ feelings towards learning and their classroom behavior. During classroom meetings held before instructional time, students will be given a brief amount of time to express their feelings. Data will be collected on the number of times instruction is interrupted and compared to data from the previous two weeks when no meetings were held. Results will determine whether classroom meetings helped to promote more time on task and fewer interruptions.
    2012 National Survey of Science and Mathematics Education
    P. Sean Smith, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate, Horizon Research, Inc.
    Approved – March 2011
    Timeline – October 2011
    School(s) – McKean High School

    The purpose of this national survey is to assess changes over time and provide current data on key elements of the science/ mathematics education system in the United States, such as teacher content background and demographics; science and mathematics course offerings and enrollments; textbook/ program usage; instructional strategies; formative assessment; and the influences of particular policies (e.g., NCLB) on science and mathematics education. Data will be collected through questionnaires for science and mathematics teachers and program heads. The survey is funded through a grant from the National Science Foundation.

    Employee Knowledge about their Contract 
    Patricia Dallas Doctoral Candidate, 
    Interdisciplinary Council on Developmental and Learning Disorders Graduate School
    Approved – June 2011
    Timeline - June 2011
    School(s) - Richardson Park Learning Center
    Research will involve surveying staff on their awareness of their contract. This research will inform refinement of the instrument.
    School Climate and Teacher Effectiveness 
    Cari Phillips, Doctoral Candidate

    University of Delaware
    Approved – October 2011
    Timeline – October 2011
    School(s) - Richardson Park Learning Center

    This study is designed to research and identify characteristics that make up a healthy school culture.  Achievement data, survey data, and the school improvement will be used to evaluate areas of school climate and propose strategies for improvement. Collegiality, profession collaboration, and self-determination/efficacy will be studied.

    Program Effectiveness Study of the Holt McDougal U.S. Government Textbook
    Dr. Roger Farr 
    Educational Research Institute of America
    Approved – September 2011
    Timeline – September 2011
    School(s) – All Red Clay High Schools
    This study evaluates the effectiveness of the Holt McDougal U.S. Government textbook, published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. Pretests, post-tests, and a teacher survey will be administered to classes included in the study. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt will use the data to analyze the effectiveness of the American Government program and consider possible revisions.
    Investigating the Impact of Classroom Instruction and Literacy Skills on Writing Achievement in First Grade
    David Coker, Ed.D., Associate Professor 
    School of Education, University of Delaware
    Approved - October 2011
    Timeline – October 2011-2014
    School(s) – Elementary
    The goal of this research is to identify specific instructional practices that are associated with literacy gains, and to see whether the impact of instruction is affected by students’ incoming skills, demographics and school location.  During the four-year study, researchers will assess students’ reading and writing skills, conduct observations, and gather teacher information. Findings will be used to design a writing intervention program for students and professional development for teachers.

    Findings: Investigating the Impact of Classroom Instruction and Literacy Skills on Writing Achievement in First Grade

    Closing the Gap: Turning SIS/LMS Data into Action
    Shawnte Holland

    Gartner, Inc.
    Approved – November 2011
    Timeline – 2011-2012
    School(s)- District office
    The Closing the Gap project will collect information from a variety of school districts to understand educators’ attitudes, expectations, and use of data; what education leaders are doing to increase data use in effective ways; the current practices in selecting and implementing Student Information Systems (SIS) and Learning Management Systems (LMS) solutions; and if increased data analysis and use can improve student achievement. Data collection will be taken in a small focus group and from other data collection sources. 
    Findings:  Educational Community Attitudes Towards SIS/LMS Solutions
    Learning Mentoring
    Karin Jakubowski, Doctoral Candidate
    Wilmington University
    Approved – November 2011
    Timeline- November 2011
    School(s) Warner, Dickinson
    This research project focuses on student achievement and its relationship to attendance and behavior. A solution involving student support mentoring will be explored, based on the Learning Mentoring used in the U.K. 

    Findings: Individualized Mentoring: A Model for Student Success using Student Support Mentors (SSM)

    Capacity Building for Data Use in Middle Schools
    Jennifer McCombs

    RAND Corporation (in partnership with the University of Southern California)
    Approved – October 2011
    Timeline – October 2011- May 2012
    School(s) – H. B. du Pont, Skyline
    The focus of this study is effective support for teachers’ use of data . The study examines three capacity-building strategies and their contribution to teacher knowledge and practice. Data will be collected through interviews with principals, data coaches, teachers, and central office administrators, monthly teacher and coach surveys, and teacher focus groups. 
    Kindergarten Readiness
    Dr. Jason Hustedt, Delaware Institute for Excellence in Early Childhood

    University of Delaware
    Approved - October 2011
    Timeline - August 2011-May 2013
    School(s) - Shortlidge, Warner
    This pilot study of kindergarten readiness by the Delaware Early Childhood Council will examine factors linked to kindergarten success including early learning, family support, nutrition, mental health, and physical health. The Teaching Strategies GOLD will be used by kindergarten  teachers at to record observations of students in nine areas of development and learning at the beginning and end of the kindergarten year. Teacher and parent questionnaires and conduct assessments will be used to collect data.
    FINDINGS: Delaware Kindergarten Readiness Pilot

    Middle School Special Learners’ Understanding of Order and Equivalence of Fractions
    Regina Scanlon Ed. D. candidate, University of Delaware
    Approved – November 2011
    Timeline – November 2011- May 2012
    The focus of this research project is development of goals based on understanding order and equivalence of fractions among middle school special learners. An assessment tool will be developed for determining students’ conceptual understanding of fractions, monitoring their progress, and deciding which goals should be targeted in student IEPs. Teachers will pilot assessment items and samples of student responses will be analyzed. Surveys and evaluations will provide qualitative feedback.

    Highly Effective Professional Learning Communities (PLC)
    Ken Goodwin, Doctoral Candidate, University of Delaware 
    Approved – December 2011
    Timeline – December 2011- May 2012
    School(s) – all
    In this study, the researcher will use results from a survey completed by Red Clay educators about the implementation of PLCs and their work in a data-driven inquiry process. In addition, focus group data from three PLC teams and information from classroom walkthroughs will be collected to determine whether decisions made in PLC teams are transferring to classroom instruction. A multi-year PLC action plan will be developed. 

    Findings: Analysis of Programs and Implementation of Professional Learning Communities

    Health Related Communication among Parent/Guardians and Adolescents
    Stefanie Van Stan, MS, CHES, Nemours Health and Prevention Services 
    Approved – December 2011
    Timeline – December 2011- February 2012
    School(s) – Skyline, Stanton, McKean, Dickinson
    The goal of this study is to collect data about parent/child communication and decision making related to health. Focus groups consisting of students and parent/guardians will be conducting at participating schools. The information will be used by the Nemours Health and Preventative Services Adolescent Team to help design programs to serve adolescents and their families to positively influence their decisions about health.

    RELATED FINDINGS: Navigating the Health Care System - An Adolescent Health Literacy Unit

    Case Study Dual Language Presentations for Assessment
    Dr. Charlene Rivera, Executive Director
    George Washington University Center for Equity and Excellence in Education
    Approved – April 2012
    Timeline – Spring 2012
    School(s) – Lewis, Marbrook and A.I. Middle   
    The case study will inform the SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium of the advantages and disadvantages of dual language presentation of a mathematics test, factors educators should consider when administering this option, and student and educator acceptability. The research consists of observations of several students taking the practice DCAS math test and interviews with students, test administrators and staff

    Findings: Case Study Dual Language Presentations for Assessment

    “I Care” Program Evaluation
    Jaclyn Purcell, Doctoral Candidate
    Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    Approved – February 2012
    Timeline – 2012
    This research study is designed to evaluate the effectiveness of the “I Care” Positive Parenting Character Curriculum. The percentage of K-5 students with office discipline referrals prior to “I Care” implementation will be compared with the first year of implementation.

    Findings: Effectiveness of "I Care" Positive Parenting Character Curriculum

    PT Counts
    Lisa Ann Chiarello, PT, PhD, PCS
    Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, Drexel University
    Approved – February 2012
    Timeline 2012-2013
    School(s)- Various
    This nationwide research study describes student outcomes as a result of physical therapy given to students during the school year and the relationship between the physical therapy intervention and observed student outcomes. Outcomes will be measured by the School Function Assessment (SFA) and the Goal Attainment Scaling (GAS). Schools that serve students from 5-12 years old will be included in the study and parents of participating students will complete a child information form prior to the start of therapy.
    Findings: PT Counts Executive Summary
    History Problematic Learning
    Fran O’Malley, Ed. D. candidate, Delaware Center for Teacher Education, University of Delaware
    Approved – April 2012
    Timeline – January 2012-September 2012
    School(s) – A.I. High, Dickinson, Central, Stanton, Cab Calloway, Linden Hill, Heritage, Brandywine Springs, Warner, North Star
    The goal of this research project is to identify problematic prior learning (PPL); learning that slows down or prevents learners from modifying or exchanging PPL for accepted information within the history profession. The project focuses on American History and includes teachers in Red Clay’s Teaching American History grant’s Freedom Project. Student work, and teacher pre/ post tests and lesson plans are examined for PPL by nationally prominent experts. A PPL list will be compiled and judged by a panel of historians for credibility, significance, and potential usefulness to teachers. It will be presented on the Teaching American History grant’s website. Teachers in the Freedom Project will be asked to recommend ways to make the PPL list accessible to teachers so they can improve their instructional practices.
    Findings: Identifying Problematic Prior Learning in American History

    NIH: Shape Up! Preschoolers’ Geometric Sense Predicts Future
    Kelsey Lucca, Project Coordinator, Infant Language Project, University of Delaware
    Approved – March 2012
    Timeline – Spring 2012
    School(s) – Forest Oak, Highlands, Warner
    This longitudinal study, part of the National Institute on Health, investigates the relationship between preschoolers’ geometric-spatial knowledge and mathematical ability in kindergarten. Data from kindergarten students who participated as preschoolers is being collected from four different tests, administered individually, in two 30 minute sessions. 

    Findings: Shape Up! Newsletter Red Clay Consolidated School District;  SILC Retreat Poster

    MSP Converging Curriculum Project
    Valerie Maxwell, Institute for Higher Education, University of Delaware
    Approved – April 2012
    Timeline – December 2010 – November 2012

    This two-year research project studies the impact of the Converging Curriculum mathematics professional development on student achievement in the classrooms of participating teachers. Teachers of 4th and 5th grade students met after school to learn concepts, strategies, and tasks; plan, implement, and reflect on lessons; and analyze student work. They focused on fractions, multiplication, and division.

    Findings: The Converging Curriculum Mathematics Project Report

    KiVa Bullying Intervention Program
    Julie A. Hubbard, PhD
    Department of Psychology, University of Delaware
    Approved – May 2012
    Timeline – August 2012-May 2013 (Yr. 1); August 2013 – June 2014 (Yr. 2)
    School(s) – Linden Hill, North Star, Baltz, Richardson Park, Richey, Warner (Yr 1 & 2); Brandywine Springs, Heritage, Highlands, Shortlidge (Yr. 2)
    This research study is designed to evaluate the implementation of the KiVa Bullying Prevention Program in elementary schools in Delaware.  KiVa is a whole school prevention program to influence group norms and build capacity in all children to behave in constructive ways, to take responsibility for not encouraging bullying, and to support the victim.  Data will be collected in participating schools in self, teacher, and peer-report formats. If successful, this study will be expanded in the state of Delaware.
    Findings: Evaluation of KiVA Bullying Intervention Program
    Communication Language Autism
    Christine H. Barthold, Ph.D. & Beth A. Mineo, Ph. D., Center for Disabilities Studies, University of Delaware
    Approved – May 2012
    Timeline – 2012-2013
    School(s) –  Meadowood
    This University of Delaware research project focuses on helping autistic students communicate through the use of pictures.  Researchers will study whether customized pictures, tailored to the abilities and preferences of students will help them use language more quickly and effectively.  Data will be collected through teacher and parent surveys and student training trials.  Results will help guide decision-making about customizing communication systems for students with autism spectrum disorder.
    ELA CCSS High School Argumentative Writing Project
    Carol Vukelich, Higher Education Institution, University of Delaware
    Approved – June 2012
    Timeline – 2013-2014
    School(s) – all district high schools
    This three-year project identifies factors associated with implementation of the ELA Common Core State Standards (CCSS) and students’ writing skills.  Data will be collected by teachers’ responses to instructional scenarios, surveys, and samples of student writing.
    Achieve 3000
    Karen Hussar, Achieve 3000
    Approved – September 2012
    Timeline – September – December 2012
    School(s) – Middle and High Schools
    The researcher will study the relationship between Red Clay students’ use of the Achieve 3000 and their change in DCAS scores during the 2011 – 2012 school year.  Achieve 3000 is a web-based software program that differentiates readability levels for students.  The study will examine the relationship between scores for users of Achieve 3000 and non-users, as well as comparisons based on levels of implementation of Achieve 3000.   
    Findings: Red Clay Consolidated School District Achieve 3000 Report and HB DuPont Middle School Achieve 3000 Report
    Exemplary Leadership in Challenging Urban Public School Settings
    Harry Gutelius, Doctoral Candidate
    Organizational Leadership, Wilmington University
    Approved – March 2011
    Timeline – November 2011 completion date
    School(s) – Marbrook
    This study examines the role of the principal in a school’s success. The leadership of ten schools will be examined to establish a common set of qualities among exemplary leaders of urban public schools. Data collected through surveys and interviews will be used to identify qualities of effective leadership and help create a model for urban public schools leaders.
    Findings: Exemplary Leadership in Challenging Urban Public School Settings Case Study
    Jim Barnes,
    Approved – September 2012
    Timeline – research study already published
    School(s) – District Office
    A case study referencing student performance on AP exams during the 2011 – 2012 school year will be created by   The case study will be used for communication purposes by on their website to highlight its impact on AP performance for other interested school districts. 
    Instructional Support Development and Application for Teachers of ELL Students
    Patricia DiCerbo, The George Washington Center for Equity and Excellence in Education
    Approved – September 2012
    Timeline – September 2012- August 2013 
    Schools(s) – Conrad Schools of Science (middle school), Dickinson
    This study will develop literacy instructional scaffolds and formative assessments for teachers of intermediate/advanced ELL students and examine how teachers develop specialized knowledge and skills for applying scaffolds and assessments to their practice. English language arts and science teachers will participate in this study and data will be collected through classroom observations, teacher reflection logs and student records. The final report will include observation instruments, instructional scaffolds and formative assessments developed during the study. 
    Findings: ELL Language Development with Complex Texts
    Factors Impacting Student Achievement in Title I Schools
    Eric Jensen, Doctoral Candidate
    Fielding Graduate University
    Approved – October 2012
    Timeline – October 2012 - May 2013
    This study will examine the thinking process of successful teachers and factors that impact student achievement.  Staff insights from the top and bottom quartiles of Title I schools will be compared to determine what factors contribute to student achievement in schools with varying levels of success.  Participants will complete a web-based survey consisting of school-based instructional, environmental, and assessment variables.
    Findings: A Descriptive Study of Differences Between Teachers and High and Low Performing Title 1 Elementary Schools

    Effectiveness of Wrap-Around Services
    Christopher Hyde, PhD (clinical psychologist)  BioAssessments, LLC   
    Approved – October 2012
    Timeline – September 2012 – June 2013
    School (s) – Warner
    This study will identify and evaluate elementary students with ADHD and assist families in their treatment. The goal is to improve students’ educational progress.  Data will be collected during the school year from teacher meetings and ratings, student observations, family meetings, and consultations with pediatricians. An analysis of data will determine the effectiveness of the software/hardware product used to render the services students received.
    CIS Program Effectiveness Evaluation
    James Purcell, Communities in Schools of Delaware
    Approval – February 2013
    Timeline – February 2013-August 2013
    School(s) – Dickinson, McKean
    This study/internal evaluation examines the effectiveness of the Communities in Schools program in reducing dropout rates and increasing graduation rates at Dickinson and McKean High. Two years of historical data will be used as a baseline in conjunction with current data to compare the progress of CIS-affiliated students to non-CIS affiliated students.
    The Effect of a Social Marketing Campaign on Healthy Eating Choices
    Molly Alawode, Graduate Student
    King’s College London, School of Social Science and Public Policy
    Approved – March 2013
    Timeline – March - August 2013
    School(s) – McKean
    This study will explore the effectiveness of a Twitter feed in influencing healthy lunch choices.  A specific focus will include messages that influence behaviors that can lead to or deter obesity.  Students in two classes at McKean High School will be given a survey and receive tweets promoting healthy entrees. Twitter analysis software will track key performance indicators that provide a description of the impact of the Twitter feed.  At the end of the school year, the survey will be re-administered and students’ engagement with Twitter, lunch purchases, and survey results will be analyzed to determine the marketing campaign’s effectiveness.
    Findings: The Use of Social Media in Public Health Social Marketing Aimed at Adolescents
    Greenhouse Gas Evaluation Project
    Lynne McIntosh, Student
    Harvard University Extension School
    Approval – March 2013
    Timeline – initial evaluation to be completed in May 2013
    School(s) TBD
    A detailed Greenhouse Gas Reduction Plan will be developed for a Red Clay school. In this project, GHG emissions will be calculated before the school is upgraded. Data collection will include utility information (electric, gas and/or oil), gasoline usage for school vehicles not including buses, and mobile emissions from school buses. The GHG emission will again be calculated after upgrades have taken place.
    21st Century Community Learning Center Grants Project
    Natasha Bell, Metropolitan Wilmington Urban League
    Approved – March 2013
    Timeline – 3 year grant beginning in the 2012-2013 school year
    School(s) – A.I. High, H. B. Middle, A.I. Middle
    The goal of Delaware 21st Century Community Learning Center (CCLC) grants is to increase students’ academic achievement, school connectedness, and positive behavior. Student and parent surveys and social well-being assessments will be given during the first semester of each year. Students will receive tutoring and other enrichment activities during the second semester with a remedial assistance or enrichment plan incorporated during the summer program. Data will be published in the Annual Performance Report for the State at the end of each grant year.