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Intervention Approaches in Schools

Evaluating Promising School Staff and Resource Officer Approaches for Reducing Harsh Discipline, Suspensions, and Arrests

Project Description

Cecil County Public Schools is partnering with the NCSMH to evaluate the effectiveness of an intervention package in reducing exclusionary discipline practices. Interventions include trauma support for students, training in de-escalation techniques for school staff and school resource officers, implementing a graduated discipline and restorative practice model at secondary schools, and training for school resource officers on child development and mental health.

Outcome measures will include suspension/expulsion rates, referrals to juvenile justice, and ratings of school climate. NCSMH is coordinating implementation with a team from Cecil County Public Schools, and will be evaluating the effectiveness of the interventions, as well as providing a cost-benefit analysis.

Funding Source

U.S. Department of Justice
National Institute of Justice (NIJ)

Comprehensive School Safety Initiative: "Demonstration, Evaluation, and Validation Tests for School Safety"

Project Partner

Cecil County Public Schools

Project Staff

Cindy Shaeffer, PhD

Cindy Shaeffer, PhD
Principal Investigator

Sharon Hoover, PhD

Sharon Hoover, PhD
Co-Principal Investigator


Jill Bohnenkamp, PhD

Female silhouette portrait

Kris Scardamalia, PhD
Project Coordinator

For More Information

Dr. Cindy Schaeffer or

Dr. Kris Scardamalia