Educational or Curriculum

Initiative Description: Massachusetts’s Wrap Around Zone initiative: common strategies observed across all districts, including: implementation of, and professional development on, one or more schoolwide SEL curricula programs; a purposeful focus on family engagement strategies including a dedicated family engagement coordinator staff position in schools; implementation of standardized referral procedures and data-monitoring systems; and establishment of school-level and district-level WAZ coordinator positions.

Study Results: Results from this study showed that students in Wraparound Zone schools performed better on state academic assessments than students in comparison schools, when considering prior achievement trends. Effects were statistically significant in the 3rd year of implementation. The impact on academic achievement was greatest for third- and fourth-grade students, and was particularly strong for English learners. There was no statistically significant overall impact on attendance, retention, or suspension.

Reference: Gandhi, A.G., Slama, R., Park, S.J., Russo, P., Winner, K., Bzura, R., Jones, W., Williamson, S. (2018). Focusing on the whole student: An evaluation of Massachussett’s Wraparound Zone Initiative. Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, 11(2), 240-266.

Level of Evidence: 3 out of 5 stars Very Good.