Check and Connect

Study: Strand & Lovrich (2014)

Study Type: Group-Design

Participants: Unconvincing Evidence

Sample size: 108 students (57 program, 51 control)

Risk Status: These students were identified by the exceedingly high number of absences recorded by the schools. In addition, the interventionist also conducted a comprehensive assessment using the Washington Assessment and Needs of Students which measured aggression, defiance, depression, anxiety, substance abuse, peer deviance, family environment, and school engagement.









Grade level



  Grade 1


  Grade 2





  Grade 3





  Grade 4





  Grade 5





  Grade 6





  Grade 7





  Grade 8





  Grade 9





  Grade 10





  Grade 11





  Grade 12





Mean Age











  American Indian





  Asian/Pacific Islander




















Socioeconomic status

  Subsidized lunch





  No subsidized lunch





Disability status

  Speech-language impairments


  Learning disabilities


 Emotional disturbance


 Intellectual disability







  Not identified with a disability





ELL status

  English language learner





  Not English language learner
















Training of Instructors: The mentor was a probation counselor from the county juvenile court.

Design: Unconvincing Evidence

Did the study use random assignment?: No

If not, was it a tenable quasi-experiment?: No

If the study used random assignment, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures used as covariates or on pretest measures also used as outcomes? Not applicable

If not, at pretreatment, were the program and control groups not statistically significantly different and had a mean standardized difference that fell within 0.25 SD on measures central to the study (i.e., pretest measures also used as outcomes), and outcomes were analyzed to adjust for pretreatment differences? No

Were the program and control groups demographically comparable?: Yes

Was there differential attrition for the program and the control groups?: No

Did the unit of analysis match the unit for random assignment (for randomized studies) or the assignment strategy (for quasi-experiments)?: Yes

Implemented with Fidelity: Unconvincing Evidence

Description of when and how fidelity of treatment information was obtained: The frequency and nature of all contacts with youths were documented by the mentor and was reviewed bi-weekly in supervision meetings with a supervisor. In addition, the researchers also used a fidelity checklist (10 items), which were scored dichotomously (present or absent). Items on this checklist include:

a)      philosophical commitment to restorative justice

b)      school administration leadership participation

c)      community member participation

d)     respectful nonpunitive goal-directed communication with families (3 items)

e)      observance of nondiscrimination and the privacy rights of students student support and follow-up contact (2 items)

Results on the fidelity of treatment implementation measure: 8 out of 10 items were rated to be practiced 100% of the time. The remaining two items were rated to be practiced 93% and 86%, respectively.

Measures Targeted: Convincing Evidence

Targeted Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group

Students’ educational status were reported as categorical variables-each student was classified as:

·         Graduated,

·         Received a GED,

·         Continuing in school, and

·         Dropped out

These data were obtained from the Educational Research Database maintained by the Washington State Center for Court Research (WSCCR). WSCCR did not provide reliability data on these measures.

This outcome is directly related to the research question

Regular services provided by the high school


Broader Measure

Reliability statistics

Relevance to program focus

Exposure to related support among control group






Mean ES Targeted Outcomes: Data Unavailable

Mean ES Administrative Outcomes: N/A

Effect Size:

Targeted Measures


Effect Size

Students’ educational status (graduated, received GED, continuing in school, dropped out)


Broader Measures


Effect Size





*        p ≤ .05

**      p ≤ .01

***    p ≤ .001

–      Developer was unable to provide necessary data for NCII to calculate effect sizes

u      Effect size is based on unadjusted means

†      Effect size based on unadjusted means not reported due to lack of pretest group equivalency, and effect size based on adjusted means is not available


Visual Analysis (Single-Subject Designs): N/A

Disaggregated Outcome Data Available for Demographic Subgroups: No

Target Behavior(s): Externalizing, Internalizing

Delivery: Individual

Fidelity of Implementation Check List Available: No

Minimum Interventionist Requirements: Paraprofessional, 1-2 days in-depth training required

Intervention Reviewed by What Works Clearinghouse: Yes – Intervention

What Works Clearinghouse Review

Dropout Prevention Protocol

Effectiveness: Check & Connect was found to have positive effects on staying in school, potentially positive effects on progressing in school, and no discernible effects on completing school for high school students with learning, behavioral, or emotional disabilities.

Studies Reviewed: 2 studies meet standards out of 3 studies total

Full Report

Other Research: Potentially Eligible for NCII Review: 4 studies

Maynard, B. R., Kjellstrand, E. K., & Thompson, A. M. (2013). Effects of Check and Connect on Attendance, Behavior, and Academics: A Randomized Effectiveness Trial. Research on Social Work Practice, 00(0)1-14.

Sinclair, M. F., Christenson, S. L., Evelo, D. L., & Hurley, C.M. (1998). Dropout Prevention for Youth with Disabilities: Efficacy of a Sustained School Engagement Procedure. Exceptional Children, 65(1), 7-21.

Sinclair, M. F., Christenson, S. L., & Thurlow, M. L. (2005). Promoting School Completion of Urban Secondary Youth with Emotional or Behavioral Disabilities. Exceptional Children, 71(4), 465-482.

Strand, P. S., & Lovrich, N. P. (2014). Graduation Outcomes for Truant Students: An Evaluation of a School-Based, Court-Engaged Community Truancy Board with Case Management. Children and Youth Services Review, 43, 138-144.