Initial Efficacy Evaluation of the CW-FIT Middle School Program: Improving Academic Engagement and Outcomes for Middle School Students


The purpose of the CW-FIT Middle School (CW-FIT MS) project is to conduct an Initial Efficacy evaluation of CW-FIT MS for improving middle school students' engagement, academic outcomes and socially appropriate behaviors while improving their teachers' classroom management practices. Classroom behavior problems top the list of concerns for teachers, who consistently rank students' disruptive, defiant, and aggressive behaviors as major barriers to teaching. Classroom management is particularly important in middle school where teachers often struggle with managing classrooms and students struggle with disengagement and disruptive behavior. CW-FIT MS was developed with IES funding and has demonstrated feasibility of implementation by middle school teachers as well as promise for improve education outcomes of middle school students with or at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD), but the efficacy of the intervention has not yet been tested.

In this project, the research team will examine the efficacy of CW-FIT MS Program across three sites, using a cluster randomized controlled trial, with schools randomized to CW-FIT MS or a business as usual control condition. The team will conduct analyses of factors that mediate and moderate the effectiveness of the CW-FIT MS intervention on student outcomes, and conduct cost and cost-effectiveness analyses.

Project details

  • Principal Investigator: Howard Wills

  • Co-Principal Investigator: Paul Caldarella and Joseph Wehby

  • Project start Date: 07/01/2020

  • Project finish Date: 06/30/2021



  • US Department of Education

  • Award Number: R324A200063