The Reform Model SAM
The Schoolwide Applications Model (SAM) emerged from an eight-year research partnership between faculty from the University of Kansas and the Kansas City, Kansas (USD 500) School District. The research, which culminated in 2006, was addressed to two questions: 1) can general and special education be combined in a manner consistent with federal and state law and applied in such a way that all students will benefit from the sum of all available school resources? and 2) can schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and support (SWPBIS) become a driver for changing school culture (“enculturation”) in a way that results in increased academic achievement for all students, all subgroups? Much of this effort was published in a series of articles in scientific journals and subsequently summarized in two recent books: Sailor, W., Dunlap, G., Sugai, G., & Horner, R. (2009). Handbook of positive behavior support. New York: Springer; and Sailor, W. (2009). Making RTI work. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
When SAM was exported to Ravenswood in East Palo Alto and to New Orleans, schoolwide response to intervention (RTI) was added as a guiding framework for instruction. A community schools framework was also added to strengthen schools’ relationships with their communities and families. The SAM Analysis System (SAMAN) was developed in 2002 to estimate the fidelity over time with which SAM is implemented in each participating school. This tool underwent psychometric analysis between 2002 and 2007 and is now considered to be reliable and valid for its purposes.