The New Jersey Department of Education, in partnership with the Clayton Public School District and WRI, has established a pilot program to expand The Clayton Model in schools in New Jersey. The Clayton Model is a universal, school-based social emotional learning (SEL) program that serves all students within the school regardless of classification. It is an agile, responsive, trauma-informed intervention program structured to offer a network of support services spanning from individual student support, teacher resources & classroom strategies, and tools for parents to incorporate SEL strategies in the home. This model, currently implemented in schools in the Clayton Public School District, has demonstrated significant positive outcomes among participating children and families. Over several years, the pilot is anticipated to expand to 30 schools throughout the state, but begin in 2021 with three schools in Gloucester County. WRI, working in partnership with the Child Connection Center staff in the Clayton Public School District, will oversee the expansion of the pilot program and provide evaluation of key metrics and outcomes throughout the process.
What is the Clayton Model?
The Clayton Model is an agile, responsive, trauma-informed intervention program developed in New Jersey’s Clayton Public School District (CPSD) and is structured to offer a network of support services spanning from individual student support, teacher resources and classroom strategies, to tools for parents to incorporate SEL strategies in the home, and serves all students within a school regardless of classification.
Where can I go to learn more about The Clayton Model?
The Child Connection Center implements support services in schools utilizing The Clayton Model, a universal, school-based social emotional learning (SEL) program that serves all students regardless of classification. Learn more.
What are the key benefits of The Clayton Model?
The Clayton Model’s impacts in a school community can be determined primarily in two ways: 1) by changes in school culture over time, evidenced by reduction in absences, reduction in classroom disruptions, reduction in suspensions, reduction in expulsions, and reduction in behavior reports, and, 2) improvements in student self-reported confidence, readiness to learn, ease in social engagements, emotion self-management, as well as parent/care-giver reports of same. Students who take part may already have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) or be part of the Positive Behavior Supports in School (PBSIS) approach in a school, but they may also be students suddenly encountering stress or trauma who otherwise have no special needs.
“Success is dependent upon administrative support, a strong presence of Clayton Model staff within the schools, and time to build trust between Clayton Model staff and students, educators, and parents/caregivers.”—Lisa Twomey, director of The Clayton Model, CPSD
In 2020, The Clayton Model transitioned to virtual as well as in person, providing a range of SEL interventions including school-wide Positive Behavior Support in Schools (PBSIS) systems, whole-class SEL and character building lessons, teacher consultations and small group counseling, individual reinforcement systems, and individual behavioral coaching. Program staff also offer community referrals when needed, caregiver consultations and workshops, student wellness check-ins, staff SEL training, and youth advisory board guidance. The program supports teachers with a flexible instructional model that lets them incorporate SEL throughout the school day, and connects parents to resources for bringing similar SEL strategies into the home environment.
Program staff also offer community referrals when needed, caregiver consultations and workshops, student wellness check-ins, staff SEL training, and youth advisory board guidance, all of which align closely with the New Jersey Tiered System of Supports (NJTSS), the state’s overarching framework of supports and interventions focused on improving student achievement. NJTSS is a framework of supports and interventions to improve student achievement, based on the core components of Multi-Tiered Systems of Support and the three tier prevention logic of Response to Intervention (RTI). Learn more.
What is the history of, and what are the plans for, The Clayton Model?
The Clayton Model has been implemented by the CPSD since 2009. As part of the planning for the 2020-2021 school year, the New Jersey Department of Education reiterated the need for districts to forefront SEL within their schools, a priority supported by the New Jersey Association of School Psychologists and by experts in SEL tasked with developing curriculum for that state. New Jersey State Senate Bill 2486 and its identical Assembly Bill 4264 passed unanimously on March 25, and was signed into law on May 11, 2021, establishing The Clayton Model Pilot Program in the New Jersey Department of Education which will be implemented in up to 30 schools across the state by 2026.
Where is The Clayton Model being implemented in the 2020-2021 School Year?
To date, five schools in southern New Jersey have implemented the Clayton Model for the 2020-21 school year:
- Deptford Township School District (Central Early Childhood Center);
- Elk Township School District (Aura Elementary School);
- Clayton Public School District (Herma Simmons Elementary School);
- Paulsboro Public Schools (Billingsport Elementary School);
- Westville Public Schools (Parkview Elementary School).
A sixth school Gloucester City Public Schools (Cold Springs Elementary School) has funded The Clayton Model using its own funding.
How is it being funded?
The New Jersey Department of Education has funded The Clayton Model expansion through the US Department of Education as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES) Emergency Relief Fund, starting in 2020. The first two years of funding will be provided through Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund (ESSER) funds. Additional years of funding will include local, school district-based funds and funding through legislation.
- Read the law, S-2486/A-4264.
What role does WRI play?
WRI has been contracted by the New Jersey Department of Education to evaluate the program implementation in the pilot sites, including analysis of number of students served, staffing, service delivery, scope of interventions, parent engagement, program communications, educator supports, and any emerging issues or implications for schools and school communities. Per the legislation, WRI will develop and implement a comprehensive evaluation of the pilot program that measures outcomes for students, schools, and families, assesses the fidelity of training and implementation of the model, and include a cost-benefit analysis of the pilot program.
Resources and links
If you are a school or parent interested in learning more about this program, please contact us.