University of Connecticut University of UC Title Fallback Connecticut

Positive BOOST

Primary Investigator: Anne Farrell

Project Manager: Melanie Furman

Graduate Research Associates: Robyn Denke

Positive Behavior in Out-of-School Time (Positive BOOST) is an adaptation of schoolwide positive behavioral interventions and supports (PBIS) for use in out-of-school time, including afterschool programs. By utilizing a theory of change focused on achieving positive student outcomes, Positive BOOST supports the need for efforts from district leadership, program managers, and frontline staff to improve the culture of the afterschool program. Through professional development, Positive BOOST encourages staff to give high levels of praise, teach students what is expected of them, and set up the program in a predictable and safe way. These changes in staff behaviors are likely to lead to positive student outcomes, including enhanced social and academic competencies, increased engagement and problem solving, and generalization of skills and problem solving.

The Positive BOOST project started as a pilot study in 2012 when Center staff adapted prior PBIS measures, trained afterschool leadership and frontline staff, and provided consistent in-person feedback to afterschool sites. Following the successful pilot study, multiple programs across Connecticut have continued to participate in implementation and data collection in Positive BOOST. Through collaborations with Dr. Anne Farrell, Center staff, the Connecticut State Department of Education, and Mazzarella Media, an online learning system is currently being developed to make PBIS implementation training more accessible to programs outside of Connecticut. This online learning system will take the in-person professional development and shift it to learning modules that teach all staff how to implement Positive BOOST. The success of adapting PBIS for afterschool programs is continually monitored and consistent feedback with afterschool program leadership is essential. Center staff continue to train and provide feedback to afterschool programs in addition to creating the online learning system and measuring implementation progress in sites.


Farrell, A.F., Collier-Meek, M.A., & Pons, S.R. (2013). Embedding positive behavior interventions and supports into afterschool programs. Beyond Behavior, 23(1), 38-45.

Works in Progress:

Farrell, A. F., Collier-Meek, M. A., & Johnson, A. H. (2015). Development and initial evaluation of the Measure of Active Supervision and Interaction in out-of-school time. Manuscript in preparation.

Professional Development Materials:

Farrell, A. F., & Collier-Meek, M. A. (2014). Positive BOOST (Positive Behavior in Out of School Time): A Guide to Development and Implementation of Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports. Suite of materials including curriculum guide, manual, implementation and fidelity monitoring resources, assessment and evaluation resources. Storrs, CT: University of Connecticut, Center for Applied Research.

Technical Reports:

Ruberto, L., Farrell, A.F., & Collier-Meek, M. (2014, March). Embedding elements of PBIS in a Summer Program: Executive Summary. Storrs, CT: UConn Center for Applied Research. Technical report prepared for the Connecticut State Department of Education.

Farrell, A.F., and Collier-Meek, M. (2013, August). Positive Behavior in Out-Of-School Time (Positive BOOST©) Center for Applied Research in Human Development Technical Report and Project Update. Storrs, CT: UConn Center for Applied Research. Technical report prepared for the Connecticut State Department of Education.