Shining a new light on school based student supports

Better data leads to better decision making and better outcomes for students.

How does it work?
Screenshot of Beacon desktop UI
Screenshot of Beacon mobile UI

How it works

Beacon is an easy-to-use, web-based support system designed to help educators select and use effective supports for students with emotional and behavioral challenges.

Integrating extensive research on services for children and adolescents with emotional and behavioral challenges, Beacon allows educators to make informed decisions about the supports they choose for their students and takes a developmental approach to school-based supports.

"It is a great tool for an intervention team to use to manage behavior as well as monitor progress."

M. Costa, High school teacher

Key Features of Beacon

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Informed Decision Making

Beacon provides a list of interventions and strategies that may be appropriate for each student based on their age and presenting concerns. Interventions are rated based on their potential to be effective and their ease of implementation.

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Real-time Data Collection

Real-time data collection tools help teachers track behaviors to obtain baseline and intervention data.

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Progress monitoring data can be shared throughout the team to facilitate collaborative decisions on a student’s intervention plan.

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The system includes a library of clearly-defined problem behaviors and services which saves teachers time during development and offers consistency across classrooms, teachers, and settings.

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Data Visualization

Real-time graphs offer information about student progress and can be shared at school team meetings.

"Beacon allows me to search and learn about evidence-based practices all in one place."

A. Markel, Middle school teacher

Our Philosophy

We believe that all children have a right to receive high-quality education that includes instruction on social, emotional, and behavioral well-being. We believe that all children can learn and that educational and behavioral supports should be provided equitably regardless of student ability, race, culture, religion, country of origin, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, socioeconomic status, or other characteristics. We believe that all children can succeed if given supports that are well matched to their needs.

Photo of a group of elementary school students

Privacy and Security

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The data generated through assessments and during interventions include potentially sensitive information about individual students. Thus, Beacon employs state-of-the-art privacy and security measures that meet or exceed industry best practices.

All sensitive information is stored and managed in accordance with Ohio University Information Security Standards.

Our Team

The core Beacon team is comprised of faculty and graduate students affiliated with Ohio University’s Center for Intervention Research in Schools (CIRS) and our technology design partners. However, the development of the Beacon has occurred over the course of several collaborative projects, thus, we acknowledge additional contributory partners below.

Photo of Steven W. Evans, Ph.D.
Steven W. Evans, Ph.D.

Dr. Evans is a former special education teacher and professor in the Department of Psychology at Ohio University and Co-Director of the Center for Intervention Research in Schools. Dr. Evans has an extensive background in school based treatment of students with social and emotional issues. Learn more about Dr. Evans

Photo of Julie S. Owens, Ph.D.
Julie S. Owens, Ph.D.

Dr. Owens is a Professor in the Department of Psychology at Ohio University and Co-Director of the Center for Intervention Research in Schools. She has worked collaboratively for over 20 years with school personnel to develop and evaluate school mental health screening, intervention, and progress monitoring procedures. Learn more about Dr. Owens

Photo of Darcey M. Allan, Ph.D.
Darcey M. Allan, Ph.D.

Dr. Allan is a professor in the Department of Psychology at Ohio University, with an extensive background in early childhood development. Her research focuses on developing assessment tools and strategies to inform intervention processes. Learn more about Dr. Allan

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Sam Girton

Sam Girton is a professor in the School of Visual Communication at Ohio University. His research and creative activity involves interactive design, web development, motion graphics, video production and commercial photography. Learn more about Sam

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Jacob Reid

Jacob Reid is a software architect with over a decade of experience producing engaging digital products for web and mobile. He has a high level of expertise in user experience design utilizing human-centered design principles, and has led teams to produce and maintain world-class web applications. Learn more about Jacob

Photo of Alison Pence-Ward
Alison Pence-Ward

Alison Pence-Ward is a School Mental Health Consultant for the Center for Intervention Research in Schools (CIRS) at Ohio University. She is a former middle school educator and school social worker. During her years in the schools, she has helped with the development of whole child initiatives, positive school culture, staff training, and data systems to measure and monitor student outcomes. She has a passion for the social, emotional, and academic success of every child and is committed to helping schools improve their Response to Intervention (RTI), Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS), and implementation of evidenced based interventions.

Azadeh Bakhtiari, Ph.D.
Azadeh Bakhtiari, Ph.D.

Azadeh is a research scholar under the supervision of Dr. Steven W. Evans in the Center for Intervention Research in Schools (CIRS) at Ohio University. She graduated from Isfahan University (an Iranian public university) with a Ph.D. in psychology in 2022. Azadeh worked for several Consulting and Psychological Services Centers in Iran prior to attending Ohio University. Her clinical background encompasses work with ADHD children and adolescents, and her current research interests are ADHD-related research, school-based intervention programs for children and adolescents, and school mental health programs. Spending time outdoors, camping, and playing with her little son and dog are some of the things Azadeh enjoys doing in her free time.

Photo of Susan Schroer
Susan Schroer

Susan "Susie" Schroer received a B.A. in Psychology and Journalism from Drury University in Springfield, Missouri. After graduation, she joined AmeriCorps and completed two years of service with a non-profit in Utah that provided outdoor recreation activities for individuals with disabilities. After her AmeriCorps service, Susie continued to live in Utah where she designed, created, and facilitated a variety of adaptive recreation and sports programs for individuals with disabilities including: a rock climbing program for youth on the Autism Spectrum, kayaking programs for individuals with spinal cord injuries, a baseball league for youth with developmental disabilities, working with youth-at-risk, and an archery program for Veterans with substance abuse conditions, mental health disorders, and physical disabilities. In 2018 she moved to Athens with her wife and spent the 2018/2019 school year working at the Beacon School as the Adapted Physical Education Teacher. Susie is also a technical classifier for USA Paralympic Track and Field. In her spare time Susie enjoys spending time with her wife and exploring new hiking trails, playing with their three dogs, and taking care of their chickens and three-legged bunny.

Photo of Hannah Brockstein
Hannah Brockstein

Hannah is a first-year doctoral student in the clinical psychology program at Ohio University. She graduated with a B.S. in Psychology and a B.S. in Family Science from the University of Maryland, College Park in 2019. Prior to attending OU, she spent two years as a clinical research coordinator at a psychology practice in Maryland researching the effectiveness of a school-based intervention for youth with psychosocial difficulties. She also gained clinical experience as a paraprofessional behavioral specialist at Camp STAR, a summer treatment program for youth with ADHD. Her current research interests include school-based interventions for youth with ADHD and improving the cultural relevance of interventions for youth from marginalized communities. In her free time, Hannah enjoys hiking and spending time outdoors, running, and spending time with her friends and family.

Additional Contributors (listed in alphabetical order)

Dr. George DuPaul
Elise Everly
Chelsea Hustus
Dr. Lee Kern
Dr. Jennifer Ottley
Tom Reid
Amanda Weisbrod

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