Wayne Stratford Sailor, Ph.D.

Director Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) CenterAssociate Director Beach
Primary office:
208 Wakarusa Research Facility
Room 208

Dr. Wayne Sailor’s academic pursuits are focused on comprehensive school reform at the elementary and middle school levels. He has done extensive research within the framework of multi-tiered systems of support and response to intervention (MTSS/RTI). Much of this research has been concentrated on schoolwide applications of positive behavior interventions and support. He developed a school reform model called the Schoolwide Applications Model (SAM) which was field tested in Kansas City, Kansas, New Orleans, Louisiana, East Palo Alto, California, and most recently in Washington, DC schools. The success of that school turnaround model led to Dr. Sailor and his colleagues winning the competition to establish the National Center on Schoolwide Inclusive School Reform funded by the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP). As a result Dr. Sailor now directs the Schoolwide Integrated Framework for Transformation (SWIFT) Center at the University of Kansas. This Center provides technical assistance to 64 schools nation-wide spread across 16 school districts within five states. As one of the founders of the Association for Persons with Severe Disabilities (TASH) he has served as a member of its Board of Directors and was President of the organization over a four year span. Dr. Sailor’s most recent book is Unifying Education Systems published in 2013 by Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.


Full integration of students with severe disabilities through school restructuring processes; and service integration strategies for health, social, and educational services for all children at the school site.

Research Interests

  • Full integration
  • Positive behavior interventions and supports (PBIS)
  • Response to intervention (RTI)
  • Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS)

Selected Publications

Sailor, W. (2014). Advances in schoolwide inclusive school reform. Remedial and Special Education, 1-6.

Burrello, L., Kleinhammer-Tramil, J., Sailor, W., & , . (Eds.). (2013). Unifying Education Systems (L. Burrello, J. Kleinhammer-Tramil, W. Sailor, & Eds.). New York, NY: Routledge/Taylor and Francis Group.

Sailor, W. (2009). Making RTI work. How smart schools are reforming education through schoolwide RTI, New York: Jossey-Bass.

Academic Degrees

  • Ph.D., Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1969
  • M.A., Psychology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas, 1967
  • B.A., Psychology, University of California, Berkeley, California, 1963


Response to intervention, research on tertiary interventions, inclusion, schoolwide positive behavior support, and comprehensive school reform using the Schoolwide Applications Model (SAM).

Kansas Teacher Service Scholarship

More info »

Professor Elizabeth B. Kozleski, Chair in the Department of Special Education, and her colleague, Professor Pam Hunt at San Francisco State University, have been awarded a $2.75 million research grant from the US Department of Education’s Institute of Education Sciences (IES). The project title is “Implementing an Emergent Literacy Curriculum for Students with Intellectual Disabilities in General Education Classrooms.” Forty students from five districts in Kansas along with another 40 in the Bay Area in California will participate in this project which will fund six doctoral students and a post-doc at KU. This project will contribute important information about how schools across the nation can work effectively to teach literacy to students who require intensive supports to achieve academically.

Read about Jamie Basham's work! https://t.co/V4s1z9S6RI

#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
2nd nationwide for most published journal articles in special education
Wayne Sailor directs KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, to develop a national center to assist schools
A $2.5 million grant will fund research on reasons effective technology tools are underused for students with disabilities