Evaluation Proposal for School Safety Program and Comprehensive School Health and Wellness Programs

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

This four-year annually renewable agreement will enable the evaluation of two unique, but complementary, efforts by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) to ensure the existence of school environments that are supportive to learning. Specifically, it will involve annual data collection, including but not limited to school surveys, surveys of program participants, review of program documentation, and existing data collected by the ADE. This data will be used to both help understand the mechanisms of program impact as well as the impact of the program on school and student outcomes. These findings will be shared with the department as well as utilized to fulfill reporting requirements to funders including the Arizona Legislature and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Upon a mutually agreed-upon process, these findings will also be disseminated more broadly to local and national stakeholders both in terms of presentations and publications.

Project Aims Program 1- School Safety Program

The School Safety Program funds the placement of school counselors, school social workers, and school resource officers/juvenile probation officers (SROs) at school sites. SROs are additionally required to complete a law-related education (LRE) program. Possible training requirements are being evaluated for school counselors and school social workers. Similarly, specifications of job responsibilities are in place for SROs and are being developed for other positions. Based on the above, and considering the context in which the grant cycle began (i.e., virtual schooling) the following aims are proposed:

1. Evaluate the cumulative impact of the School Safety Program on school safety indicators including number of long-term expulsions, short and long-terms suspensions, referrals to law enforcement, school-related arrests, behavioral threat assessments, threats, office discipline referrals (specific to defiance and disrespect and fights, and chronic absenteeism).
2. In partnership with ADE, develop a logic model of program impact, and design and implement assessments, if needed, to capture proximal indicators of long-term effects.
3. Account for school, district, and locality (e.g., urban/rural) differences in preferences for the type of school security support personnel in all analyses and consider how this is reflective of the application process.
4. Determine possible differences in outcomes based on type of personnel or the quality of the training provided, including but not limited to the LRE.

The above aims will utilize the sample afforded by the ARS 15-154 Statute, but may take advantage of opportunities to implement more rigorous evaluation designs.

Project Aims Program 2- Comprehensive School Wellness

This program is funded by a cooperative agreement from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to increase the number of students who consume nutritious foods and beverages, participate in daily physical activity, and improve management of chronic health conditions. This is done through activities led by the Arizona School Health and Wellness Coalition, specific support for the Whole School Whole Child (WSCC) model in 5 targeted rural LEAs, community engagement events, and professional development through the Healthy Schools academies. The following aims are to be evaluated:
1. To what extent have we provided quality professional development, training and technical assistance to LEAs and schools?
2. To what extent have we developed a strong school health infrastructure throughout the state and among LEAs and schools?
3. To what extent have we supported the development and implementation of school health policies and practices, including during out-of-school time?
4. To what extent have we increased healthful behaviours and improved the management of chronic health conditions among students?

StatusActive
Effective start/end date3/1/212/28/22

Funding

  • Arizona Department of Education: $1,042,833.00

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