Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $2,269,744)
The LEA Brevard Public Schools )BPS) will implement the School Climate and Safety Study, /DOJ/OJP/NIJ Developing Knowledge About What Works To Make Schools Safe, in partnership with the University of Central Florida's (UCF) highly qualified researchers, to develop knowledge on effects of mental health services on school climate within a low social economic area. Thus providing a model for other school districts.
Target: Implementation of a program to improve mental/emotional/behavioral health through the provision of mental health services for students, families and school personnel to improve relationships and functioning in schools serving the lowest socio-economic areas improving school climate. Partnerships: BPS will partner with UCF, a community mental health agency, and with law enforcement agencies.
Research: Does increasing mental health services in low socioeconomic schools improve school climate/school safety? Evaluation involves two levels; 1. Quasi-experimental, prospective longitudinal study of aggregate program effects by comparing changes in school climate/school safety at treatment group (schools) to a comparable junior/senior high school and its feeder schools located in BPS. 2. Conduct: a). school level, non-experimental design examining how implementation influenced school climate/safety; b) a student level, non-experimental pre- post test to assess changes in students' mental health needs, behavior and academic performance among student clients of social workers. Data collection protocols are subject to approval from the (UCF) Institutional Reviews Board (IRS) including surveys, consent forms, and the de-identification process for all administrative and self-report data.
Analysis: Level 1. Comparing perceptions of school climate and school safety pre-post at the targeted schools to comparison schools using the American School Climate and BPS pre-post discipline data and self-reported student data. Level 2. Compare data collected through the surveys and administrative data at the pre-test (before implementation of the program) to data collected at each of the time points. The study will compare the number of students seen by a social worker, perceptions of school climate and measures of school safety. Level 3. Evaluating the effect the social workers intervention led to changes in mental health and behavioral needs, perceptions of school climate, and measures of school safety, through the CANS needs assessment instrument. Products, reports and Data Analysis: All data reports and archiving are addressed in the plan submitted as Appendix K. ca/ncf