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PSJA ISD Safe School Research Initiative

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2014, $4,137,035)

The Pharr San Juan Alamo Independent School District (PSJA ISD) located just 8 miles from the Texas/Mexico border proposes a research initiative for an innovative, culturally relevant, multi-tiered intervention to target the need for increased violence prevention, school safety and educational effectiveness. Given the backdrop of border violence in the area and the documented threats of violent incidents and disciplinary referrals a model for transformational change is needed. The experimental design with 7 high schools and 8 middle schools, with randomly chosen half intervention sites and half control sites will develop, implement, test and report findings for replication for Hispanic populations. Outcomes anticipated are, a decrease in violence incidents and an improved school safety plan through rigorous research. The research initiative and school change model will impact 14,150 students. Partnerships, Methods, Analysis, Products and Archiving The proposed research will be conducted by principal investigative team SRI and coordinated by the Grants, Compliance and Evaluation Department of PSJA ISD. The transformational model will utilize the evidenced based, Safe and Civil Schools approach combined with a culturally relevant family component called Familias Unidas, which is also evidenced based. The Safe and Civil Schools approach is registered with SAMSHA and the Familias Unidas model is a DOJ Blueprint Model. Data collected will include but will not be limited to, student engagement, student attendance, academic achievement and performance, as measured by the State of Texas Assessments of Academic Readiness (STAAR) reading and mathematics scores, discipline referrals and perceptions of school safety as measured by the School Safety Survey (SSS). Data will serve to answer the primary research questions, A.) Are multi-tiered system of supports effective in producing the following school safety outcomes? B.) Does the effect of multi-tiered system of supports differ by student and school characteristics? Because SRI investigators will measure outcomes at the school and individual levels, they propose somewhat different analyses for each. SRI conducted a power analysis showing the minimum detectable effect (MDE) for HLM analysis using the methodology in Schochet (2008). They will use factor analysis, impact analysis and school level outcome analysis which also includes feasibility of implementation analysis, moderation analysis and mediation analysis. Archiving of data will follow the highest professional and ethical standards. ca/ncf
Date Created: September 29, 2014