This is the Final Report on a federal grant project of the Miami-Dade County Public Schools (M-DCPS) for the implementation, pilot testing, and evaluation of the effects of an innovative fusion center called “Campus Shield,” with the goal of improving school safety and climate through the development and deployment of a data collection, analysis, and dissemination system that facilitates proactive responses to potential security threats.
Three additional resources supplemented and improved the Campus Shield fusion center: 1) a visitor management system (VMS) to provided information on entries and exits from the school building, 2) surveillance, and 3) a system of mental health specialists that provides direct mental health services and a liaison between school-based student services and community-based mental health services. In January 2015, a formative and summative evaluation of the Campus Shield initiative was conducted, which included a pilot test at three middle and three high schools. It assessed the development and implementation of the data system, analytical tools, methods of dissemination, and related school-level response. Twelve experimental sites and 12 control sites were used to examine how the implementation of Campus Shield has improved student behavior and school climate. The evaluation also involved interviews with mental health professionals, surveys of administrators, and interviews and surveys of staff from large urban school districts. The evaluation found high satisfaction with security cameras and VMS, but low satisfaction with training and support. Training in the use of data collection and reporting procedures was poor. High satisfaction was found for mental health intervention. Pilot, treatment, and control schools had similar incident trends and behavioral outcome patterns across project years. Given the limited scope of the project’s implementation, recommendations for other grantees focus more on grant mechanisms than on school safety. 9 tables and 5 figures