This report presents the findings and methodology of the evaluation of the implementation of the Safe Schools Research Initiative (SSRI) In the Pharr-San Juan-Alamo (PSJA) Independent School District in the Rio Grande Valley.
This evaluation was funded under the National Institute of Justice's (NIJ's) Comprehensive School Safety Initiative (SSRI). Through the SSRI, district secondary schools serving majority Hispanic and economically disadvantaged students adopted "Foundations," a school-wide intervention that promotes positive discipline policies, which was developed by Safe & Civil Schools. The evaluation involved site visits in fall 2015, which were conducted to provide a baseline of conditions in the eight treatment (Foundations) schools and seven comparison schools. Site visits in spring 2016 obtained feedback on the first full school year of implementation in the eight Foundations schools. A third round of site visits in spring 2017 focused on identifying best practices and lessons learned from the first 2 years of implementation in treatment schools and highlighted any major changes in the comparison schools since the baseline visits. For all three rounds of site visits, researchers used semi-structured interview protocols to obtain answers to implementation-research questions. The Foundations schools focused on one component of the Foundations model called "START on Time." This is a program designed to create safe hallway transitions and reduce tardiness school-wide. Across all three rounds of site visits, school staff reported that implementation of START on Time was a success. They believed it improved behavior in the hallway and also improved school culture almost immediately. The majority of respondents reported the Foundations training and resource tools were useful in supporting implementation; however, they wanted more training specific to their distinctive school needs. 3 tables
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