January 16, 2007

Safe Schools/Healthy Students: Mission accomplished?

Posted in Statistics and reporting, Student safety, Student violence at 2:16 pm by madisonparent

The Madison Metropolitan School District was the recipient of a “Safe Schools/Healthy Students” grant from the U.S. Departments of Education, Justice, and Health and Human Services, funded through 2002. The MMSD web site’s description of the SS/HS initiative is brief and appears not to have been updated since December 2001, but the “Safe Schools/Healthy Students Cross-Site Evaluation” web site provides a much more detailed description of the goals and requirements of the initiative:

The MMSD will establish and extend programming that minimizes and controls disruptive behavior during school and protects and engages students during peak hours of youth delinquency activities. [….]

The school and community will enhance mental health preventive and treatment intervention services through the implementation of positive behavior teams at the elementary school level, the employment of an ombudsman, establishment of a “safe space” at every school facility, and the expansion of training related to mental health issues for “fronting” personnel. [….]

The MMSD will implement its new code of conduct and design an automated security information management system to achieve a safe school environment. [….]

To enhance and expand efforts to prevent and immediately respond to acts of violence in its schools, the MMSD will assign educational resource officers to all middle schools. Security equipment, partitions, and locks will be integrated into the existing security plans.

The MMSD was one of 143 sites nationwide that participated in the “Safe Schools/Healthy Students” initiative, and was one of 17 “sentinel” sites chosen for an in-depth process and outcome evaluation of the effectiveness of the initiative on a national basis. In addition to the national evaluation, local evaluators were responsible for “designing and conducting a site-specific outcome evaluation to determine whether each intervention has produced its intended effects.”

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