The SAVER Project: A SAFE SCHOOLS / HEALTHY STUDENTS INITIATIVE
The XY-YY County Schools propose to establish a community-wide network of service providers for substance abuse and violence reduction and intervention. The effort is called the Substance Abuse and Violent Episode Reduction (SAVER) Project, and represents the work of some seventeen community agencies and organizations, representatives from which forged the comprehensive plan in Appendix II of this document.
Problems to be Addressed
Like most American Indian Reservation border regions, XY-YY County Schools (GMCS) has severe substance abuse problems, and in recent years an upsurge has been measured in teen violence. Many of YY County’s problems are caused by or exacerbated by its rural isolation and special social, linguistic, cultural and geographic circumstances.
Evidence of Community Risk Factors
The rural XY-YY County School District (GMCS) is geographically the largest in the United States, covering over 5,000 square miles. The District serves a student population of 14,400 students in 31 schools. The student population is 75% Native American, 13% Hispanic, 11% Anglo and 1% Other. Roughly half the county lies within the Navajo Indian Reservation, and over 10,000 school-age Navajos attend the District’s public schools. (English is a second language for 57% of these students.)
Fifteen of the District’s schools are located in XY, NN, the only incorporated town in the county. XY is situated on Interstate 40, about 15 miles from the Arizona state line, and has a population of roughly 20,000. The remaining schools are in small villages and hamlets scattered along smaller federal and state highways, the two most distant schools being fully 100 highway miles apart. The nearest city of any size is Albuquerque, 135 miles to the east. Many students face more than 4 hours daily on school buses, preceded or followed by long walks down unimproved dirt tracks leading to their remote homes miles from the paved roads.
Many recent studies have demonstrated that poverty is a major factor in health maintenance, and poor health and poverty together have a substantial negative effect on student academic performance and participation in risky behavior. This is at least partly because of the feelings of despair and hopelessness poverty and less than perfect health can generate. YY County is one of the poorest in the nation. Roughly 85% of the student population qualifies for Free or Reduced Cost Lunch Programs, and 43% of the county’s residents live in poverty. The county’s unemployment rate is 11%, and on the Navajo Reservation it can exceed 40%. The per capita income averages $11,700.
The isolated, rural nature of the school district and the loose, extended family structure of the Navajo people exacerbate three factors that encourage behavior problems among the GMCS students. First, the great distances minimize family influence on children, because daily travel time to and from school severely limits the time children spend with their families.
Second, these same conditions lead to high teacher turnover. Teachers are recruited from around the nation and many arrivals succumb to culture and environmental shock in their first year or two of teaching, resulting in an attrition rate of 30% or more each year. As a result, classrooms are often manned by inexperienced teachers, persons “on waiver” to become teachers, or unqualified (non-degreed) substitute teachers. The same attrition is seen in counselors, and consequently there is little continuity from year to year (or even within a given year) in those professionals who regularly observe the student in action. Thus, changes in behavior, attitudes, grades, and so forth are often not recognized as signs of pending, preventable, difficulty – until after problem behavior erupts.
The single ethnic/cultural factor most strongly effecting student risky behavior is the tendency among Navajo extended families to share in the raising of the child. The child may live with parents one month, an older sibling the next, and an aunt the next. It is not uncommon for a student to transfer from one school to another within the county several times in one year. This further reduces the effectiveness of familial observation and familiarity with the student’s behavior, and also diminishes the effectiveness of family role models and discipline, conversely increasing the effectiveness of peer pressures.
The shortage of quality instruction hurts this District more than it would most. Many Navajo children in the District enter school with poor comprehension in both Navajo and English. On the average, GMCS students are two-and-one-half to three years behind the state average when they enter first grade, as measured by the Early Prevention of School Failure (EPSF) test. The State Department of Education ranks GMCS 85th of 88 school districts in overall academic performance. Only a third of entering high school freshmen graduate, and an overwhelming majority of the dropouts are Navajo and Spanish language speakers.
Factual Basis for the Problem Statement
Increasingly, the problems of substance abuse and violent behavior is reaching the juvenile population. Tables 1 and 2 show the results of a Youth Risk Behavior Survey conducted during the 1997-98 school year.
|Risky Behavior in General||XY||Navajo||US|
|Drank Alcohol in Past Month||49%||44%||41%|
|Drank 5 or more drinks of Alcohol||38%||32%||33%|
|Drove while drinking in past month||20%||17%||17%|
|Rode with Drinking Driver in Past Month||39%||38%||37%|
|Use Marijuana in Past Month||32%||37%||26%|
|Ever Used Cocaine||13%||16%||8%|
|Ever sniffed/inhaled Substances||20%||21%||16%|
|Ever Injected Illegal Drugs||3%||5%||2%|
|Carried Weapon in Past Year||16%||22%||18%|
|In a Physical Fight in Past Year||32%||37%||37%|
Table 2. Compiled by Janie Lee Hall, NM Dept of Health from 1997 YRBS (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) data for
Navajo High Schools, grades 9-12.
|Risky Behavior While On School Property||XY||Navajo||US|
|Smoked Cigarettes in Past Month||22%||22%||15%|
|Used Smokeless Tobacco in Past Month||10%||10%||5%|
|Drank alcohol in Past Month||11%||13%||6%|
|Used Marijuana in Past Month||14%||21%||7%|
|Offered, sold or Given Illegal Drug in Past year||37%||36%||32%|
|Carried a Weapon in Past Month||7%||10%||9%|
|In a Physical Fight in Past Year||16%||20%||15%|
|Felt too Unsafe to Attend School in Past Month||7%||9%||4%|
Table 3. Compiled by Janie Lee Hall, NM Dept of Health from 1997 YRBS (Youth Risk Behavior Survey) data for
Navajo High Schools, grades 9-12.
The data in the tables measure the incidence of risky behavior within the community of XY against responses from Navajos in all of YY County and national statistics. In nearly every measured behavior, the figures reflect rates of occurrence in both the XY area and among Navajos throughout YY County which exceed the national norm. According to these statistics, nearly half of the 14,400 GMCS consumed an alcoholic beverage in the past month, and nearly one-third used marijuana. A third (nearly 5,000) of the students have been involved in a physical fight in the past year.
Over one-third were offered, sold or given illicit drugs while on school property during the past year, and the proportions that partook of cigarettes, smokeless tobacco, alcohol and marijuana were 50% to 100% higher than the national averages.
It comes as no surprise, then, that the drop out rate among GMCS students is very high. While the district’s official rate (listed by the State of NN) is listed as 6%, district statistics show more than two thirds of entering of high school freshmen graduate three years later.
In recent years, county’s location on Interstate 40 has lead to increased gang activity, as members of such infamous Los Angeles gangs as the Bloods and the Crips have begun recruiting in the hinterlands. Sporadic violence has increased throughout the region, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation calling for an increase in law enforcement presence for the Navajo Reservation. Yet the Juvenile Probation and Parole Office (JPPO) sees that the region is unprepared, referring even kindergarten students to the local police agencies.
In short, GMCS experiences very high rates of substance abuse and violent behavior, and there are insufficient SAS Counselors to provide adequate counseling and education programs Furthermore, there are precious few outside intervention or treatment services available for students.
An Assessment of Community Resources
Presently, the City of XY administers afterschool programs at 3 elementary schools in XY. The National Indian Youth Leadership Project (a private non-profit agency) runs two additional afterschool ‘Al Chini Bah programs, in XY at the middle school level – one at XY Middle School (grades 6-7), and one at XY Junior High (grades 8-9). Only the ‘Al Chini Bah program is geared toward assisting students develop social skills, and it serves only 400 students in the two schools.
Community mental health is largely serviced by the XY Indian Medical Center (GIMC), a facility of the US Public Health Service/Indian Health Service. This facility serves only Native American clients. Aside from itinerant individual psychologists who serve limited clientele (mostly coming to XY from Albuquerque one or two days per week), the only other mental health services come from Rehoboth YY Christian Health Services, a joint venture in which the County plays a major role. Both the GIMC and Rehoboth YY Christian Hospital (RMCH) provide out-patient care, while only RMCH offers in-patient care.
Connections, Inc. is a local referral service catering to juveniles in trouble, usually taking clients through the Juvenile Probation and Parole Office and working with the local mental health service providers to provide assistance to the young people.
Currently, only three elementary schools in the District offer pre-school services serving approximately 60 children (total) in half-day programs, while the local Head Start programs provide services to 200 children aged 3 and 4. However, a recent survey of District kindergarten teachers concluded that the local Head Start children do not show significant gains over children with no academic readiness training.
There are two early intervention programs operating in YY County. One is Child Find, which tries to identify young, preschool, children who exhibit signs of learning disabilities. These children are then referred to the appropriate agency for special education services.
Families FIRST is a prenatal care coordination program designed to improve birth outcomes and early childhood development for high-risk families. Intervention consists primarily of education for parents and medical service for parents and children.
The XY Police Department is currently operating a DARE program at schools within the city of XY, and they presently are operating a limited School Resource Officer Program at XY Junior High and XY High Schools – by far the largest schools in the District. Schools in the smaller communities, however, are receiving no services. The YY County Sheriff conducted DARE programs at one time but stopped several years ago. The Navajo Nation Police Department is currently investigating the COPs Program, but their resources are extremely limited, with a single officer often covering areas of a thousand square miles or more.
The District embraces Character Counts, but with site-based management only about half the elementary schools actively take part in this worthy social skills program. Lions QUEST is another character and behavior augmenting program presently working in one-third of the District’s elementary schools. The Indian Health Service is preparing to implement a program based on QUEST. Called RISTRA, this program is designed for Native American student populations. However, this program has yet to be tested on Navajo students.
Goals and Objectives
In consideration of the problems identified, GMCS has adopted the SAVE Project as an integral part of its overall school reform program. Included is a Comprehensive Community-wide Plan which utilizes an integrated strategy for the entire district to:
– help students develop skills and emotional resilience necessary to promote positive mental health, engage in pro-social behavior, and prevent violent behavior and drug use;
– ensure that all students who attend our schools are able to learn in a safe, disciplined, and drug-free environment,
– provide students, schools, and families, within our community, a network of effective comprehensive services, supports, and activities that promote healthy development and safety,
– link and integrate existing and services and activities into a comprehensive approach to violence prevention and healthy development that reflects the overall vision for the community, not the isolated objectives of a single activity or entity,
– help develop an infrastructure that will institutionalize and sustain integrated services after Federal funding has ended.
A copy of the Plan is found in Appendix II of this document.
In order to address the above list, the District has solicited assistance from a wide variety of community agencies and organizations, along with school personnel, in establishing a set of measurable and attainable goals and objectives:
GOAL I: To make district schools safer through an improved partnership with local law enforcement.
Objective I.A: Community policing strategies and School Resource Officer
Programs and an expanded DARE program.
|Activities for Objective I.A|
|Acivity I.A.1||Invite local private school participation in the planning and programming process (5/1999).|
|Acivity I.A.2||Expand XY “DARE” programming to cover grades 5 through 9 (beginning 8/99).|
|Acivity I.A.3||Work with XY Security Service, local law enforcement agencies, school staff, students, and consultants to assess, evaluate, and make recommendations for the provision of safe school facilities (1/1/2000 – 6/30/2000).|
|Acivity I.A.4||Expand duties of existing Non-violent Crisis Intervention Teams (by 1/1/2000), throughout the district, to work with the county-wide Emergency Response Team|
|Acivity I.A.5||Work to introduce and expand community oriented policing services, to all schools throughout the district, in conjunction with local law enforcement agencies (on going beginning 2/1/2000).|
|Acivity I.A.6||Hire a Program Director to coordinate all activities under each element of this initiative (by 3/1/2000).|
|Acivity I.A.7||Hire “COPS” Coordinator and two (2) additional School Resource Officers (by 5/1/2000|
Objective I.B: Staff training for all aspects of violence prevention and dealing
with aggression and violent behavior as well as promoting safety and avoiding violence;
|Activities for Objective I.B|
|Activity I.B.1||Provide age-appropriate training and consultation to school personnel on avoiding and preventing violence and identification of students in need of mental health, psychosocial, and/or early childhood development services (beginning 8/1/2000 and on-going thereafter).|
|Activity I.B.2||Support and participate in the programming involved with the QUEST, RISTRA, and SPARK programs as outlined in element (b) above (by 7/1/2000).|
|Activity I.B.3||Research, develop, and continuously refine a comprehensive program designed to support teachers and counselors in their duties related to this issue (by 8/1/2000).|
|Activity I.B.4||Institute a formal recognition program for staff, students, family, and community members/organizations for their outstanding contributions to these efforts to promote Safe Schools and Healthy Students (by 8/1/2000).|
Objective I.C: Development of stronger community relations and ties with all
local agencies and organizations dedicated to safety and security.
|Activities for Objective I.C|
|Activity I.C.1||Meet with representatives of local community agencies and organizations to define needs and available services (by 4/1999).|
|Activity I.C.2||Create a formal, signed agreement indicating the nature of an effective working relationship between the XY-YY County School District, the Public Health Service/Indian Health Service, the NN Department of Health, local law enforcement and Juvenile Justice officials (Appendix R) (by 6/1/99).|
GOAL II: To reduce the use of alcohol, illegal drugs and tobacco by GMCS students.
Objective II.A: Turn the District’s 19 neighborhood-based elementary schools
into focal points for family strengthening and after-school activities from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on school days, and expand programming and hours of operation as feasible;
|Activities for Objective II.A|
|Activity II.A.1||Develop after school programs for elementary schools that include a mix of academic, enrichment and physical activities.|
|Activity II.A.2||Hire staff to supervise the program at each school.|
|Activity II.A.3||Encourage parental participation by having parents stay for awhile when they come to pick up their children.|
Objective II.B: Reward pro-social behavior in a systematic way to support high
standards of conduct, throughout the district, both in student and staff populations;
|Activities for Objective II.B|
|Activity II.B.1||Institute a formal recognition program for staff, students, family, and community members/organizations for their outstanding contributions to these efforts to promote Safe Schools and Healthy Students (by 8/1/2000).|
Objective II.C: Implement district-wide education and training on avoiding and
|Activities for Objective II-C|
|Activity II.C.1||Implement the current district-wide, age-appropriate, zero-tolerance discipline policy (on-going, beginning 3/1/2000);|
|Activity II.C.2||Develop a unified youth crime prevention program among law enforcement agencies county/district-wide (by 5/1/2000);|
|Activity II.C.3||Recommend and coordinate training/staff development measures, including anger management and conflict mediation training, and not limited to CORE training for all school staff and security officers (ongoing, beginning 9/1/2000);|
Objective II.D: Implement such comprehensive school health programs as QUEST, RISTRA, and SPARK in each district school.
|Activities for Objective II.D|
|Activity II.D.1||Allow principals, Counseling Coordinators and teachers, with parental input, to select the program that best fits their school population|
|Activity II.D.2||Provide training to teachers in the implementation of the program at their school|
|Activity II.D.3||Allow the trained teachers to train other teachers in the implementation of the program.|
GOAL III: To provide equitable access to appropriate high quality mental health services for children, including – but not limited to – early childhood (preschool) emotional development services and treatment services for mental disorders (such as substance abuse).
Objective III.A: Formalized agreement for an effective working relationship
between GMCS, the Public Health Service/Indian Health Service, and Rehoboth YY Christian Health Services for student referrals to mental health services
|Activities for Objective III.A|
|Activity III.A.1||Meet with providers to identify gaps in current services and services offered by the providers.|
|Activity III.A.2||Develop agreement on which providers will provide what services to the schools and under what conditions.|
|Activity III.A.3||Sign agreement|
Objective III.B: Train all school faculty and appropriate staff to identify students
who may be in need of preventive and/or treatment services for mental
disturbance or emotional and behavioral problems
|Activities for Objective III.B|
|Activity III.B.1||Research existing programs for training teachers in mental health intervention.|
|Activity III.B.2||Select the program best suited for GMCS students.|
|Activity III.B.3||Hire trainers or send teachers to be trained in a “train-the-trainer” strategy.|
|Activity III.B.4||Train all teachers in the schools.|
Objective III.C: Expand duties of existing school-based Non-violent Crisis Intervention Teams throughout the district to work with the county-wide Emergency Response Team
|Activities for Objective III.C|
|Activity III.C.1||Through partnership with law enforcement, provide training for team leaders at each school.|
|Activity III.C.2||Provide release time for team leaders to train the remaining members of their teams|
|Activity III.C.3||Have regular (semester) meetings of county-wide Emergency Response Team.|
Objective III.D: Develop a core network of services and supports available to all
high-risk families with young children and to all high-risk mothers prior to the
birth of a child for the early prevention and intervention of the causes of risky
behavior in children.
|Activities for Objective III.D|
|Activity III.D.1||Search and identify all providers of mental health services for juveniles and families at risk.|
|Activity III.D.2||Compile a listing for distribution to all school counselors, and law enforcement agencies|
|Activity III.D.3||Update the list on a regular basis (at least annually)|
Design of Proposed Strategy
A Comprehensive Network Representing Each Element of the Safe Schools/Healthy Students Initiative
The following community partners have come together to develop, implement, evaluate, and support a comprehensive community-wide strategic plan for creating and maintaining safe and drug-free schools and promoting healthy childhood development.
Schools Students & Families
XY-YY County Schools District PTSOs
XY Catholic School Student Government
Rehoboth Christian School
Higher Education Businesses
University of NN XY Security Service
UUUU-XY Police Academy Bridging Success Therapy
Health & Social Services Law Enforcement
Indian Health Service – GIMC YY County Sheriff’s Dept.
NN Department of Health XY Police Department
Rehoboth YY Christian Health Navajo Police Department
Care Services District Attorney’s Office
CFAC / K’ E Project
Juvenile Justice Authorities Civic Organizations
Local Juvenile Justice Officials XY Lions Club
Juvenile Probation National Indian Youth
Community Coalitions Faith Communities
Domestic Violence Task Force
XY YY Coalition for Youth
Strategic Alliance Against Substance Abuse
YY County Coalition for Families
Navajo Nation Children’s Advocacy Committee
XY Voices Against Crime
The derivation of this plan has been through a participatory planning process for all interested community members. At regularly scheduled meetings each week during the months of April and May, 1999, the coalition met to discuss a needs assessment of the community. Each agency was able to voice concerns from its perspective. A process of votes was utilized to focus the group on the primary needs identified above.
The result of these meetings is the agreement of the agencies (Appendix I) and
Comprehensive Plan presented in Appendix II. In the Plan, all six elements of the Safe
Schools/Healthy Students Initiative are addressed. The Project has selected programs that are evidence based and appropriate for the grade levels in which they will be used. These include Lions Quest, Character Counts, RISTRA and SPARK.
The attached XY-YY County Schools Safe Schools / Healthy Students Initiative Comprehensive Community-wide Plan (Appendix II) represents a comprehensive network in which each element of the Safe Schools / Healthy Students Initiative is addressed and incorporated in an integrated fashion. Each intervention has been closely screened to insure it is appropriate for the age and development levels, gender, and ethnic and cultural diversity of the target population.
Element (1) Safe School Environment is being addressed primarily by introducing “Community Oriented Policing Services”, especially utilization of School Resource Officers, throughout the School District. A very limited amount of such services have only recently begun to be introduced into our community schools. Of the four law enforcement agencies operating in the XY-YY County School District, only the XY Police Department has initiated “COPS”. The Navajo Police Department, Ramah Police Department, and the YY County Sheriff’s Department have yet to organize any formal “COPS” programming. A part of Community Oriented Policing Services are School Resource Officers.
Element (2) Alcohol and other drugs and violence prevention and early intervention programs is being addressed by:
– providing for the utilization of our 19 neighborhood-based elementary schools as the focal point for family strengthening and after-school activities from 3:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. on school days;
– enhancing training and staff development for school personnel;
– implementing comprehensive school health programming.
Opening our schools for student use between 3:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. is essentially the same as extending the school day. Many of the State-required elements of educational standards have been ignored, especially in terms of physical education and the arts. Giving students, teachers, and the community a place to share talents is the first step in developing closer links among all interested parties.
Elements (3) School and community mental health preventive and treatment intervention services and (4) Early childhood psychosocial and emotional development programs have been combined together, for the most part, in the XY-YY County Schools Safe Schools / Healthy Students Initiative Comprehensive Community-wide Plan (Appendix II). The primary problems to be addressed in this area are:
– lack of comprehensive case management services,
– lack of “good” data for evaluation and analysis of services,
– lack of a student-focused suicide prevention program,
– teacher / school staff identification of students in need.
The primary methodology to address these issues, as detailed in the Comprehensive Community-wide Plan, is through the hiring of a School Health Resource Coordinator. This individual is essentially responsible for accomplishing the solutions to each of the problems identified under this element. Details of the duties for the School Health Resource Coordinator are explained in the Memorandum of Understanding between the XY Indian Medical Center’s 4-Directions Counseling Services and the XY-YY School District (Appendix I). This person will be responsible for case management and overall coordination of all mental health, psychosocial, and early childhood development services rendered to students in need. This individual will also be required to maintain a confidential data set on all students and services rendered. This should help to eliminate our lack of “good” data for services included under these two elements.
The XY-YY School District will work to permanently add the School Health Resource Coordinator to their permanent staff by the end of the third year. We fully expect the allocation for specialty services to be replaced by the ly developed NN Child Health Insurance Plan, which is currently being reviewed by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA).
Element (5), Educational Reform, is being addressed across the District as it strives to come into compliance with state and federal content standards. In fact, GMCS was the first District in NN to develop benchmarks for the state standards in language arts and math, and these benchmarks eventually became the basis for those incorporated by the state. The District has begun aggressively implementing classroom technology with the acquisition of computer hardware and focused teacher training efforts such as the Education Technology Improvement Plan Project (funded by a US Department of Education Technology Innovation Challenge Grant) to ensure the most effective classroom use of the hardware. Other teacher training efforts include Goals 2000 and US Department of Education grants to improve preservice teacher training in our region and a Best Practices effort for High School teachers to use cooperative learning and thematic units. The district has addressed alternative discipline through in-house suspensions and behavior contracts with students.
As part of the present grant application, GMCS is seeking funding to expand after school programs.
Element (6), Safe School Policies, is only just now getting fully organized in the District as a reflection of recent events in Colorado and around the nation. GMCS has always maintained a discipline policy that clearly outlines acceptable and unacceptable student behavior, with enforcement and clearly defined. However, these policies and measures have not necessarily been imposed fairly and equitably across the student population, as the school principals exercise a fair measure of discretion in disciplining students.
The district’s policy on substance possession, use and distribution is “zero tolerance,” and anyone bringing a weapon to school is summarily suspended pending an expulsion hearing.
The district has implemented several research-based substance abuse prevention and school safety programs at different school levels, but primarily the Lions QUEST and DARE programs for the elementary levels.
Over the past three years the district has tested numerous policies for dealing with a high truancy rate. These have ranged from hearings and suspensions for a half-dozen absences to disenrollment for 10 or more absences. Currently the student is held responsible for their absences, with disenrollment from any class in which they have missed 10 or more sessions – unless the student can prove a need for the absence at a hearing.
GMCS has begun addressing the reintegration of students from the juvenile justice system by offering instruction at the juvenile detention centers to insure that students in custody do not fall too far behind in the schooling. This makes it easier to reintegrate the student when their incarceration ends.
The schools are currently implementing an electronic information management system that will track disciplinary actions (suspensions, expulsions, etc.) along with grades, attendance figures and other student-based information. The software has proven difficult over the past two years, and not all schools had office computers until this year. Connectivity is still a problem.
The District maintains a policy that encourages teachers to solicit community and parental involvement in school activities. However, Navajo adults, like most Native Americans in their age group, suffered severely, emotionally and physically, in Bureau of Indian Affairs educational system which forced removal of children from families to boarding schools. Students were severely punished for such minor infractions as speaking in their native tongue, crying, etc. Until recently, education systems on and around Indian reservations continued to be administered by non-Indians who were often insensitive to Native American needs an further alienated the Navajo people. While more and more Navajo parents are becoming involved in the education of their children, the overall participation is still 5% or less.
Documenting that Objectives Have Been Met
The District will hire coordinators (see Activities I.A.6 and I.A.7) to oversee much of the labor of this project. An outside evaluator will also be contracted from the professorial staff at University of NN at XY or from Western NN University’s XY Graduate Studies Center.
The coordinators and the evaluator will work together to conduct the formative and summative evaluations according to the following:
|1. Effectiveness of research||a. Coordinator will submit written reports to the District Counseling Coordinators concerning results of research and recommendations for their own schools’ programs.||Coordinators|
|b. Assess Coordinator’s evaluation of programs, strategies and techniques for addressing the problems of substance abuse and school safety. How many programs were studied? What features were sought in the programs selected? Are these programs research based? Have they proven successful for minority populations in general? Have they been tested with Native American populations?||District Counseling Coordinator and the Project Evaluator|
|c. Compare those programs selected with schools and districts with similar demographics.||Project Evaluator|
|d. Consult with teachers on the ease of use and suitability of the programs chosen for their schools in working with the specific student population.||Project Evaluator|
|2. Effectiveness of staff training||a. Conduct pre-training surveys to measure staff’s understanding of the topics/principles of training instruction.||Coordinators|
|b. Collect anecdotal materials from teachers who have undergone the training.||Project Evaluator|
|c. Conduct post-training surveys to measure staff’s understanding of the topics/principles of training instruction after completion of training.
|d. Collect and analyze data on teacher referrals of students for counseling and mental health services prior to actual reported occurrences of substance abuse and or violent behavior.||Coordinators,Project Evaluator|
|3. Effectiveness of student counseling||a. Conduct pre-counseling assessments of student attitudes and knowledge of the results, consequences and aftereffects of substance abuse and violent behavior||Project Evaluator|
|b. Interview students for anecdotal materials concerning personal experiences with substance abuse and violent behavior; measure any alterations in those behaviors following the implementation of counseling||Project Evaluator|
|c. Encourage students to maintain reflection journals on their experiences in the areas of substance abuse and violent behavior. These experiences include encounters with others (friends, family members) who abuse substances or commit violent acts toward the student or others.||Coordinators|
|d. Conduct post-counseling assessments of student attitudes and knowledge of the consequences of substance abuse and violent behavior.||Project Evaluator|
|e. Collect semi annual school data on reported incidents of substance abuse and or violent acts (fights) to compare with previous years’ data.||Coordinators|
|4. Reduction of substance abuse and improvement of school safety.||a. Examine semi annual school data on reported incidents of substance abuse and or violent acts (fights) to compare with previous years’ data and with control data from other schools/grades not being served by the project.||Project Evaluator|
|b. If any changes are noted, conduct a survey of the students to determine their belief(s) as to why the changes occurred.||Project Evaluator|
|5. Parental Involvement||a. Conduct pre-assessment survey of all parents of students in the schools and grades to be served to determine their level of knowledge concerning the results, consequences and aftereffects of substance abuse and violent behavior.||Coordinators|
|b. Conduct post-assessment survey of all parents of students in the schools and grades to be served to determine their level of knowledge concerning the results, consequences and aftereffects of substance abuse and violent behavior.||Coordinators|
|c. Maintain records of Coordinator participation in community meetings dealing with parents||Coordinators|
|d. Define specific alterations in the program resulting from cultural/ethnic factors brought about by parental participation.||Project Evaluator|
Management and Organizational Capability
As shown by the formal agreement between the school system (Appendix II), the local mental health providers and law enforcement, as well as the numerous letters of support provided by participants in the planning process for this project, there is considerable commitment to make the project work.
The agreement calls for the four partner agencies to combine their efforts to: (1) create a system to facilitate the identification of students in need to mental health services; (2) training for teachers in the early warning signs of student substance abuse and/or violent tendencies; (3); instruction to students on avoidance of substance abuse and violent behaviors; and (4) the provision of easy and equitable access to mental health services for all students.
GMCS will serve as the lead agency for this partnership. The grant will hire coordinators and officers to conduct the work of the grant for each of the collaborators, and representatives of the collaborating agencies will define a meeting schedule to allow for the production of status reports, assessment of progress toward goals, discussion of problems, etc. The project’s coordinators and officers will communicate on a regular basis as the progress proceeds and their work brings them together.
The Plan bears the signatures of the highest officials, or Chief Executives, of each partner organization .