Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2021, $999,997)
Durham Public Schools (DPS) in this 36-month project will provide training to prevent school violence and bullying.
The project will serve four of DPS’s most in-need high schools: 5,862 students in grades 9-12. 88% of the students are minorities, with African American at 50% and Hispanic at 34% being the largest represented groups. Two project schools receive a Community Eligibility Provision, a USDA program providing resources in poverty-stricken areas to offer free meals to all students. The other schools Free and Reduced Meal rates exceed 60%. The schools’ mean graduation rate is 80.5%, representing a -6.5% gap from the state. Durham has a violent crime rate of 687/100,000, which exceeds the state and nation by 45%. Within the four project high schools, total incidents of school discipline double the district, with 9.8% school disciplinary incidents (per 1,000 students), 2 bomb threats, and 13% of all incidents reported as an assault on school personnel.
The project addresses two gaps: (1) Pervasive school and community violence and (2) School personnel and students need training on preventing student violence and bullying. The project goal is to prevent school violence. The project objective is to provide training to prevent student violence against others and self, including training for school personnel and students.
To accomplish the objective, the project has five primary activities centered on preventing school violence: (1) Train school personnel, (2) Provide specialized training to select school staff (3) Train students and their caregivers, (4) Evaluate the effectiveness of school personnel trainings, and (5) Evaluate the effectiveness of student and caregiver trainings.
The project provides deliverables for each of the primary activities. First, school personnel trained in Social Emotional Learning (SEL), restorative practices, trauma-informed practices, SaferSaner Schools, North Carolina’s anonymous reporting technologies, and school- and community-based mental health services. Second, School Safety Advocates (SSAs) with advanced training in International Institute for Restorative Practices (IIRP), NC’s anonymous reporting technologies, school- and community-based mental health services, and Check-in Check-out. Third, students and parents/caregivers trained in strategies to reduce school violence like SEL, NC’s anonymous reporting technologies, and available school- and community-based mental health services. Fourth, project effectiveness at increasing school personnel content knowledge on responding to threats of violence and preventing violence on campus. Fifth, project effectiveness at preventing school violence and juvenile violence in schools and in the community.