Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $2,000,000)
Preventing School Violence in Montgomery Public Schools (PSV-MPS), AL
This category 1 BJA STOP School Violence project includes Montgomery Public Schools (MPS) as a partner and Alabama State University (ASU), an Historically Black College and University (HBCU), as fiscal. PSV-MPS also partners with departments across ASU and local law enforcement. Three BJA STOP funding areas are addressed: school personnel and student training, School Resource Officers (SROs) specialized training, and hiring school support personnel.
Montgomery, AL is the project service area. MPS is the third largest district in AL (28,892 students), with 80% of the students being African American and most being economically disadvantaged. Of all cities in the U.S., 91% are safer than Montgomery. At school, MPS students are not sheltered or immune from widespread violence. Of 5,551 MPS behavioral reported incidents, 25% were identified as violent. In the violent school environment, too many MPS students are not thriving as illustrated by a 2019 (pre-pandemic) graduation rate of 81%, a 9% gap from the AL 90%.
PSV-MPS has the purpose to address two gaps: (1) High exposure to violence and associated low-academic outcomes, and (2) School personnel and students need education and training on preventing student violence and improving school climate. The goal is to prevent school violence. The objective is to train school personnel and educate students on preventing school violence, including strategies to improve school climate. PSV-MPS will provide intense interventions to five in-need K-5 schools (2,701 students), while also delivering districtwide training to district-level staff and SROs, impacting all MPS students.
Four primary training activities guide PSV-MPS. All trainings have the associated outcome to prevent school violence and improve school climate.
Universal training: All school staff gain essential knowledge in social emotional learning, trauma-informed, and restorative practices.
Advanced training: Select staff and admin gain in-depth knowledge of universal training topics, in addition to topics like conducting needs assessments, partnership building, and mental health services and supports.
SRO training: SROs learn and practice safety protocols/procedures and gain knowledge of strategies for promoting school safety.
Student and parent/caregiver training: Trainees learn about strategies for creating safe schools and the availability of mental health services.
PSV-MPS also includes two evaluation activities. One measures training effectiveness and the other the project goal, both of which will inform continuous improvement and sustainability planning.
MPS students, parents/caregivers, and staff will be the intended beneficiaries. There are not any subrecipients.