From FY 2005 through FY 2012, the National Evaluation Team (NET), led by MANILA Consulting Group, Inc., in partnership with Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and
Evaluation and RMC Research Corporation, conducted the Safe Schools/Healthy Students (SS/HS) national cross-site evaluation. The evaluation involved the coordinated efforts
of federal staff, local education agencies, technical assistance providers, communication specialists, and national and local evaluators across a diverse set of socioeconomic
and cultural contexts. The evaluation examined the following:
The National Evaluation Team (NET) of MANILA Consulting Group, Inc., (MANILA), and its partners Battelle Centers for Public Health Research and Evaluation (Battelle) and RMC Research Corporation (RMC), has been conducting the SS/HS national cross-site evaluation, which involves the coordinated efforts of federal Project Officers, local educational agencies, technical assistance providers, communication specialists, and national and local evaluators across a diverse set of socioeconomic and cultural contexts. This evaluation examines:
- The extent to which the SS/HS multiagency collaborative initiative was associated with project-wide improvements in the following outcome categories:
- Reduced frequency of violent incidents in schools,
- Reduced rates of current alcohol, drug, and tobacco use among students,
- Greater access to mental health services among youth,
- Reduced truancy among students,
- Improved school climate, defined as an environment favorable to learning and positive child development,
- Evidence of comprehensive project-wide improvement likely to be sustained after the end of the grant.
- The extent to which the planning and implementation process affected the success of the project in achieving the desired objectives. Areas of interest included:
- Characteristics of the needs assessment,
- Involvement of the SS/HS partners in planning decisions,
- Adoption of evidence-based practices,
- Diffusion of system change to individual schools,
- Characteristics of the implementation feedback process,
- Characteristics of implementation decision-making,
- Plans for financing improvements after the end of the grant,
- Commitment to supporting infrastructure changes.
The goal of the national cross-site evaluation of the SS/HS Initiative was to provide evidence to assess the effectiveness of the grant program in improving outcomes
and to develop an understanding of implementation factors, i.e., processes that contribute to those improved outcomes. The national evaluation had three major objectives:
- To determine the independent effects of contextual factors on outcomes
- To determine how decision and implementation processes affect outcomes
- To investigate the relationship between process and program variables and how they contributed to observed outcomes.
The national cross-site evaluation of the SS/HS Initiative confirms expectations that communities can make effective use of funds through high-functioning
partnerships that bring together key local agencies to serve children and youth. The results offer compelling evidence of the Initiative’s success, including
reduced violence and improved school safety, improved access to mental health services, and reduced alcohol and other drug use. These improvements stand in
contrast to national trends. Data for the same period (2005 to 2009) from sources such as the Youth Risk Behavior Survey (CDC, 2010) did not show significant
improvements in violence, school safety, or current substance use.
Findings also demonstrate the effectiveness of the grant with regard to collaboration among SS/HS partners, improved services and systems, and increased use
of data to guide policies and procedures.
Download and read the cross-site evaluation findings here: