SSA program Evaluation Report shows positive results

April 7 2011

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A multi-year evaluation of the Safe School Ambassadors (SSA) program has been completed, with some very exciting and gratifying results.

The two-part evaluation was designed to assess:

  • the efficacy of the SSA program’s logic model (e.g. to what degree do the socially influential students who are trained as Ambassadors actually use their skills?)
  • the program’s impact on school-level discipline indicators (e.g. how does fidelity of implementation correlate to program impact?)

Several statistically significant outcomes were obtained:

  • For the first part, a two-year evaluation was conducted in five middle schools in Texas using a quasi-experimental pre-post-post design. After two years, rates of helpful intervention were higher for male Ambassadors than for their demographically similar controls. Also, Ambassadors’ friends noticed more helpful interventions and reported observing less mistreatment than friends of Key Students at the control schools. Process data indicated positive effects on discipline and overall climate.
  • For the second part, suspension and other discipline data was gathered from nineteen schools that implemented the SSA program with a high degree of fidelity to internal benchmarks, and from demographically matched non-SSA schools that served as controls. Analysis of suspensions and other discipline indicators at SSA schools showed reductions averaging 33% during more than 80 different years of program implementation, while indicators at control schools rose 10% during the same years.

The evaluation is documented in this report: “The Safe School Ambassadors® Program: A Student Led Approach to Reducing Mistreatment and Bullying in Schools”.

The evaluation report has allowed us to submit the Safe School Ambassadors program to the National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP) for inclusion in its list of evidence-based programs. We have also submitted the SSA program to the Promising Practices Network. An article has been accepted for publication in a forthcoming special issue of The Clearing House; other journal articles are pending.

This fascinating and at times exhausting process was led by a dedicated team that included Dr. Alexander White, University of Texas, San Marcos, and Katherine Raczynski and Aijun Wang, both from the University of Georgia, Athens. Support for this program evaluation was provided in part by a grant from the Kaiser Permanente Foundation Community Benefit Program, Northern California Region.

For questions or inquiries about the SSA Evaluation Report, please contact Chris Pack, Director of Training & Program Development, at chris@community-matters.org or (707) 823-6159 x 105.



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