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Minnesota 2010 Development Grant Abstract


Search Institute

PR Award Number:


Project Title:

The Building Assets-Reducing Risks Program: Replication and Expansion of an Effective Strategy to Turn Around Low-Achieving Schools

Project Director:

Angela Jerabek

Amount of Award:


Length of Award:

4 years

Absolute Priority:

AP4: Persistently Low-Performing Schools

List of Partners (with states for each):

Bucksport High School (ME)
Hemet ISD (CA)
St. Louis Park (MN)

Project Website:

Description of Project:

This project will replicate and expand the Building Assets-Reducing Risks (BARR) program, which is a promising strategy focused on the first year of high school, with attention to high-needs students, student achievement and student growth. The goal of BARR is to increase student achievement for all first-year high school students through asset building and school climate improvements. Program objectives are to reduce academic failure; increase student attendance; decrease disciplinary incidents; and decrease alcohol, tobacco and other drug use. Previous implementations of BARR have demonstrated results in reducing risk behaviors (i.e., failures, illegal substance use and truancy) and increasing thriving behaviors. BARR is listed in the National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.

BARR will turn around persistently low-performing schools by integrating student supports into the school model to address nonacademic barriers to learning (Absolute Priority 4). BARR will be expanded to include 10th- through 12th-grade students at the site where the program was developed (St. Louis Park, Minn.) and will incorporate innovations that support college access and success (Competitive Priority 6) while replicating the initial BARR program at three other low-performing schools across the nation, including rural local education agencies (LEAs) in response to Competitive Priority 8, Innovations that Serve Schools in Rural LEAs.

BARR will partner with a widely recognized program, Admission Possible, to develop its college and career readiness components. Program implementation will impact 7,500 students in school years 2010-14.

Description of Evaluation:

Implementation evaluation will assess expansion longitudinally at St. Louis Park High School, where the BARR model has operated with demonstrated outcomes. Replication will occur in three additional high schools, where longitudinal assessment of implementation success will be collected and compared in a case study analysis with the existing model's performance. Evaluators will conduct interviews with administrators, coordinators, teachers, students, parents, funders and key stakeholders and collect longitudinal student data using Search Institute's Developmental Assets Profile, School Climate Survey, and nine assets correlated to academic success. These will be linked to grades, attendance, discipline and substance use to measure student outcomes.

Project Evaluator:

Anu Sharma


S&S Training & Consulting, Inc.

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Last Modified: 03/22/2011