Privacy Act of 1974; System of Records-Impact Evaluation of a School-based Violence Prevention Program
In accordance with the Privacy Act of 1974, as amended (Privacy Act), the Department of Education (the Department) publishes this notice of a new system of records entitled ``Impact Evaluation of a School-based Violence Prevention Program,'' 18-13-15. The purpose of the impact evaluation is to determine the effectiveness of a violence prevention program comprised of two violence prevention interventions for middle schools using a rigorous research design. Currently, there is lack of rigorous research concerning school-based violence prevention in middle schools. The Department's contractor, RTI International (RTI), selected the violence prevention interventions to be evaluated through an open competition with advisement from a panel of experts in the field of violence prevention. RTI selected the Responding in Peaceful and Positive Ways (RiPP) and Best Behavior interventions and combined the two approaches into a single violence prevention program with two components: (1) A curriculum-based model to facilitate students' social competency, problem solving, and self- control skills, and (2) a whole-school model that targets school practices and policies usually through classroom management or teaching strategies, or through systemic reorganization and modification of school management, disciplinary policies, and enforcement procedures. The RiPP intervention will provide the curriculum-based component of the program , and the Best Behavior intervention will provide the whole-school component of the program. The system will contain information about students, teachers, and other school staff members in schools that are randomly assigned either to implement the violence prevention program or not to implement the program. The sample will consist of approximately 20,000 students and approximately 3,000 teachers and other school staff members drawn from approximately 40 schools over 3 years. Each of the 40 schools that participate in the study will be randomly assigned either to receive the violence prevention program or not to receive the program so that approximately 20 schools are in each study condition. At each school, sixth graders will be surveyed in the 2006-2007 school year, seventh graders in the 2007-2008 school year, and eighth graders in the 2008- 2009 school year. The teacher survey will be administered to a random sample of 24 teachers (stratified by grade) at each of the middle schools participating in the study. Teachers will complete the survey in spring of 2007, 2008, and 2009, with a new random sample of teachers selected each year. Other school staff members will be interviewed about victimization and their experiences implementing the program. The system of records will include students' names, demographic information (such as date of birth and race/ethnicity), self-reported attitudes about violence and feelings of safety, self-reported victimization, and self-reported violent and delinquent behaviors. The system also will include information from school records such as records of students' attendance, suspensions, expulsions, and school policy violations. The system also will include teachers' and other school staff members' self-reported victimization at school as well as their experiences with training and technical assistance related to their schools' violence prevention efforts.