RTI International is partnering with school districts in three North Carolina counties to improve school safety measures by implementing social and emotional learning practices. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded the RTI Center for Education Services a grant through their STOP School Violence Program to lead this initiative.
Schools in Duplin, Gates, and Stanly counties will engage in a comprehensive professional learning program, titled All Hands On Deck (AHD). The initiative prioritizes teaching social and emotional skills and learning practices among teachers, principals, counselors, and school resource officers to promote prosocial skills and behaviors in students through:
- Strengthened adult-student relationships
- Identification of harmful actions and behaviors
- De-escalation strategies
- Anti-bullying training
This comprehensive approach to improving school safety focuses on creating environments that prevent potential safety issues and behavioral problems rather than reacting to them. Mitigating at-risk behaviors begins by improving mental and behavioral health among students, and school-based SEL practices are demonstrated to accomplish that goal.
RTI will facilitate school-level training and support, district-level sustainability planning, and collaboration across the three districts to share promising practices. Program activities will include faculty professional learning workshops, focused team work sessions, SEL coaching virtual support sessions, and an annual conference. Over three years, the AHD program is expected to directly impact approximately 6,000 rural students and 600 educators.