Item Coversheet

Board Action Request

Item Description:
Agmt A189257 with the US Dept of Justice to implement school violence and mental health prevention grant for schools with a high proportion of county involved youth, 10/01/18–09/30/21, $500,000 (recv)

BE IT RESOLVED, that Agreement A189257 with the United States Department of Justice to implement school violence and mental health prevention grant for schools with a high proportion of county involved youth during the period October 1, 2018 through September 30, 2021 in the receivable amount of $500,000, be approved; that the Chair of the Board be authorized to sign the Agreement on behalf of the county; and that the Controller be authorized to accept and disburse funds as directed.


BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that sponsorship and acceptance of grant funding for the program by Hennepin County Board of Commissioners does not imply a continued commitment by Hennepin County for this program when grant funds are no longer available.


Building Assets, Reducing Risks, (BARR), is a strength-based system that carefully builds three types of relationships in schools (teacher-student, student-student, teacher-teacher) and then teaches the teachers how to use traditional school data along with relationship-based data to create immediate and effective interventions that truly make a difference for students. BARR also helps teachers connect their students and their students’ families to community resources that provide long-term support BARR has proven to significantly reduce the number of students who fail 9th grade classes, which in turn improves graduation rates. Recent data demonstrates that 9th grade students fail 34.5% fewer classes in a BARR school when compared to non-BARR schools. In BARR schools, suspension rates decrease, and attendance rates increase. Perhaps most importantly, BARR has proven to be especially effective for students of color, students living in poverty, and males. 


Hazelden Publishing is the BARR Center’s key, long-term strategic partner, managing all of BARR’s school recruitment, training, and data collection. Hennepin County will contract with the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation and BARR for four participating schools to implement the BARR model. The BARR model costs $150,000 per school for three years of services as follows: $50,000 for year one, $50,000 for year two, and $50,000 for year three. Approximately $100,000 of the $150,000 three-year cost for implementation pays for two trainers, as well as a coach, who will visit the school during the school year. After each visit, the coach provides the school with a detailed implementation report that highlights specific suggestions for improvement. The remaining $50,000 of the implementation cost offsets the costs of the BARR support team. This team trains the coaches and trainers, develops and publishes the training and coaching materials, and reports the data that is gathered from the schools.


BARR schools often take on short-term additional costs when implementing the BARR model. Funds will be used to offset two specific types of costs that schools often incur: first to compensate teachers who attend BARR meetings before or after their regular school hours; second, BARR implementation requires teachers to attend two days of training for three consecutive summers. These dollars can be used to compensate teachers for their time during the summer months.  


During and after the grant period, Hennepin County will work with Hazelden and BARR to monitor county-involved youth academic progress. This items aligns with the county's disparity reduction efforts by providing highly targeted prevention services to county involved youth.