Communities Aligning for School Transformation (CAST)
… positive school climate change, that is.
The CAST pilot, a partnership between Prevent School Violence Illinois (PSVI) and the National School Climate Center (NSCC), worked with middle schools in Peoria, DeKalb, Hillside, Elmwood Park, and Cicero to reduce bullying through a process of comprehensive school climate transformation.
Researchers at the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) conducted an independent, multi-methods evaluation of CAST and found that the process decreased bullying victimization and perpetration across the participant schools. The amazing news: on average, CAST did better than five comparison programs!
Moving the Needle
Four key characteristics of the CAST process led to reductions in bullying victimization and perpetration:
(1) School personnel and students were educated to recognize the differences between peer conflict and bullying, which allowed them to better identify and address bullying.
(2) By engaging members of each school community with timely, relevant, and accessible data, the CAST approach led to effective interventions.
(3) The CAST approach facilitated respectful and productive relationships between and among members of each school community.
(4) Meaningful student engagement resulted in empathic, empowered, and action-oriented students.