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Assessment for the Bullying Prevention and Education Grant Program
It is necessary that data be collected to determine the effectiveness of the BPEG program implemented by each grantee. Grantees have several options for assessing the effectiveness of their program; however, there are universal procedures that must be followed regardless of which survey option is selected.
Note: These formal assessments do not need to be completed prior to applying for the grant. See the Section A: Needs Assessment Walkthrough webpage for more information.
The following procedures must be followed regardless of which survey option is used:
- In accordance with 22-93-101 § C.R.S., grantees are not allowed to collect any personally identifiable information (PDF) when administering surveys to students. Personally identifiable information includes names, student ID numbers, and dates of birth.
- Opt In
- Grantees are required to implement an active opt in procedure for parents and students for any surveys used as part of the grant program. This includes ensuring students are knowledgeable that surveys are voluntary and not required. If a grantee uses a district survey already in place to conduct the BPEG program survey, they are not required to follow an opt-in procedure and should continue using their district's policy on surveying students.
Option 1: Adapted National Crime Victimization Survey (NCVS)
This survey option is a version of the bullying items included in the School Crime Supplement (SCS) of the NCVS adapted and provided by the Colorado Department of Education to meet the needs of the BPEG. The SCS is a national survey conducted every two years to collect information about victimization, crime, and safety at school. The adapted version of the NCVS for the BPEG includes only the bullying prevention items from the SCS. Benefits of using this option are that certain items can be removed, if desired, by the school, the survey can be administered online through platforms such as Google Forms, and results can be compared to a nationally representative sample.
Option 2: Safe Communities Safe Schools Survey (SCSS)
This school climate survey was developed at the University of Colorado (CU) and includes a comprehensive set of bullying items including perpetration, witness, and target scales. In addition, hot spots and reporting items are included. Other scales measured in the survey include school climate, risk and protective factors, problem and prosocial behaviors, and mental/behavioral health items. There are parent and staff versions of the assessment as well. A full report is provided to schools on their results in addition to consultation from CU. Schools interested in the SCSS survey should email Susanne Maher (Susanne.A.Maher@colorado.edu) and Sabrina Mattson (Sabrina.Mattson@colorado.edu).
Option 3: Existing or Other Survey
This survey can be one that is already being used by schools as long as the two required items related to the Grant are represented, or may simply be the grant's two required questions. The two items must assess (1) the frequency with which students perceive themselves to be a target of bullying, and (2) the frequency with which students witnessed bullying within the past year. Applicants will be responsible for the creation, administration, and result reporting for this survey option. Note: The specific questions that measure bullying behaviors must be provided to the Department with the application for approval.
Additional Bullying Assessment Measures
In addition to a formal assessment of bullying behavior as reported by students, measuring bullying through other means can provide more validity that bullying behavior is reducing. Some of the best ways to assess bullying this way include:
- Office Discipline Referrals: Office Discipline Referrals (ODR) are an official way to measure bullying behavior. As part of the process for completing an ODR, including a section to indicate that bullying behavior occurred allows staff to have hard data on the frequency of bullying in the school. For a reference on how to develop and use ODRs (referred to as Discipline Referrals in the document), the Committee for Children has developed a resource (PDF) for their programs, the concepts of which can be used for other bullying prevention programs.
- Teacher Report Measures: Teacher report measures can provide schools with the ability to determine the effectiveness of a bullying prevention program based on the perceptions of teachers. When combined with student report measures, teacher report measures can also help schools determine any similarities or differences in how bullying is perceived between the two groups.
- Family Report Measures: Family report measures have the ability to provide information about bullying that cannot be gathered by teacher or student reports. Additionally, beliefs and attitudes of family members often have an effect on children. Research suggests that parents commonly under-report how involved their children are in bullying whether it is as a perpetrator or victim (Holt, Kaufman Kantor, & Finkelhor, 2009) and being able to educate families on the realities of bullying in their school can help ensure their buy-in for prevention efforts. If a school keeps track of anonymous reports of bullying from families, over time the school will be able to analyze the impact bullying prevention efforts have with families.
Bullying Prevention Program Fidelity Assessments
A bullying prevention program can only be effective if it is implemented with fidelity. Many bullying prevention programs include a measure of fidelity within their materials. These assessments simply ask those who are implementing the program to provide honest answers about how closely they followed the recommended practices in the program. For example, if a program requires two, 15-minute lessons each week, a fidelity assessment may ask how often this actually happened or if a teacher completed every lesson with his or her class. Additionally, fidelity assessments can look at how well the processes are being implemented for a bullying prevention program to be successful. Was a bullying prevention committee developed? Did the committee have members representative of the entire school, families, and students? Having a fidelity assessment can help in the problem-solving process by providing leaders with data on how well the bullying prevention program is actually being implemented.