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Elementary and Secondary Schools

 
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Close-Range Gunfire around DC Schools (Research Report)
Samuel Bieler, Nancy G. La Vigne

This report examines the incidence of gunfire as measured by gunshot detection technology using data from the 2011-2012 school year. It finds that a disproportionate volume of gunfire happened near a small share of DC schools. About half of DC schools covered by gunshot detection sensors are in close proximity to gunfire, and four schools were subject to repeated bursts of gunfire. These findings shed new light on students' exposure to violence and raise important questions about the psychological impact of gunfire on students and how their proximity to gunfire may affect truancy and educational outcomes.

Posted to Web: September 03, 2014Publication Date: September 03, 2014

From Cradle to Career: The Multiple Challenges Facing Immigrant Families in Langley Park Promise Neighborhood (Research Report)
Molly M. Scott, Graham MacDonald, Juan Collazos, Ben Levinger, Eliza Leighton, Jamila Ball

With estimates predicting that immigrants and their children will account for most of U.S. population growth over the next 4 decades, it is critical to understand how to build ladders of opportunity for these families. This report is a complete assessment of the needs of Langley Park, an immigrant neighborhood outside Washington, DC. Langley Park families are resilient but experience substantial hardships that may stall the progress of subsequent generations. At six crucial life transitions, children lag behind on indicators of future success. Fortunately, the data pinpoint not only the gaps, but also opportunities for change.

Posted to Web: June 23, 2014Publication Date: June 23, 2014

Limited Evidence That Competitive Food and Beverage Practices Affect Adolescent Consumption Behaviors (Article)
Tracy Vericker

Childhood obesity is emerging as a considerable public health problem with no clear antidote. The school food environment is a potential intervention point for policy makers, with competitive food and beverage regulation as a possible policy lever. This research examines the link between competitive food and beverage availability in school and adolescent consumption patterns using data from the Early Childhood Longitudinal Study, Kindergarten Class of 1998-1999. Results from value-added multivariate regression models reveal limited evidence that competitive food policy affects fruit and vegetable consumption. Findings suggest a stronger link between competitive beverage policy and consumption of sweetened beverages for population subgroups.

Posted to Web: May 02, 2014Publication Date: April 02, 2014

Children's School-Related Food and Physical Activity Behaviors Are Associated with Body Mass Index (Article)
Tracy Vericker

Childhood obesity is a critical public health issue, with prevalence rates reaching nearly one in five children. Schools may be a promising public policy intervention point. The foods schools sell and the physical activity environments they foster can influence dietary behaviors and overall physical activity. Using secondary data from a nationally representative sample of children from the kindergarten class of 1998-1999 and nonexperimental methods, this study examines the associations between the food and physical activity environments in school and body mass index (BMI) for low-income boys and girls in the 8th grade during 2007. Results reveal that participating in school sports is associated with a 0.55 lower BMI score for boys. For low-income girls, eating the school breakfast is associated with a 0.70 higher BMI score and eating the school lunch is associated with a 0.65 higher BMI score. Each hour spent on homework is associated with a 0.02 higher BMI score for low-income girls. These findings suggest that schools may influence adolescent BMI and that there is room for improvement in school food and physical activity environments to promote healthier weights for low-income boys and girls.

Posted to Web: April 14, 2014Publication Date: October 28, 2013

Driving to Opportunity: Understanding the Links among Transportation Access, Residential Outcomes, and Economic Opportunity for Housing Voucher Recipients (Research Report)
Rolf Pendall, Christopher Hayes, Taz George, Zach McDade, Additional Authors

In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsored two major experiments to test whether housing choice vouchers propelled low-income households into greater economic security, the Moving to Opportunity for Fair Housing program (MTO) and the Welfare to Work Voucher program (WTW). Using data from these programs, this study examines differences in residential location and employment outcomes between voucher recipients with access to automobiles and those without. Overall, the findings underscore the positive role of automobiles in outcomes for housing voucher participants.

Posted to Web: March 31, 2014Publication Date: March 31, 2014

Supporting Immigrant Families' Access to Prekindergarten (Research Report)
Julia Gelatt, Gina Adams, Sandra Huerta

Children of immigrants can benefit from attending prekindergarten, though they enroll less, on average, than children with US-born parents. This detailed report draws on interviews conducted with over 40 prekindergarten directors and staff, directors of early childhood education programs, and other specialists to present strategies for improving prekindergarten enrollment among immigrant families and English Language Learners. This includes strategies for outreach to support prekindergarten enrollment; helping immigrant families overcome language, documentation, and other logistical barriers when enrolling their children in prekindergarten programs; and building trust and good relationships with immigrant parents and designing immigrant- and ELL-friendly programs.

Posted to Web: March 19, 2014Publication Date: March 19, 2014

Improving Access to Prekindergarten for Children of Immigrants: Enrollment Strategies (Fact Sheet / Data at a Glance)
Julia Gelatt, Gina Adams, Sandra Huerta

Children of immigrants can benefit from attending prekindergarten, though they enroll less, on average, than children with US-born parents. This fact sheet focuses on strategies for helping immigrant families overcome language, documentation, and other logistical barriers when enrolling their children in prekindergarten programs. It is one of three factsheets, all drawn from Supporting Immigrant Families’ Access to Prekindergarten. This detailed report draws on interviews conducted with more than 40 prekindergarten directors and staff, directors of early childhood education programs, and other specialists to present strategies for improving prekindergarten enrollment among immigrant families and English Language Learners.

Posted to Web: March 19, 2014Publication Date: March 19, 2014

District-Wide Model Bullying Prevention Policy (Research Report)
John Roman, Samuel Bieler

This Model Bullying Prevention Policy is a comprehensive strategy that was developed for all youth-serving agencies in the District of Columbia. The policy employs a three-level public health model to prevent bullying, which involves shifting agency norms; delivering services to at-risk youth; and responding to bullying incidents in a way that inhibits subsequent acts, with an emphasis on data analysis to measure intervention success. The policy was developed by the Urban Institute in collaboration with the 42-members of the District of Columbia Mayor's Bullying Prevention Task Force and Office of Human Rights.

Posted to Web: January 31, 2013Publication Date: January 31, 2013

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