The initiative was funded through a joint federal grant with the city of Charlottesville starting in 2009. Over the last five years, the project has provided a variety of services aimed at improving school climate for students. Those include mental health services, anti-bullying research, and professional development around a program called “responsive classroom.”
“In terms of student-reported bullying or being bullied, those numbers came down. Our discipline numbers in terms of students fighting came down. Students reporting that they had a caring adult at school that they knew they could talk to about a problem went up,” said Matthew Haas, assistant superintendent for Albemarle schools.
The grant started out as four-year commitment, but another year was added on through a no-cost extension.