What is SOAR?
SOAR (Strengthening Opportunities for Achievement and Resilience) is a research project funded by the National Institutes of Health. It is a collaboration between the Mobile County Public School System and the University of South Alabama.
The goal of SOAR is to reduce violence and suicidality in middle school students.
How will SOAR do that?
SOAR is working to build positive relationships between youth and their communities. The four middle schools will be implementing Schoolwide Positive Behavior Interventions and Supports to enhance their current efforts. All the educators will participate in evidence-based training and coaching in classroom behavior management and in strategies to engage students of diverse backgrounds to increase opportunities for academic success.
Who is involved with SOAR?
SOAR is a partnership between University of South Alabama and the Mobile County Public School System. The intervention will be implemented in the middle schools of four communities in Mobile.
- Bernice J. Causey Middle School
- Katherine H. Hankins Middle School
- Booker T. Washington Middle School
- Palmer Pillans Middle School
How will we know if SOAR works?
As a research study, SOAR involves an intensive evaluation process. Students, teachers and other school personnel will be completing surveys three times a year so we can see if anything is changing. We will also be collecting data from the schools about discipline incidents and attendance.
The intervention will be rolled out in one of the four schools each year, beginning with Causey in fall 2023. This way, we can see if the intervention is able to show changes from before and after it is implemented and whether there are differences in how well it works between the schools.