COMPREHENSIVE FOURTH R SCHOOL-BASED PREVENTION
EVALUATION OF THE FOURTH R:
We are now in the process of taking the Comprehensive Fourth R School-Based Prevention Program to sites across Canada. The primary funding for this ambitious undertaking has been provided by the Royal LePage Shelter Foundation and the Crooks family. This funding has allowed us to provide teacher training and resources, and adapt the curriculum materials to meet the provincially mandated expectations.
In 2005, pilot programs were started in both British Columbia and Saskatchewan schools. Since then, the Fourth R has expanded to schools in Alberta, Manitoba, and Nova Scotia. Ontario continues to lead the country with over 300 high schools using the program.
Click on a province for their updates:
We are pleased to report that after three years, the implementation of the Saskatchewan Fourth R project has achieved great success, with implementation of the program in almost all schools in the Saskatoon area. During 2008/09, the total number of schools implementing the Fourth R program reached 40 schools. The project continues to expand with the involvement of The Prairie Spirit School Division, which continues to provide leadership in implementing the project. Furthermore, the project has expanded to Regina where seven comprehensive high schools from the Regina Public School Division began implementing the Aboriginal Perspective program in September 2007. Follow-up training sessions have been held throughout 2008 to review with teachers their implementation successes and challenges.
The recent SSHRC grant award funded a Prairie Safe Schools Coordinator, Dr. Suzanne Zwarych, to establish a Safe Schools Centre in Saskatchewan. The University of Saskatchewan’s Aboriginal Research Centre will house one of the Canadian hubs for the CPSC. This partnership has, and will continue to, provide expertise for the development, implementation and evaluation of Fourth R Aboriginal Perspective Curriculum as well as a strong network among university-based researchers and educators in the area of school-based violence prevention. As the Prairie Coordinator for Safe Schools, Dr. Zwarych will assist with Fourth R training and the continued sustainability of the Fourth R program in Saskatchewan and surrounding areas. Dr. Marie Battiste is our Hub Coordinator for the Saskatchewan Site. She is Director of the Aboriginal Education Research Centre and Professor at the University of Saskatchewan. Her expertise is in Aboriginal education, with particular emphasis on protection of Aboriginal heritage, knowledge, and culture. She has worked with Aboriginal teachers, school boards, and First Nations schools in understanding the experiences of Aboriginal teachers and students. She, with the assistance of Suzanne Zwarych, has been instrumental in assisting with the implementation of the Fourth R program in various regions in Saskatchewan, as well as using the program as a springboard for the development of other Aboriginal initiatives.
The implementation of the Fourth R Program in B.C. has expanded faster than anticipated. Since 2006, the B.C. Education Coordinator, Larry Haberlin, has successfully coordinated the implementation in bringing the program to over 60 schools in areas right across British Columbia, such as Vancouver, Surrey, Richmond, Penticton, and Kelowna. Mr. Haberlin continued this role in 2008-2009, working with the establishment of a Canadian Prevention Science Cluster in B.C.
The Fourth R has been successfully integrated into the Planning 10 Program, a required course for BC students. Students report that they enjoy the lessons and that the content is helpful in dealing with their real life issues. As one teacher recently reported, “Word is getting around, that this program is very strong, and the teachers who are using it are very positive about it.” Teacher training sessions were held throughout the 2008-2009 school year, focusing on the Planning 10 program, but also the Alternative Education and Aboriginal Perspectives programs.
The recent SSHRC grant created a partnership with the University of British Columbia as one of the Canadian hubs for the CPSC. This partnership has, and will continue to, provide expertise for the development, implementation and evaluation of Fourth R as well as a strong network among university-based researchers and educators in the area of school-based violence prevention. Dr. Shelley Hymel is the Hub Coordinator for the British Columbia Site. She is Professor and Head of the Department of Educational and Counseling Psychology at UBC. Her expertise covers social-emotional development, bullying and peer harassment, and gender and aggression. She has collaborative partnerships with local school and community agencies as part of the Centre for Youth Social Development, and has collaborated nationally and internationally on prevention of bullying and aggression.
The Fourth R has continued establishing partnerships in the Alberta area (Golden Hills School Division, Palliser School Division, Lethbridge School Division, Calgary BE) and is looking forward to developing more in the coming year. Again, the implementation process has exceeded expectations, and the Fourth R is now reaching over 10,000 students in 40 schools. Trainings were held throughout the 2008-2009 school year, and resources were provided, including the Aboriginal Perspectives program.
Kim Campbell, Calgary Board of Education, has been instrumental in facilitating the implementation of the Fourth R program and has great plans for the future direction for expansion. She has conducted teacher surveys, compiled and analyzed the data, and collected feedback from teachers addressing the successes and challenges of implementing the Fourth R program. There are possibilities for extending the Fourth R opportunities for High School students (eg. ELA materials and training, Leadership options / clubs, AISI, Learner Pathways).
The 2008-2009 training took place late in the first term. The majority of participants were from the Division Scolaire Franco Manitobaine, the French language Division in Manitoba, as the French translation of the Fourth R program was available for distribution. In addition, teachers from the Winnipeg School Division, Louis Riel School Division, and a significant number of observers from other Divisions were present. Many expressed an interest in follow-up in the Fall of 2009, for both the core program and alternative education programs.
Barry Mallin, Department of Psychology University of Manitoba, has assisted with the coordination of the implementation of the Fourth R in Manitoba. He has organized several teacher training and information dissemination sessions. A French translation of the Fourth R has recently been completed. Several Francophone educators from Manitoba assisted with the review of the translation and we anticipate implementing the program in additional Francophone communities in the near future.
The Annapolis Valley Regional School Board is our Atlantic partner in implementing the Fourth R as a component of their Healthy Living curriculum at the Grade 9 level. Helen Seymour and Beth Spindler are the Atlantic Educational Coordinators for the Canadian Prevention Science Cluster and they have been instrumental in bringing the Fourth R to schools in the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board. There were two trainings held over the course of the 2008-2009 school year, and to date, 27 teachers have been trained in Fourth R in AVRSB. In October 2008, Ray Hughes presented a Fourth R information session to education coordinators and consultants in Dartmouth.
The recent SSHRC grant created a partnership with Dalhousie University as one of the Canadian hubs for the CPSC. This partnership has, and will continue to, provide expertise for the development, implementation and evaluation of Fourth R as well as a strong network among university-based researchers and educators in the area of school-based violence prevention. Dr. John LeBlanc is our Hub Coordinator for the Nova Scotia Site. He is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Psychiatry, and Community Health & Epidemiology at Dalhousie University, and a pediatrician at the IWK Health Centre. His research focuses on disruptive behaviours and bullying, and he is the Team Leader for Prevention and Intervention for our PREVNet partner.
The local Fourth R Project has completed its five-year randomized control trial (RCT; 2004-2009) to determine whether the curriculum taught in Grade 9 Health classes would reduce physical dating violence relative to standard Health classes two and half years later. Over 1700 students participated in the RCT in 20 schools. Our results found that students receiving standard Health classes were found to use more acts of violence toward a dating partner by the end of Grade 11 compared to those who had received the Fourth R Program in Grade 9. This effect was greater among boys receiving the Fourth R program than it was for girls. Among sexually active boys, those receiving the Fourth R Program were more likely than girls to practice safe sex 2.5 years later (i.e., always use a condom). Our findings support the contention that teaching youth about healthy relationships and ways to avoid physical dating violence in Grade 9 Health classes can reduce physical dating violence 2.5 years later, especially for boys. This information was recently published in the August 2009 issue of the Archives of Paediatric Adolescent Medicine.
The Fourth R Project in Ontario expanded significantly in 2008-2009. The program was implemented in over 350 schools throughout Ontario last year and continues to expand across the province. Across the province, schools are implementing all available Fourth R programs, including French translated versions, and adaptations for various populations including alternative and aboriginal education. Six boards have successfully done board-wide implementations of the program, and more are making inquiries. District School Board North East recently facilitated a training to implement the Aboriginal Perspectives and Peer Mentoring programs.
National Advisory Board
The Fourth R National Advisory Board was established in 2004 and has been instrumental in promoting the program nationally, as well as providing guidance and consultation to project team leaders and regional collaborators. Founding National Advisory Board members include: