Online Program

Implementing a Multidisciplinary Collaboration to Develop, Implement, Evaluate, and Scale a Strategy to Create Safe and Supportive School Environments for LGBTQ and all Youth in Chicago Public Schools

Tuesday, November 3, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

Lara Altman, MPH, MSW, Office of Student Health and Wellness, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL
Elizabeth Jarpe-Ratner, MPH, MST, PhD Candidate, Department of Community Health Sciences, School of Public Health, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL
Michael Fagen, PhD, MPH, Center for Education in Health Sciences - Institute for Public Health and Medicine, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL
Stephanie Whyte, MD, MBA, Office of Student Health and Wellness, Chicago Public Schools, Chicago, IL
In Chicago Public Schools (CPS), 20.4% of lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) students missed school because they felt unsafe, making them twice as likely as heterosexual students to do so (CDC, 2013). Additionally, 10.3% of heterosexual and 23.2% of LGB students who dated during the past year reported being physically hurt on purpose by someone they were dating (CDC, 2013). Through a CDC-funded HIV/STI prevention initiative, CPS partnered with a university and four community-based organizations to develop and evaluate a two-day, in-person professional development (PD) pilot for teachers and administrators from 20 schools. The PD aims to build staff capacity in creating an environment that is safe and supportive for LGB, transgender, and questioning  students and free of sexual/dating violence and harassment for all students.

A collaborative approach was used to develop evidence-informed training content and an implementation plan. A mixed-methods evaluation was designed to evaluate the quality and outcomes of the PD pilot, through quantitative pre, post, and 6-week follow-up surveys and qualitative interviews following trainings. Findings will be used to improve subsequent trainings with additional staff and inform ongoing technical assistance provided to trained staff.

This multidisciplinary collaborative developed a comprehensive and innovative, training to create safe and supportive school environments. The partnership incorporates a mixed-methods evaluation designed to support efforts to implement the PD at scale across the district and be responsive to the implementation challenges in a large, urban school district. This collaborative serves as a unique implementation-evaluation partnership that can be replicated in districts nationally.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Program planning

Learning Objectives:
Describe a multidisciplinary collaboration to design, implement and evaluate a training to create school environments that are safe and supportive for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning students and free of sexual/dating violence for all students. Discuss how evaluation findings will inform future trainings and ongoing technical assistance. Identify ways this approach to creating safe and supportive school environments can be taken to scale in Chicago Public Schools and replicated in other school districts.

Keyword(s): Adolescents, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT)

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: Lara Altman directs Chicago Public Schools’ CDC-funded HIV/STI Prevention Initiative and leads the multidisciplinary collaboration for the professional development training outlined here. She has a Master of Public Health and a Master of Social Work.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.