Conforming Positive Action Lessons to States' Academic Standards

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Department of Health and Human Services
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Phase I
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264 4TH AVE., SOUTH, TWIN FALLS, ID, 83301
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(208) 733-1328
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DESCRIPTION (provided by applicant): The Positive Action (PA) program is designed for substance abuse and violence prevention, and improves teaching skills, school leadership/administration skills, school organization, and both student behavior and academic achievement. Despite having strong evidence of effectiveness and being well established, PA faces a major challenge to become the program of choice for many educators. Teachers today are under pressure to teach the specific academic standards-science, language arts, social studies, mathematics-that are part of their core curriculum. Although PA lessons teach academic standards, they are not clearly stated for each lesson. Subsequently, because of the demands they face, teachers may be hesitant to use a program whose lessons are not explicitly academic in nature. Indeed, the entire arena of prevention faces a similar dilemma. In order to become fully legitimate, prevention programs need to link to academic achievement. The PA program is in a unique position to help bridge the gap between prevention and academics and bring legitimacy to a partnership between prevention programs and content learning. The specific goal of this Phase I SBIR is to conform 7th and 8th grade PA lesson content to science, language arts, and social studies core curriculum standards (CCS) for California, Texas, Illinois, Hawaii and Utah. The PA lessons for these particular grades need the most pedagogical legitimization, and the challenges they present offer an excellent guide for complete K-12 curriculum alignment in Phase II. The standards will be incorporated into the PA website, allowing teachers with a password to access/identify how 7th and 8th grade PA lessons align with their state's academic standards (or vice-versa).The planned tasks for this grant include: (1) Positive Action, Inc. (PAI) will provide our Standards Consultant, Mr. Frederick Balfour and Align To Achieve, Inc. (A2A), with 158 7th and 8th grade PA lessons for standards identification and cataloging; (2) A2A will cross-reference 7th and 8th grade lesson topics with their database of state standards; (3) using the resulting database of state standards, PAI staff will output the lesson-by-lesson records for 7th and 8th grade for incorporation into the PA website; and (4) teachers will participate in surveys and focus groups to evaluate the website and standards alignment. This SBIR Phase I project will bridge the gap between prevention and academics and bring legitimacy to a partnership between prevention programs and content learning.

* information listed above is at the time of submission.

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