Evaluation Study of the Sanford Harmony Showcase Schools: 2019 Findings
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The present study sought to examine the impact of the Sanford Harmony and Inspire programs as implemented in 10 “showcase” elementary schools during the 2018-19 school year. This study is a continuation of Phase I of the Sanford Harmony and Inspire Demonstration Site program evaluation, which was conducted during the 2017-18 school year (Morrison et al., 2017). As part of this project, 10 elementary schools in San Diego, California implemented the Sanford Harmony and Inspire programs during the 2018-19 school year. Five schools began implementing Sanford Harmony during the 2017-18 school year (Cohort One); five additional schools began implementing during the 2018-19 school year (Cohort Two). This study used a mixed-methods design to focus on how principals, teachers, and students within these schools reacted to the program and to determine whether or not program use was associated with positive outcomes such as improved student behavior, school climate, and relationships among students. The study also explored the extent to which program use and experiences changed or evolved during the second year of implementation. Results suggest that showcase school educators continue to hold positive impressions of Harmony and feel that the program plays an important role in helping foster students’ social-emotional development. Teachers frequently reported that the program has been effective in helping students improve their relationship skills, empathy for others, acceptance of diversity, and social awareness. They also noted that Harmony has equipped students with the necessary tools for understanding others, including providing students with vocabulary and shared language to express their feelings. Students highlighted many lessons they have taken from participating in the program, and shared examples of instances where they applied Harmony teachings to problem-solve in social situations, effectively manage being angry or frustrated, or tried to be kind to someone else.