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ESSP Project and Small Business Partner receive New Funds from NIDA
Natasha Bowen, Ph.D. August 2005
After the successful completion of Phase I and Phase II grants from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) for the development of the ESSP, Flying Bridge Technologies of Charlotte and the SSP/ESSP Team have received new NIDA funding. The Phase I SBIR grant for almost $100,000 will be used to develop and pilot test new online versions of both the SSP and the ESSP. In addition, online practice resources for school staff using the SSP and ESSP will be enhanced. Dr. Natasha K. Bowen, Assistant Professor, is the Principal Investigator of the school's subcontract, which begins in September 2005.

W.T. Grant-Funded Study Underway in 11 North Carolina Schools: Evaluation of the School Success Profile-Intervention Package (SSP-IP)
June 2005
The evaluation of the SSP-IP, funded by the W.T. Grant Foundation, began in August 2004 in 11 schools spread out over two school districts in North Carolina. The first year of implementation and evaluation saw the completion of the new web site for schools receiving the Intervention Planning tool ( ) as well as an extensive Intervention Planning Manual. Two training sessions were held in fall 2004 for the SSP Coordinators from each district. Each school administered both the SSP and SSP-LO in fall 2004, then the SSP-LO a second time in spring 2005. We provided timely feedback with the survey results such that Performance Teams at each site were able to begin the Results-focused Planning process. A briefing session consisting of academic, SSP and SSP-LO data was held at the district level at both sites in winter 2005. Summer 2005 finds the SSP Team studying year 1 implementation data and planning some improvements for a fast and successful start to the year 2 program.

Bridget E. Weller Awarded Spencer Fellowship for 2005-2007
Bridget Weller September 2005
Bridget E. Weller, a Doctoral Student at the School of Social Work and an SSP Research Assistant, recently received a Spencer Fellowship through Duke University and the Center for Child and Family Policy. Typically, the Spencer Fellowship awards 9,000 dollars to students from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and Duke University. As one of seven students (two from UNC-CH), selected for the fellowship this year, Bridget will have the opportunity to learn from and participate in multidisciplinary presentations and research projects. She will enhance her career abilities to conduct research on issues relating to the understanding of conceptual and theoretical models in educational scholarship. This experience will enhance her future opportunities to apply knowledge of economics, sociology, and psychology to evidence-based educational policies.

New Evaluation Study
Roderick Rose, Natasha Bowen, and Gary Bowen March 2004
The School of Social Work at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC-CH) has received $449,583 in funding from The William T. Grant Foundation for a three-year project to evaluate the effectiveness and sustainability of a school-based intervention: the School Success Profile Intervention Package (SSP-IP). The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation has provided $200,000 in supplemental funding for the evaluation, which will examine the SSP assumption that school success is promoted when practitioners have access to information about the social environment and individual adaptation of students. Using a longitudinal experimental design, the study will use performance data from North Carolina's Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to evaluate the effects of the SSP-IP in a sample of middle schools in North Carolina with between 60% and 80% of their students performing at or above grade level. The sample will include 11 experimental schools and 33 control schools from geographic areas that have high concentrations of schools that meet these parameters.

Professors Gary L. Bowen and Natasha K. Bowen are serving as co-principal investigators; Roderick Rose is serving as project director. Dr. Elizabeth Glennie, director of the North Carolina Education Research Data Center at Duke University, will assist the UNC-CH project team. For further information, contact Dr. Gary Bowen.

School Success Profile Team Receives National Institute on Drug Abuse Grant
Natasha Bowen, Gary Bowen, and Michael Kelly October 2003
The School Success Profile (SSP) project team at the School of Social Work and Flying Bridge Technologies Inc., a computer technology company in Charlotte, N.C., received phase two funding from the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) to continue the development of the Elementary School Success Profile (ESSP).

The two-year award of $500,000 follows previous NIDA awards totaling $200,000. Dr. Gary Bowen, Kenan distinguished professor, and Dr. Natasha Bowen, assistant professor, are the principal investigators of the School's component of the grant (shown in picture at right with Michael Kelly of Flying Bridge). Natasha Bowen has taken the lead in the design and implementation of the research project.

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Joelle Powers awarded Spencer Fellowship for 2003-2004
Joelle Powers September 2003
Joelle D. Powers, a Doctoral Student at the School of Social Work, UNC - Chapel Hill, and an ESSP/SSP Research Assistant, was recently awarded a Spencer Fellowship through Duke University and the Center for Child and Family Policy. These $9,000 Spencer Fellowships are typically awarded to eight or nine students from Duke University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As one of nine students (two from UNC), selected for the fellowship this year, Joelle will have the opportunity to learn from and participate in multidisciplinary presentations and research projects. As a function of participation, she will enhance her career capacity to conduct research on important issues relating to the understanding of educational dynamic practices and structures. This experience will enhance future opportunities to apply the knowledge of social science disciplines to the development of evidence-based educational policies.

Michael Woolley Takes Position at University of Michigan
Michael Woolley September 2003
Michael Woolley, a UNC-CH Doctoral Student and former SSP/ESSP Research Assistant since he began the doctoral program in 2000, received his Ph.D. degree from the UNC-CH School of Social Work in May 2003. He has taken a position as an Assistant Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Michigan. We wish Mike well in his new endeavors.

Online Version of SSP To Be Available Fall 2003
The Flying Bridge Team May 2003
Fall 2003 will mark the debut of an online version of the SSP. This Internet-enabled survey will allow school systems across the nation to quickly make use of the SSP via the Internet and retrieve analysis and results almost instantaneously.

The software is being produced by Flying Bridge Technologies, Inc. of Charlotte, North Carolina. The development team is led by the company's president, Michael Kelly, and project manager, Les Porter. Designers and developers of the software and web services include Matt Benson, Warren Yorick, Michelle Yorick, and Amanda Whisnant.

More information about Flying Bridge Technologies, Inc. can be found on their Web site . Information on how to order SSP services can be obtained via this site and from the SSP office at 919-962-6543.


Dr. Jack Richman Named Dean of UNC School of Social Work
SSP investigator Dr. Jack Richman receives SSP Star award upon appointment as Dean of UNC School of Social Work December 2002
The SSP Team recently honored Dr. Jack M. Richman, Co-Principal Investigator of the School Success Profile, upon his appointment as Dean of the School of Social Work, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is pictured at right with the SSP Star Award given to him by the team members at a reception in his honor. Jack has been the Co-Principal Investigator of the SSP, with Dr. Gary L. Bowen, since its inception.


CIS Celebrates 25th Anniversary
SSP's Audrey Burkes at CIS conference in November 2002. November 2002
Congratulations to Communities in Schools, Inc., on its 25th Anniversary. Pictured at right are Judi Sexton Walls, CIS SSP Master Trainer, Dr. Marilyn W. Smith, CIS Executive Director, and Audrey Burkes, SSP Project Administrator. The SSP was exhibited at CIS's anniversary conference in Washington, DC, in early November, 2002.


Natasha Bowen Receives Faculty and Social Work Awards
Natasha Bowen December 2002
Dr. Natasha Bowen, an assistant professor at the UNC-CH School of Social Work and co-principal investigator of the Elementary School Success Profile, has received a Junior Faculty Development Award from the university's Committee on Faculty Research and Study Leaves. Bowen's award of $5,000 will be used to finance a supplemental component of her ongoing research to develop the ESSP. The ESSP aims to assess the social environment and functioning of children in the third through fifth grades. Bowen teaches courses on research, health and mental health of children and adolescents, and individual and family development in the School of Social Work's master's program. Her research interests include mental health of children and adolescents, risk and protection, behavior programs, school social work, and developmental psychopathology.

Dr. Bowen has also received a Pfouts grant through the School of Social Work to carry out a small pilot of the Elementary SSP. Natasha and doctoral student Joelle Powers will work with a local elementary school to survey 50 children. They will join the school's student services team to use ESSP data to design interventions for five students selected by the team. By being participant observers at a school site where the ESSP is being administered and used to design interventions, Natasha and Joelle will gain critical insights into how feasible and useful the ESSP is to school practitioners and how it can be strengthened in these areas.




"The SSP provides information critical to designing and monitoring interventions for promoting the academic achievement of middle- and high-school students. We are using the SSP in many of our research and demonstration projects, and we find the individual and group profiles useful to both researchers and school-based practitioners .”
- Jay Smink, Executive Director, National Dropout Prevention Network, Clemson University





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