The Building Assets, Reducing Risks (BARR) model is a comprehensive, strength-based approach to education that aims to improve achievement for all students by improving a school’s effectiveness at building relationships, leveraging real-time student data, and capitalizing on the strengths of each student. BARR seeks to help educators better connect with their students and address the issues that cause students to fail courses, drop out, and/or engage in harmful behavior. It works with a school’s existing curriculum and existing staff to attain the goals they set for themselves.
The U.S. Department of Education’s Investing in Innovation (i3) program provided the BARR program developers with a validation grant that provided funding to bring the BARR model to more high schools around the country. In addition, the validation grant required and funded an independent evaluation of the impact of the BARR model on student outcomes. AIR is conducting this evaluation in eleven high schools, divided into three annual cohorts.