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Project SECURE: Keeping Kids Safe in San Francisco Unified School District

NCJ Number
Date Published
December 2021
19 pages

This final summary overview discusses Project SECURE, which included two sub-programs called Bounce Back and Second Step, and had the goal of evaluating a trauma-informed multi-tiered system of support; the authors examine whether students with elevated traumatic stress who participated in Bounce Back significantly improved on measures of emotional-behavioral symptoms, and whether participants attending a school whose staff also implemented Second Step would show added benefits.


This document provides an overview of Project SECURE (Safety, Equity, Caring, Understanding, and Resilience), which enabled researchers from SRI International (SRI) and practitioners from San Francisco Unified School District (SFUSD) to implement and evaluate an evidence-based primary prevention program called Second Step. This program was a trauma-informed intervention (Bounce Back) in the district’s elementary schools; through it, researchers developed a model for replication and expansion to reverse students’ negative trajectories and boost their social and emotional coping skills. Project SECURE had the goal of evaluating a trauma-informed multi-tiered system of support (MTSS) and strengthening the resilience of students who are most vulnerable to adverse childhood experiences. Project SECURE’s three objectives were: to support the implementation and evaluation of Second Step while providing teachers with training and consultation to establish restorative, culturally responsive, and trauma-informed learning environments; implement and evaluate the Bounce Back intervention for elementary students while providing school social workers (SSWs) with training and supervision to implement and sustain the intervention; and the San Francisco Student Assistance Program (City SAP), a multidisciplinary triage and referral team to provide students and their families who have intensive needs with appropriate school- and community-based services.

Date Published: December 1, 2021