U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Evaluation of a Principal Training Program to Promote Safe and Civil Schools

NCJ Number
Keith Herman
Date Published
March 2023
22 pages

This document describes the evaluation of a training program that was designed to equip school leaders with skills and strategies that promote safe and civil school environments through the development of leadership skills for promoting school safety and positive environment.


The authors of this report evaluate the efficacy of Safe and Civil School Leadership (SCSL) plus Start on Time (START) in improving school climate and safety by promoting effective school leadership skills and a unified approach to school-wide hallway management. The research study included 43 schools across Oklahoma and had two specific objectives: to evaluate, through a delayed randomized control trial design, whether the SCSL plus START program leads to improved leadership skills, school climate, and school safety as evidenced by reduced victimization and bullying or teasing, and increased perceptions of safety when compared with the business as usual (control) condition; and to identify mediators of observed effects on the primary outcome, school safety, based on the authors’ theory of change. Those mediators include: improved leadership skills, use of data, climate (disciplinary structure and support), aggressive attitudes, and student compliance. After the project summary, the authors describe their major goals and objectives; their two guiding research questions; their research design, methods, analytical and data analysis techniques; and participants and other collaborating organizations. The program focused on an area of leadership development that lacks information, using data and effective practices to improve school safety and climate. Outcomes indicated that the program and training was well-received by all schools, and the authors note that they provided the training and coaching to control schools after completing their two years in the project. The authors also report meeting all project benchmarks and data collection as planned. Detailed discussion of results and data are included.