Multi-million dollar grant to study safety in rural schools

The Idaho Positive Behavior Network (IPBN) was awarded a four-year research grant worth $5.7 million from the Comprehensive School Safety Initiative, which is funded by the National Institute of Justice.

“This is huge,” said IPBN director Katie Bubak-Azevedo. “We need to come to the table with something new and innovated.”

The money will go towards researching implementation techniques to improve school safety, climate, and culture in rural Idaho schools. The focus of the study will be to understand factors associated with the implementation of positive school-wide changes and the outcomes for students.

“The money and research will go towards helping educators and students reach for success,” Bubak-Azevedo said.

Bubak-Azevedo and her team will provide training to staff at 40 rural schools by using I-RIM (Idaho Rural Implementation Model) to address the challenges faced by rural schools. The study will look at building capacity, online learning platforms, community support and technical assistance support that is tailored to schools and districts.

The study will examine whether I-RIM improves student outcomes and school safety.

Boise State University’s College of Education will undertake the study. Part of the grant will help fund the Idaho Office of School Safety and Security to conduct the safety assessments at the schools.


  • 2018: Three pilot schools (Homedale Elementary School, Middle School and High School) will participate in I-REM.
  • 2019-2020: 40 rural schools will be selected to participate in I-REM.
  • 2021: Evaluation of the project.

Andrew Reed

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