Safe Harbor Replication Sites

Safe Harbor staff selected diverse school sites—some geared to special needs and some consisting of mainstream student populations—to replicate the Safe Harbor program. The replication sites and how each program adapted to meet its particular needs are described below:

The Graham School


“When you have a problem or something that you can’t handle, you can come to Safe Harbor and discuss it with your classmates and teachers. It is fun because we play games and share our feelings with each other.”

—Leslie, 7th grade,
New York City

The Graham School was the pilot for a Safe Harbor program in a special education school. It is a public school linked to Graham-Windham Services for Children and Family Services. This upstate New York school serves 300 children in grades K–12 who reside at the agency as well as those who are sent from surrounding school districts and group homes. The school provides education for high-risk students with special needs. All of the students are classified as economically deprived and participate in the free and reduced-fee lunch program. Many students have been victims of, witnesses to, or initiators of violence. The school’s goal in implementing a Safe Harbor program is to help children overcome emotional and behavioral obstacles in order to fulfill their potential. As is typical of high-risk students, the kids are emotionally needy; however, the school provides extensive clinical services and staff to run the Safe Harbor program.

Jefferson Middle School

Jefferson Middle School in Champaign, Illinois, serves 750 students in grades 6–8. A mainstream urban middle school, it is located in a middle-class neighborhood. It serves a large percentage of the district’s urban population, which is 68 percent white, 28 percent African American, 3 percent Asian, and 1 percent Hispanic. Thirty-one percent of the students are eligible for Title One federal grant program services. The goals for the Safe Harbor program are to enhance student success and address self-esteem, anger management, conflict resolution, and social interaction in general and to develop strategies to deal with hate, violence, and bullying in a positive and informative manner.

Lindbergh Middle School

Located in Long Beach, California, this sixth to eighth grade middle school is located in a low-income area. A high percentage of students are on free or reduced-fee lunches. There are 1,412 students in the school with a population that is 49 percent Hispanic, 26 percent African American, 12 percent Asian American, and 13 percent identified as other. The goals of the Safe Harbor are to promote positive self-esteem, develop social skills to enhance students’ readiness to learn, encourage high academic achievement, and reduce student attrition. Additional goals are to establish a comprehensive, integrated, and coordinated approach to providing mental health and other support services onsite. The school has extensive counseling and referral services and uses the Safe Harbor program as a coordinating agent within the school. A part-time coordinator staffs the Safe Harbor room. This coordinator, who is a social work intern, helps implement the curriculum, antiviolence campaign, group activities, and parent component.

Long Beach Preparatory Academy

This Long Beach, California, school was one of the early Safe Harbor replication sites. It is an alternative middle school for 250 students who have failed eighth grade. The Safe Harbor room is the school’s counseling center and is staffed by the school counselor. Because of the small student population and students’ many emotional and social needs, this school provides an open and supportive familial atmosphere that is maintained with very clear rules and boundaries.

John Woodson Junior High School

Located in St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, this school serves 698 students in grades 7 and 8. The community experiences high levels of violence that inevitably affects the students. The Safe Harbor program has developed an atmosphere that is safe, healthy, and conducive to learning. The program is implemented by a variety of school staff— administrators, teachers, and counselors—with the goals of reducing the number of students suspended for violence and educating the entire school community on violence prevention. The Safe Harbor room in this school is large and comfortable and is used before, during, and after school.

New Horizons School

New Horizons is the only alternative school on St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands. Like the Long Beach Preparatory Academy, it provides students with a creative and familial school environment. It currently serves 75 students: 90 percent are from low-income families and 50 percent have experienced violence. The goals of the Safe Harbor program are to improve academic performance, develop conflict resolution skills, and provide a safe space where students can explore and enhance their identities and self-esteem and learn to choose alternatives to violence. The counselors at this school facilitate the violence prevention/victim assistance curriculum and the principal is very active in implementing schoolwide antiviolence campaigns and presentations.

Shawnee High School, Robert Frost Middle School, Newburg Middle School, and Meyzeek Middle School


"The Safe Harbor program is not about discipline-it helps us look at the cause of violence and provide alternative solutions."

-Replication Site Principal, Louisville, Kentucky

All these schools are located in Louisville, Kentucky. All the schools in Louisville are equipped with Youth Services Centers. These social service centers are located on each school’s campus and function as the social service wing of the school. They are staffed by at least one counselor and are the backbone of student support services. The Safe Harbor program has been brought into these schools to help structure their existing social service program. Safe Harbor is used as an umbrella in all four schools. Following is a description of the populations these schools serve:

  • Shawnee, the Safe Harbor high school pilot, is an Aviation Magnet High School with 600 students in grades 9–12. The student population is 50 percent African American and 50 percent other. Seventy percent of the students are on the free and reduced-fee lunch program. Shawnee represents an inner-city area with a high crime rate. The school struggles with high dropout rates, teen pregnancy, and poor attendance. Many of the students at Shawnee are victims of crime and have experienced or are experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, and poverty.

  • Robert Frost Middle School has 477 students in grades 6–8. The school is 70 percent white and 30 percent African American. Sixty-five percent of the students are on free or reduced-fee lunches.

  • Newburg Middle School is a Mathematics/Science/Technology School that serves 1,275 students in grades 6–8. Most students come from low-income areas where 52 percent of the residents lack a high school diploma and 54 percent are in single-parent families.

  • Albert E. Meyzeek Middle School is a Mathematics/Science/Technology Magnet School that serves 1,280 students in grades 6–8. Approximately 32 percent of the students are African American and 80 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-fee lunches.

Safe Harbor Replication Project Advisory Board Members

Dr. LaRue Allen, Chair
Department of Applied Psychology
New York University School of
New York, New York

Ms. Gricel Arredondo, Counselor
Public School 528
New York, New York
Police Officer Laverne D. Best-Yard
Special Projects Youth Division
New York Police Department
Brooklyn, New York

Dr. Curtis Branch, Clinical Psychology
Hackensack, New Jersey

Dr. Effie Bynum, Director of Special
Division of Student Support Services
New York City Board of Education
Brooklyn, New York

Dr. John Devine, Director of the
  Academic Advisory Council
The National Campaign Against Youth
New York, New York

Sgt. Steven M. Gilmartin
Special Projects Youth Division
New York Police Department
Brooklyn, New York

Mr. Vincent Giordano, Deputy
  Executive Director
Division of Student Support Services
New York City Board of Education
Brooklyn, New York

Mr. Michael Hirschhorn, Executive
Literacy Assistance Center, Inc.
New York, New York

Ms. Bettina Jean-Louis, Research
Metis & Associates
Elmont, New York

Ms. Lucille Lewis, Principal
Margaret S. Douglas Intermediate
  School 292
Brooklyn, New York

Mr. Peter Lucas, Assistant Project
New York University
New York, New York

Mr. Larry Mandell, Executive Vice
United Way of New York
New York, New York

Dr. Susan MacLaury, Professor
Physical Education and Health

Kean University
Montclaire, New York

Ms. Joan Mahon, Superintendent
New York City School District 19
Brooklyn, New York

Ms. Karen A. McLaughlin, Project
Educational Development Center, Inc.
Newton, Massachusetts

Ms. Violet Mitchell, Acting
Department of Youth and Community
New York, New York

Mr. Peter Nelson, New York Program
Facing History and Ourselves
New York, New York

Ms. Cary Normile-Sellers, Guidance
The Spence School
New York, New York

Ms. Lorna Palacio-Morgan, Director
Training, Technical Assistance and
  Resource Development
The After School Corporation
New York, New York

Ms. Deepa Purohit
Educational Consultant
New York, New York

Captain James Serra, Commanding
Youth Division
New York Police Department
Brooklyn, New York

Ms. Jean Schultz, Coordinator
Comprehensive Health Program
National Middle School Association
Columbus, Ohio

Mr. Mark Spellman
New York University Graduate School
  of Social Work
New York, New York

Mr. Gerry Vasquez, President
New York Charter School Resource
New York, New York

Ms. Marlene Wong, Director
Los Angeles Unified School District
Mental Health Services/District Crisis
Van Nuys, California

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Safe Harbor: A School-Based Victim Assistance/Violence Prevention Program
January 2003