BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS: Hazelden Publishing's Newest Release Closes the Achievement Gap

Apr 01, 2014, 15:34 ET from Hazelden Publishing

CENTER CITY, Minn., April 1, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hazelden Publishing, part of the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation, announced today their publication of a new social emotional learning model for students in 6th through 10th grades. BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS is an evidence-based model proven to decrease educational disparities while increasing achievement for all students.

The availability of this new educational model is extremely timely. On March 21, 2014, the United States Department of Education's Office for Civil Rights (OCR) released the first comprehensive look at civil rights data from every public school in the country (representing 49 million students) in nearly 15 years. According to U.S. Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, "This data collection shines a clear, unbiased light on places that are delivering on the promise of an equal education for every child and places where the largest gaps remain. In all, it is clear that the United States has a great distance to go to meet our goal of providing opportunities for every student to succeed." BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS directly addresses the findings of the OCR report.

The model combines teachers' real-time analysis of student data with student asset building and intentional teacher-to-teacher and teacher-to-student collaboration to prevent course failure as well as accelerate middle- and high-level performers. Schools that have implemented BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS have reported dramatically reduced rates of class failure, improved graduation rates, reduction in the use of alcohol, tobacco, and other drug use, regardless of socio-economic background or ethnicity.

"This is an exciting opportunity for us," explained interim publisher Kris Vanhoof-Haines. "We are in a unique position to offer a learning model that effectively answers President Obama's mandate to successfully turn around under-performing schools. BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS is a natural fit for Hazelden Betty Ford – the research shows that when implemented with fidelity, it successfully prevents drug and alcohol use and promotes good mental health by strengthening positive interpersonal relationships."

Angela Jerabek, the developer of the model explained, "The BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS model changes teachers' interactions. No longer are they responsible just for content, but they are responsible for the overall success of the student."

BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS is the recipient of the i3 development grant, the flagship innovation grant program from the United States Department of Education. With i3 funding, four schools—two in Maine, one in Minnesota, and one in California—have already participated in an implementation of BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS with very positive results.  In a conversation with Hemet High School in Hemet, CA, their principal said that introducing BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS resulted in their freshman class outperforming the national average of students having one or more failing grades—their percentage dropped to 17%; the U.S. number was 35%. The model has undergone stringent evaluations including a Randomized Controlled Trial and the results have been shown to be highly statistical significant. In fact, the study was reviewed for a grant competition by the What Works Clearinghouse and met evidence standards without reservation.

BUILDING ASSETS, REDUCING RISKS is now available nationwide and it is listed on the National Registry of Evidence-based Practices and Programs (NREPP).  Its test market implementation has proven that it is an effective model for improving academic learning and environments regardless of school size and the socio-economic or ethnic backgrounds of its students.

About the author
Angela Jerabek, M.S., is a licensed K-12 teacher and middle school and high school counselor at St. Louis Park High School in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She is an author and nationally known speaker and educational innovator. She has developed numerous educational programs and directed evaluation projects in schools across the country. Her expertise and passion lies in high school reform, youth development, school safety, counseling adolescents and families, and data-driven decision making in schools. For more information visit or contact Claire McKinney at or 862-252-1880. 

About the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation
The Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation helps people reclaim their lives from the disease of addiction. It is the nation's largest nonprofit treatment provider, with a legacy that began in 1949 and includes the 1982 founding of the Betty Ford Center. With 15 sites in California, Minnesota, Oregon, Illinois, New York, Florida, Massachusetts, Colorado and Texas, the Foundation offers prevention and recovery solutions nationwide and across the entire continuum of care for youth and adults. It includes the largest recovery publishing house in the country, a fully-accredited graduate school of addiction studies, an addiction research center, an education arm for medical professionals and a unique children's program, and is the nation's leader in advocacy and policy for treatment and recovery. Learn more at

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SOURCE Hazelden Publishing