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Whole Child

Students come to school with a wide range of health, nutritional, and socio-emotional needs that impact their readiness to learn. EPIC’s work explores policies, programs, and circumstances that impact whole child needs.

Group of Kids Playing at the Field Together

School Start Times

Schools and districts across the country are considering how the bell schedules of schools affect the health and learning of their students.  In work sponsored by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, EPIC explores how elementary, middle, and high school start times affect health and academic outcomes including sleep, absences, course grades, disciplinary incidents, and test scores. This study provides state and local education officials with evidence to make more effective school start time decisions. Please contact Kevin Bastian or Sarah Fuller for more information.

The Impact of Hurricanes on Schools

In partnership with colleagues in Texas, EPIC seeks to understand the impact of Hurricanes Matthew, Harvey, and Florence on the students and schools that were affected by the storms.  This project combines data from interviews with educators and state agencies, surveys of school personnel, and student outcome data to examine the process schools go through in recovering from a hurricane, the challenges schools and educators face, and the effect on student achievement.  With funding from the National Science Foundation, this work provides evidence for federal, state, and local policymakers to support schools as they recover from the impact of a natural disaster.  Please contact Sarah Fuller or Cassandra Davis for more information.

The Effect of Natural Disasters on Academic Performance and Achievement Gaps

Natural disasters affect thousands of children each year, causing disruptions to their home lives, schooling, and mental health. With support from the Russell Sage Foundation, EPIC combines achievement data from the Stanford Education Data Archive with data on disaster declarations to identify the effect of being exposed to a natural disaster on achievement nationwide. This study examines effects across different groups of students to develop an understanding of how natural disasters contribute to achievement gaps between students of different race/ethnicities and different socioeconomic statuses.  Please contact Sarah Fuller for more information.

Remote Learning and Student Support during COVID-19 School Closures

In partnership with the State Board of Education (SBE) and the Department of Public Instruction (NCDPI), EPIC is conducting a statewide survey to examine schooling experiences during the 2019-2020 or 2020-2021 academic years after schools closed due to COVID-19. This research will identify successful remote learning approaches, key barriers to student engagement and the delivery of remote learning, and other areas of concern where more support is needed. Results will help promote a richer understanding of how to best meet a child’s academic and social-emotional needs through remote learning and student support.   Please contact Sarah Fuller or Kevin Bastian for more information.

Long-term Outcomes of Early Literacy

A rich body of evidence links early literacy with academic outcomes in primary and secondary school, and adult literacy is correlated with better long-term outcomes in areas such as employment and health. However, there is very little high quality research evidence examining the connection between early literacy and adult outcomes.  The purpose of this project is to provide evidence on the relationship between literacy scores in early elementary school and a range of adult outcomes, including educational attainment, economic outcomes, juvenile delinquency, and teenage pregnancy. Please contact Sarah Fuller or Kevin Bastian for more information.

Evaluation of North Carolina’s Library Sciences and Technology Act (LSTA) Five-Year Plan

Through a contract with the State Library of North Carolina, EPIC is conducting a federally required evaluation of North Carolina’s 2018-2022 Library Services and Technology Act (LSTA) Five-Year Plan. The LSTA Five-Year Plan maps the allocation of federal funds to support North Carolina’s library services goals of strengthening capacity, expanding access, and community engagement. LSTA funds are distributed to support programs and projects carried out by the State Library, and through competitive grants for public, academic, and special libraries and library organizations across North Carolina. Findings from state LSTA Plan evaluations are used by the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS) to improve practices and inform policy. Please contact Julie Marks or Rachel Rana for more information.