Youth-Centered Environmental Shift Program

Contact Information

Sexual Violence Prevention

In 2019, staff at OSPI created the Youth-Centered Environmental Shift Program (YES!). Prompted by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) call to support new research regarding community-level primary prevention strategies for sexual violence (SV), YES! is to be implemented with rape prevention and education program funding from the Washington State Department of Health (DOH).

YES! is a community-level intervention rather than solely an individual- or relationship-level program. YES! does not include a student-level curriculum, making the program easier to implement and more scalable under the constrained resources of many school districts.

YES! Goals

  • Incorporate youth input concerning school climate and culture into community-level primary prevention strategies;
  • Create protective environments and reduce rates of SV victimization and perpetration within school communities;
  • Create a school culture where students are emotionally and physically safe, supported, and free of abuse, specifically SV.

YES! Strategies

School Support Teams
  • Leads middle school implementation.
  • Includes-administrator, educator, support staff, district-level staff.
  • Engages students throughout implementation.
  • Trainers of middle school staff.
Environmental Shift
  • Authentic youth feedback to gauge physical, social, and cultural safety of school through environmental shift assessment (ESA).
  • Implement It's About Respect social norms campaign developed by Department of Health.
Protocol and Plan Revision/Implementation
  • Revise protocols and plans suggested by advisory boards.
  • Obtain building (students/staff) feedback.
  • Adoption of building-level protocols/plans.
  • Implementation at each middle school

YES! utilizes the Whole School, Whole Community, Whole Child Model (WSCC) as its underlying foundation. The WSCC is an ecological approach developed by the CDC and the Association of Supervision and Curriculum Development (ASCD) to increase the connectedness of communities by placing youth at the center to support their development and long-term success. The development of a positive social and emotional climate increases academic achievement, reduces stress, and improves positive attitudes toward self and others.