Great teaching begins with understanding each and every student as a learner – and as a person. The BARR Model allows staff to better understand and build on students’ strengths, proactively address the non-academic reasons why a student may be falling behind in school, and identify what resources they need and steps they can take to thrive.

The 8 interlocking strategies

The BARR model uses eight interlocking strategies that build intentional relationships, utilize real-time data, and enable schools to achieve academic and non-academic outcomes for each and every student.

The Barr Model

Focus on the whole student

Students don’t check their lives at the door, and BARR educators know that. They work with each and every student’s academic, emotional, social, and physical need to ensure that students are ready and able to learn.

Student smiling

Provide professional development for teachers, counselors, and administrators

Educators are lifelong learners. BARR offers regular hands-on, practical trainings and provides unlimited coaching support to BARR school staff. Topics include: implementing the model, advancing equity, reducing risky behaviors, addressing trauma, and increasing meeting effectiveness.


Use BARR’s SEL curriculum (I-Times and U-Times) to foster a climate for learning

Relationships and social emotional learning (SEL) don’t just happen. Both require intentionality. To foster teacher-to-student and student-to-student relationships, BARR teachers facilitate a weekly 30-minute SEL lesson (I-Times or U-Times) focused on helping students learn and practice essential life skills.

Student with teacher

Create cohorts

To foster staff -to-staff, staff-to-student and student-to-student relationships, cohorts of students and staff are created. This structure helps educators cultivate connections – with students and each other – that allow for more effective education.

Students working with teacher

Hold regular meetings of the cohort teacher teams

In a shared meeting time, cohort teachers meet weekly to discuss each student, from a strength-based perspective, using student-level data that is updated every week. They collaborate to identify struggling students and interventions, as well as students who should be accelerated.

Students working together

Conduct risk review meetings

Cohort teacher teams identify students that are in need of more intensive support and move them into a structured Risk Review process that engages the community to determine the most effective response.

Conference attendees

Engage families in student learning

“Family involvement.” What does that really mean? BARR improves communication with families, recognizing them as active partners. Leveraging student strengths and collaboratively meeting with the cohort of teachers are two strategies, among many, that families utilize.

Students working

Engage administrators

Each school setting is unique, and administrators can use BARR to achieve specific, measurable goals within local context. Administrators in the BARR community network with one another for ideas on how to effectively lead their schools.

Conference Lunch
Kids at a table

BARR gives educators the tools to work together to better understand and build on students’ strengths, proactively address the non-academic reasons why they may fall behind in school and identify what they need to thrive within and outside the classroom.

The BARR model reflects the conviction that all students can excel regardless of race, zip code, or family income when they are provided with the right supports.

We let our data do the talking

If we know our students — really know each and every one of them — understand them and expect them to meet high standards, they achieve more, attend school more, get into trouble less, and ultimately succeed in school. Whether under-resourced or excelling, we have a 100% success rate in schools that implement with fidelity.