The BARR Center (BARR) ensures all students have access to a high-quality education where adults know them personally, recognize their strengths and help them succeed. BARR equips schools to empower teachers and administrators to build deep relationships with students and harness the power of data to increase academic, social and emotional outcomes.
Why We Invested
BARR is a time-bound, whole-school support model that provides a comprehensive approach to meeting students’ needs. Over the course of three years, the organization equips schools with sustainable tools, processes and mindsets to provide holistic supports to students that address their social, emotional, and academic needs. The model is backed by three randomized controlled trials – the gold standard of evaluation – that demonstrate statistically significant impacts on teachers’ behaviors, students’ attitudes and key academic outcomes. Of note, BARR students who qualify for free and reduced lunch were nearly 50% more likely to pass all core courses than the comparison group. BARR’s founder and executive director, Angela Jerabek, brings deep programmatic expertise paired with visionary leadership, which has enabled the organization to significantly expand while codifying the model and maintaining quality. Jerabek has established a talented and committed management team, many of whom have been with the organization for more than a decade.
Over the last decade, BARR has expanded from one school in Minnesota to more than 150 schools across nearly 20 states. The organization launched in Chicago in the fall of 2018 and is currently partnering with three schools with plans to launch in a fourth site in fall 2019. BARR has an ambitious vision for growth. Nationally, the organization seeks to double in size over the next four years to serve 250 schools. Locally, BARR seeks to support 22 Chicago schools by 2022. It will be important that, as BARR continues to grow, it solidifies its foundation and operations to ensure a sustainable path to scale.
Investment launched in March 2019. Management support project set to begin in summer 2019.