Robbinsdale Area Schools
High School

BARR Program

What is BARR?

BARR — Building Assets, Reducing Risks — is an evidence-based model that provides our school with a strength-based comprehensive approach to meeting the academic, social, and emotional needs of all students. Through BARR, we work to harness the power of relationships and data to remove both academic and non-academic barriers to learning and ensure that no student is invisible

At Armstrong High School, 9th grade students are grouped into block teams with a common English, social studies, science and/or math teacher. This teacher team meets throughout the week to monitor student progress, identify strengths and to consider ways to support and challenge all block students. Each week, our 9th grade counselor, BARR Assistant Principal and BARR coordinator and social worker meet with teacher teams to offer additional support for students and help provide recognition for students' unique strengths and talents.

BARR allows us to help students sooner. Teachers notice a change in a student and support staff hear about the concern the same day or week. BARR at Armstrong gives students a stronger, tighter safety net.Melinda Vogel, Counselor

BARR model chart

All 9th grade students are assigned an adviser who is a part of the 9th grade BARR staff. The adviser will serve as the point person to monitor student progress and communicate with the student, their family and the rest of the BARR team.

BARR is the framework that provides us the opportunity to get to know each of our student's strengths and interests during a critical transition time in their education. As educators, we leverage the knowledge we gain through relationship building and I-Time in order to better engage and challenge our students.

To learn more about BARR, visit

If you have questions or want more information about BARR at Armstrong High School, please contact our BARR Coordinator(s):

Anne Beaton, 763-504-8884

Tim Lloyd, 763-504-8937.

What are these I-Time lessons my student talks about?

Once a week, one of the block teachers will facilitate an I-Time lesson. The goal of I-Time is to help strengthen student-to-student and staff-to-student relationships, and to build classroom community. Important topics they will explore together: building community, stress management, bullying and substance use awareness. 

BARR allows us to take a break from the usual routine with our students through our I-Time Days. The activities we do together give all of us an opportunity to get to know each other better beyond how we see each other in the classroom and share on a more personal level. Lisa Jensen, Teacher

How does BARR benefit my student?

BARR educators focus on your child as more than just a learner – but work to understand them as a whole child.  They are trained to use strength-based techniques to build positive relationships and support each student toward success in the classroom and beyond. BARR staff are also provided with ongoing professional development on the BARR model and on topics that are relevant to our students including interdisciplinary planning and teaching, equity, substance use and mental health awareness.

The model has a 20-year track record of student success and has been proven to drive significant improvements in school climate measures, course credits earned, grade point averages, and standardized test scores; narrowed opportunity gaps; and decreases in failure rates, suspensions, and absenteeism.

It is a school social worker's dream program to implement early interventions in support of our young people. Nancy Burkhardt, Social Worker 

How can I learn more?

All 9th grade families are welcome to join us at the Family Advisory Council FAC meetings! This is a great opportunity to provide feedback, meet other parents/caregivers and hear school updates. Dates and times will be posted on the Armstrong High School website and sent through Schoology. 

I really like how positive my mentor is and I am happy that I am getting good grades in my classes.

AHS 9th Grader