School Safety Elements and ResourcesInformation intended to help schools identify elements and resources important in improving school climate and safety.
__Assessments of School Safety
Appropriate sources of data have been reviewed to identify school safety issues (e.g., Youth Risk Behavior Survey data and the California School Climate, Health, and Learning Survey System data, crime data from local law enforcement, suspension/expulsion data from the California Longitudinal Pupil Achievement Data System (CALPADS), behavior referrals, counseling referrals, etc.). Information about training in school safety and violence prevention is available at the School Community Violence Prevention Training Schedule.
__Discipline Policies and Practices
Existing school site discipline rules and procedures are regularly reviewed to ensure that they are being appropriately enforced and address student behavior problems and school safety issues. Student handbooks are given to all students and parents that explain codes of conduct, unacceptable behavior, and disciplinary consequences. An excellent resource for approaches to behavioral intervention strategies and support is available at Behavioral Intervention Strategies and Supports.
Available sources are being targeted to address school safety issues. Investigate additional state or federal funding to improve school climate, respond to crisis, improve classroom management, and provide comprehensive student mental health services.
__Professional Development Activities
All school personnel receive appropriate professional development that includes training on the implementation of a school safety plan, safe school strategies, crisis response training, consistent enforcement of school discipline policies, child abuse reporting, and identification and recognition of student mental health issues designed to determine an appropriate first response.
__Counseling and Wellness Services
Effective counseling and wellness services are available to all students (e.g., psychological and social services, attendance improvement, dropout prevention and recovery, and appropriate referral systems for different types of student support).
Designate a trained person at each site to handle referrals (related to student physical and mental health) to collaborative district and community partners. Ask the district to designate a point person who is charged with activating and coordinating a crisis response team, overseeing the district suicide prevention policy, coordinating a timely crisis debriefing for first responders, and reviewing feedback after a school mental health crisis occurs.
Students, parents, community organizations, and law enforcement agencies are actively involved in activities that contribute to preventing violence and improving school safety:
- Establish and implement a Memorandum of Understanding or Interagency Agreement between local agencies to provide better student support.
- Include partnerships with families, mental health professionals, community-based organizations (CBOs), county departments, health plan providers and practitioners, and agencies focusing on student mental health.
- Ensure that districts and schools create partnerships with local mental health agencies/organizations and utilize programs that incorporate individuals with “lived experience” to help develop effective mental health and wellness programs.
- Ensure that the school has access to culturally and ethnically diverse CBOs.
- Involve parent-teacher associations and organizations in reaching out to schools to engage all parents, guardians, and caregivers in discussion relating to student mental health and wellness. This could include educational meetings for students, families, and staff about mental health in an overall wellness framework.
__Safe Schools Programs and Strategies
Effective prevention/intervention programs and strategies are being used consistently to create a safe and drug-free learning environment and to address school safety and violence prevention issues that frequently impact campuses such as:
- Anti-stigma mental health and prevention strategies
- Bullying Prevention
- Conflict Management
- Gang Risk Intervention
- Hate Violence-Motivated Behavior
- Human Trafficking
- Internet Safety
- Student Assistance Program or other intervention and referral system
- Teen Dating Abuse
- Youth Development
- Youth Suicide Prevention and Postvention
Access to the school campus has been appropriately restricted; procedures are in place to address visitors to campus. The use of campus supervisors, security personnel, security equipment (e.g., communication systems, surveillance cameras and other detection devices, etc.) are appropriately utilized. Mental health professionals as well as law enforcement professionals have been consulted in the review and update of campus security.