Effective Strategies for Creating Safer Schools and Communities

May 13, 2013

About the Effective Strategies for Creating Safer Schools and Communities Series

schoolsSchool safety requires a broad-based effort by the entire community, including educators, students, parents, law enforcement agencies, businesses, and faith-based organizations, among others. By adopting a comprehensive approach to addressing school safety focusing on prevention, intervention, and response, schools can increase the safety and security of students.

To assist schools in their safety efforts, the Hamilton Fish Institute on School and Community Violence and the Northwest Regional Educational Laboratory (NWREL) have revised this series of five guidebooks intended to build a foundation of information that will assist schools and school districts in developing safe learning environments. The series identifies several components that, when effectively addressed, provide schools with the foundation and building blocks needed to create and maintain safe schools. Written in collaboration with leading national experts, these resources will provide local school districts with information and resources that support comprehensive safe school planning efforts.

Each guide provides administrators and classroom practitioners with a glimpse of how fellow educators are addressing issues, overcoming obstacles, and attaining success in key areas of school safety. They will assist educators in obtaining current, reliable, and useful information on topics that should be considered as they develop safe school strategies and positive learning environments. As emphasized in Threat Assessment in Schools: A Guide to Managing Threatening Situations and to Creating Safe School Climates, a joint publication of the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Department of Education, creating cultures and climates of safety is essential to the prevention of violence in school. Each guidebook retains this message as a fundamental concept.

Under No Child Left Behind, the education law signed in January 2002, violence prevention programs must meet specified principles of effectiveness and be grounded in scientifically based research that provides evidence that the program to be used will reduce violence and illegal drug use. Building on the concept in No Child Left Behind—that all children need a safe environment in which to learn and achieve—these guides explain the importance of selecting research-based programs and strategies.

The guides also outline a sample of methods for addressing and solving safety issues schools may encounter.

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