PCCD K12 School Safety & Security Training & Technical Assistance Project
About the School Safety & Security Training & Technical Assistance Project
Act 55 of 2022 amended Section 1310-B of the PA Public School Code of 1949 to establish new requirements for school safety and security training for all school employees in Pennsylvania. Prior to the passage of Act 55, school safety and security training for school employees was limited to three hours of instruction every five years. Act 55 amended this requirement to three hours of instruction annually and requires that the training provided meet certain standards as adopted by the School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC), housed within the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). Amendments to the Act also clarified the requirements for mandatory training for School Safety and Security Coordinators (SSC).
In March 2023, the SSSC approved Risk and Strategic Management Corporation (RSM) to design and launch training programs aligned with these adopted standards for school employees and SSCs. Working under the strategic direction of PCCD, RSM is currently in the process of developing a comprehensive suite of training materials that align with the Act 55 training standards. These materials will become available online in the “Training Materials” section below and all courses for School Employees are expected to go live between October and December of 2023. Please note that as materials become available, you will see them update from “coming soon” to active links. In-person training is expected to become available for School Employees and Safety and Security Coordinators in January 2024 and a training calendar will be posted in the “Training Materials” section below.
The “Training Provider Registry” link enables training providers to self-certify that they have developed training curricula that meets the approved training standards and register as “PCCD-recognized” providers of school safety and security training. School entities may also use the “Training Provider Registry” link below to search for and contact PCCD-recognized training providers.
Other Pennsylvania Agencies, Programs & Services
There are a number of state-level agencies, programs, and initiatives already established that may be of interest to those seeking information, advice or guidance around the broad area of school safety and security:
- The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) serves as the state education agency and supports a number of initiatives focused on supporting safe and supportive school environments for students. PDE’s Office for Safe Schools provides resources and access to technical assistance across a wide range of areas which have touchpoints with School Safety and Security, and including, Mental Health and Trauma Informed Practices, Equity and Inclusion, School Climate, Bullying Prevention. The Office for Safe Schools’ Act 71 page provides an access point that can take school entities to a wide range of resources related to youth suicide awareness and prevention. In 2020, PDE also launched the Equitable Practices Hub to establish a coherent collection of resources, best practices, models, and guidance schools may use in promoting intentional equity in their communities.
- The Pennsylvania Student Assistance Program (SAP) is a systematic team process used to mobilize school resources to remove barriers to learning. SAP is designed to assist in identifying issues including alcohol, tobacco, other drugs, and mental health issues which pose a barrier to a student’s success. The primary goal of the Student Assistance Program is to help students overcome these barriers so that they may achieve, advance, and remain in school.
- The Pennsylvania Network for Student Assistance (PNSAS) – provides leadership for developing a safe and drug-free environment and mental health wellness in schools and communities across the commonwealth. Barriers to learning will be removed and student academic achievement will be enhanced through collaborative prevention, intervention, and postvention services.
- The Pennsylvania Department of Human Services, Office of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services (OMHSAS) has supported Youth Mental Health First Aid and Question-Persuade-Refer (QPR) trainings across the commonwealth through both the Garrett Lee Smith (GLS) Youth Suicide Prevention Grant and the System of Care Partnership. Additional trainings on suicide risk assessment, safety planning, postvention, and family engagement have also been offered to schools through the GLS grant. Staff have also provided consultation for schools on policy development, as well as the selection of staff and student education and training programs. OMHSAS have a partnership with Crisis Text Line, a free and confidential service that is available nationally to provide support to those in crisis. Crisis Text Line may be accessed any time by texting “PA” to 741-741. An additional resource for suicide prevention and crisis support is “988” 988 National Mental Health Crisis Line
- Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) works with PDE’s Bureau of Special Education to provide access to a broad scope of resources and supports to schools, including professional development, webinars, on-site assistance, and other technical assistance.
- The PA Emergency Management Agency (PEMA) has developed an All-Hazards School Safety Planning Toolkit providing guidelines and information for schools, local education agencies, and communities to address a variety of crises and emergency situations that might impact their campuses.