For 36 years, the State College Area School District’s Safe School Plan has evolved by drawing on broad input that allows it to incorporate a comprehensive perspective. In 1986, plans began for a traumatic events procedure, which led to our first Board Policy on the issue three years later. Since then, the plan has continued to emphasize crisis response, but over time also encompassed development, prevention, intervention, and risk reduction initiatives.
In the early 1990s, mediation and conflict resolution became part of our effort, and within a few years, each of these strategies was becoming more a part of the school support program. Toward the end of the decade, conflict resolution emphasis was included in the regular curriculum in various areas across all grades.
In more recent years, SCASD has begun to take measures to provide more physical safety and security in schools by expanding the following:
- school security staff
- school resource officers
- school-based probation officers.
SCASD has also begun to take measures to provide more emotional safety for students and staff with the implementation of the following:
- Training of a Restorative Practices approach to discipline with a focus on building communities and repairing harm.
- Provided training to all staff on situational awareness, trauma-informed awareness, behavior health awareness and suicide awareness and have provided Questin, Persuade, Respond (QPR) to all 8th graders and all high school students in their first mandatory health class.
- During the 2022-2023 school year, all 10th graders will begin to receive Teen Yought Mental Health First Aide Training (TYMHFA) to help our students help each other with identification and response to mental health needs.
- Increased our mental health support by organizing an Internal Mental Health Team and an External Mental Health Team.
- SCASD has hired mental health clinicians to provide therapeutic support to students who have barriers to such resources and has developed contracts with outside providers to help facilitate mental health support in a timely manner.
Our strategic plans called for safe, secure and nurturing school environments. This safe school plan is based upon our history since 1986 and the profound commitment contained in our strategic plans.
The Citizens’ Advisory Committee provides an advisory service to the Board of School Directors and the administration through the superintendent.
The Safety in the Workplace Committee focuses on safety issues from water quality to playground equipment.
The School Health and Wellness Committee supports the psychological and physical well-being of all students, in addition to providing a process to integrate decision-making and collaboration to support healthy children and youth; fostering cooperation by building consensus and trust between teachers, staff, family, and community members; and supporting the health and wellness of students and schools, which will ultimately result in improved academic achievement.
The Security Committee focuses on scrutinizing facilities and practices. It provides information regarding a broad array of security issues of importance to schools.
The Traumatic Events/Rapid Response Teams consist of staff members who serve in the event of a traumatic event impacting a district site. These teams rehearse in advance and meet on an ongoing basis to maintain a readiness to respond when called upon.
Membership on various committees and the traumatic events teams is determined by the Board of School Directors, superintendent, administration or by state or federal regulations.