January 2024 School Safety Community Bulletin: Events, Opportunities, and Resources

School Safety Events and Opportunities

January 2024

Latest News

Find Resources to Address Human Trafficking
January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness of and preventing human trafficking. Every year, millions of people are trafficked around the world, including students in the American school system. Educators and school staff can play a vital role in recognizing and preventing human trafficking by understanding what it is, what it can look like in school communities, and how to respond and support youth affected by the crime. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Blue Campaign also offers a variety of human trafficking awareness and prevention resources for adults working with youth, school resource officers, and students.

ED Announces New Grants to Address Community Violence and Its Impacts on Student Mental Health
The U.S. Department of Education (ED) announced $6.4 million in new grants to address community violence. The funding is being awarded to seven school districts across the country as part of the Project Prevent grant program. These awards will allow school districts to identify and serve students exposed to community violence by helping them increase student access to mental health services, support conflict management programs, and implement other community- and school-based strategies to help prevent community violence and to mitigate the impacts of exposure to community violence.

SchoolSafety.gov Publishes New School Safety Resources for the K-12 Community
The SchoolSafety.gov website added more than 130 new resources over the course of 2023, bringing the total number of resources now available through the site to nearly 600. These resources cover a range of school safety topics and are designed to provide members of the school community – including school and district administrators, safety personnel, and parents and legal guardians – with information that can help enhance school safety programs and foster safe, supportive, and welcoming learning environments. Schools can easily find and sort through these and other resources on the site through its comprehensive Resource Library

Justice Department Announces Funding Opportunities to Support Public Safety in Tribal Communities
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced the opening of the 2024 Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS), which provides funding to federally recognized tribes and tribal consortia to improve public safety and victim services in tribal communities. Purpose areas of this combined solicitation may allow for eligible school safety expenses including the hiring of school resource officers and the development of, or to enhance existing, school-involved Youth Healing to Wellness Courts. DOJ is hosting a series of CTAS funding webinars for interested applicants to learn more about the solicitation and how to apply. Applications are due to Grants.gov by March 5 and to JustGrants by March 12.

ED Announces New Funding to Support School Infrastructure Investments
ED announced new grant awards totaling more than $37 million under the Supporting America’s School Infrastructure (SASI) program and one new grant for $10 million under the National Center on School Infrastructure (NCSI). These awards will bolster the capacity of states to support school districts in improving school facilities with the goal of more equitable access to healthy, sustainable, and modern learning environments for all students. States receiving SASI funds will be able to conduct school facility needs assessments in high-need school districts, hire new staff, and develop or improve public school infrastructure data systems. The NCSI program will establish a national clearinghouse and technical assistance center that will consolidate federal resources related to public school infrastructure improvements.

Protect Student Privacy and “Take Control of Your Data” During Data Privacy Week
Data Privacy Week (January 21-27) helps raise awareness of the importance of online privacy and data protection, including within educational institutions. School districts collect and store significant amounts of sensitive and personal data, including student files, contact information, and health records, and should have measures in place to properly safeguard this information and protect student privacy. ED’s Privacy Technical Assistance Center provides resources, trainings, assistance, and events to help the education community learn about privacy, confidentiality, and security practices related to student-level data systems. K-12 staff and personnel can also follow general cyber hygiene best practices to contribute to a safer digital infrastructure within school communities.

Help Prevent the Spread of Infectious Diseases This Winter
The winter season can sometimes lead to an influx of COVID-19 cases, seasonal influenza (flu), and other infectious diseases. To help prevent and slow the spread of these illnesses, K-12 schools can implement a range of core prevention strategies, which include ensuring proper hand hygiene, cleaning and disinfecting surfaces, and maintaining good indoor air quality. School administrators, educators, and families can also find guidance and resources related to COVID-19 prevention through the U.S. Department of Education and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Grants and Funding Opportunities

Upcoming Deadlines

Ongoing Deadlines

Informational Webinars on Funding Opportunities

Visit the SchoolSafety.gov Grants Finder Tool for additional school safety-related funding opportunities.

Events, Webinars, and Conferences

National Student Privacy & Data Security Winter Webinar Series (January 17 & 31) – These sessions, part of a Winter Webinar Series hosted by ED’s Student Privacy Policy Office, will cover the basics of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and provide training on current data security best practices for education data systems. It will also lead participants through a simulated data breach and explore how to assess online educational technology for privacy protections and general FERPA compliance.

Free to Learn Miniseries (January 17, February 14) – This series, hosted by the National Center on Safe Supportive Learning Environments, will offer webinars focusing on evidence-based practices to prevent, address, and ameliorate the effects of bullying, violence, and hate while also supporting school safety, school-based mental health, and positive school climates. The series will provide strategies to help students navigate circumstances that might result in differences of opinion or conflict as well as utilize various supports and opportunities to enhance their school experiences and academic achievement.

Understanding Firearm-Related Injury and School Violence (January 17, 31, February 14, 28, and March 13) – This podcast interview series, hosted by the National Center for School Safety, will cover topics such as youth suicide prevention, anonymous reporting systems, and community engagement. Listeners will gain a broad understanding of the intersection of school safety strategies and firearm-related injury.

Protect Our Kids' Privacy (January 24) – This fireside chat, hosted by the National Cybersecurity Alliance as part of Data Privacy Week, will discuss how parents, teachers, and the rest of society can come together to protect the privacy of the next generation.

Establishing School-Community Partnerships (January 24) – This training, hosted by the Mountain Plains Mental Health Technology Transfer Center (MHTTC), will assist school staff and community partners in understanding how to establish school-community mental health partnerships, address barriers, and collaborate in mental health workforce development. 

Youth Anxiety, Stress, and Worry: What is Typical? (January 30) – This training, hosted by the Mountain Plains MHTTC, will provide resources to mental health and school professionals on identifying anxiety in youth and understanding different symptoms as they relate to typical developmental trajectories. It will also provide strategies to address worry in youth, especially youth of color, with free resources to help in the identification and treatment of anxiety disorders.

Save the Date: The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: What Does It Mean for Educators? (January 30) – This webinar, co-hosted by ED and its Readiness and Emergency Management for Schools Technical Assistance Center and the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, will provide information about 988 and how K-12 educators and educational partners can use this important resource to further support their school communities. Registration for this event will open soon.

Suicide Prevention for Youth and Teens (January 31) – This webinar, hosted by the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, will provide current information on research and trends related to suicide among youth and teenagers in the United States. It will also help adults working with youth identify signs of suicidal ideation, discuss how to provide effective mental health care to at-risk youth, and provide strategies for suicide prevention and intervention.

Preventing Mass Attacks in Our Communities (February 5, April 4, June 5) – This virtual training event, hosted by the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC), will cover important findings from NTAC’s research on mass attacks perpetrated in public and semi-public spaces, including businesses, restaurants, bars, retail outlets, houses of worship, schools, open spaces, and more. This training will provide guidance on how communities may develop or improve existing violence prevention programs utilizing a behavioral threat assessment model.

Enhancing School Safety Using Behavioral Threat Assessment (March 8, May 8, July 11) – This virtual training event, hosted by NTAC, will highlight the key findings and implications from NTAC’s research on school violence prevention. Attendees will learn about the background, thinking, and behavior of school attackers and how some schools discovered and stopped plots before violence occurred. This training will also provide guidance on how schools may develop or improve existing violence prevention programs utilizing a behavioral threat assessment model.

Visit the SchoolSafety.gov Events Page for additional school safety-related webinars, conferences, and more.

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School Safety Resources

Human Trafficking Resources

Blue Campaign Resources
This webpage houses a collection of materials, trainings, and videos from the Blue Campaign. Blue Campaign is a national public awareness campaign designed to educate the public, law enforcement, and other partners to recognize the indicators of human trafficking, and how to appropriately respond to possible cases.

Combating Human Trafficking in America's Schools
This webpage provides resources to support schools' efforts to combat trafficking. It includes resources and information on identification and intervention, universal prevention, and vulnerable populations.

Human Trafficking in America’s Schools: What Schools Can Do To Prevent, Respond, and Help Students To Recover From Human Trafficking (Second Edition)
This guide provides awareness of the current prevalence of child trafficking, the forms it takes, and risk factors and indicators. It also includes details about prevention tiers and the implications for schools' role in addressing child trafficking, how the professional development of school staff and prevention education for students and families can reduce the likelihood of trafficking, and how policies, protocols, and partnerships can help prevent trafficking.

Mental Health Resources

Family and Caregiver Access to Resources on Anxiety and Depression in Children and Youth
This educational training for parents and caregivers provides practical information about anxiety and depression in children and adolescents and features resources to support parents and caregivers.

Social Media and Youth Mental Health: The U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory
This advisory describes the current evidence on the impacts of social media on the mental health of children and adolescents. It states that we cannot conclude social media is sufficiently safe for children and adolescents and outlines immediate steps to mitigate the risk of harm to children and adolescents.

Additional School Safety Resources

Bomb Threat Resources
This webpage provides information on products, training offerings, and resources that help with preparation and response options in the event of a bomb threat.

Integrating K–12 Students With Disabilities Into School Emergency Management Planning
This fact sheet provides guidance on taking an inclusive and equitable approach to emergency management planning by considering and including the needs of students with disabilities.

Visit SchoolSafety.gov for additional resources to support school safety and security efforts.

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If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for future newsletters, please contact us at SchoolSafety@hq.dhs.gov

SchoolSafety.gov Disclaimer
The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Department of Education (ED), U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) do not endorse any individual, enterprise, product, or service. DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS do not mandate or prescribe practices, models, or other activities described in this communication. DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of any information outside of those respective Departments, and the opinions expressed in any of these materials do not necessarily reflect the positions or policies of DHS, ED, DOJ, and HHS.