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

School Safety Events and Opportunities

April 2024

Latest News

Federal Government Announces Actions Being Taken to Improve School Safety
The federal government released a fact sheet detailing recent measures and preventative solutions to enhance school safety and keep firearms out of schools. These actions include the launch of the National Extreme Risk Protection Order Resource Center, which will support the effective implementation of state red flag laws. Additional measures include funding for evidence-based school solutions, investments in student mental health support and services, raising awareness of the importance of safe storage of firearms, and the establishment of the Federal School Safety Clearinghouse pursuant to the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act’s Luke and Alex School Safety Act. The Clearinghouse, located at SchoolSafety.gov, provides evidence-based practices and recommendations to improve school safety for use by states, local educational agencies, state and local law enforcement agencies, health professionals, and the general public.

ED Launches Government Coordinating Council to Strengthen Cybersecurity in Schools
The U.S. Department of Education (ED), in coordination with the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA), launched the Government Coordinating Council (GCC) for the Education Facilities Subsector. This new council signifies a unique level of collaboration between federal, state, tribal, and local governments to protect K-12 educational institutions from cybersecurity threats and aims to foster a more resilient and secure K-12 digital infrastructure through structured dialogue and shared best practices. The GCC's inaugural meeting brought together a diverse group of educational stakeholders, including superintendents, school principals, leaders from state agencies and educational service agencies, as well as technology leaders, to outline the GCC’s objectives and strategic direction. The Education Facilities Subsector is part of the Government Facilities Sector, one of 16 critical infrastructure sectors defined in Presidential Policy Directive 21.

CDC Releases 2022 School Health Profiles
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released the 2022 School Health Profiles (Profiles), a system of surveys assessing school health policies and practices in states, school districts, territories, and tribes. Profiles monitors the current status of issues such as school health education requirements and content, practices related to bullying and sexual harassment, school-based health and mental health services, policies related to tobacco-use prevention, and family engagement and community involvement. These results can be used by school leaders to understand the gaps in policies and practices that can impact student health and academic performance. A new user-friendly interactive tool, Profiles Explorer, provides easy access to the 2022 results.

DOJ Announces Funding Opportunities Under Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), Office of Justice Programs (OJP), National Institute of Justice is seeking applications for funding of rigorous, independent evaluation projects funded under the OJP Community-Based Violence Intervention and Prevention Initiative (CVIPI). CVIPI provides resources to support evidence-informed violence intervention and prevention programs in communities across the United States. This solicitation includes two funding categories: 1) evaluation research of programmatic sites funded under the OJP FY23 and FY24 CVIPI solicitations and 2) evaluation research of other community violence programs.

Federal Government Recognizes National Child Abuse Prevention Month
National Child Abuse Prevention Month is an opportunity to stand together in preventing child abuse and neglect, supporting survivors, and building strong communities. As part of these efforts, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security will be launching a forthcoming public awareness campaign to combat the threat of child abuse and exploitation online, which will bring awareness to this growing threat; teach children, parents, caregivers, and educators how to report these crimes; and offer resources to survivors.

SchoolSafety.gov to Highlight School-Specific Information and Strategies During National Youth Violence Prevention Week
National Youth Violence Prevention Week (April 22-26) brings communities together to raise awareness and learn how to stop youth violence. While the factors that contribute to youth violence are complex and far-ranging, prevention efforts by teachers, administrators, parents, community members, and students can reduce violence and create safer, more supportive learning environments. Throughout National Youth Violence Prevention Week, @SchoolSafetyGov will be highlighting information about school factors that impact youth violence, along with strategies and resources schools can use to inform their violence prevention efforts.  

CISA Offers Resources to Enhance School Security and Respond to Threats
CISA provides a multitude of resources to help K-12 schools improve physical security measures and address ongoing risks and threats. These include the K-12 School Security Guide Product Suite, which provides strategies and tools to help schools and districts assess vulnerabilities and prioritize physical security improvements. Through CISA, schools can also access guidance on responding to social-media based threats, as well as resources and training to plan for, assess, and respond to bomb threats. Finally, CISA and the U.S. Secret Service National Threat Assessment Center (NTAC) offer a toolkit to help schools strengthen school safety reporting programs and encourage bystander reporting among the school population. Learn more and find additional resources on CISA.gov.

SchoolSafety.gov Hosts Virtual Training on Federal K-12 School Safety Funding Opportunities
The Federal School Safety Clearinghouse recently hosted a virtual training on school safety grants available to the K-12 community. During the event, representatives from the U.S. Departments of Education, Health and Human Services, and Justice spoke about open and upcoming funding opportunities, eligibility requirements and deadlines, and past grantee projects. Watch the recorded training to learn more and visit the SchoolSafety.gov Grants Finder Tool to find funding opportunities for your school community.

Upcoming Events and Opportunities

Grants and Funding Opportunities

April Deadlines

May Deadlines

June Deadlines

Technical Assistance Webinars on Funding Opportunities

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

Events, Webinars, and Conferences

Bullying Prevention in Elementary and Middle Schools: Leveraging Experts in Your Building (April 17) – This webinar, hosted by the Northwest Mental Health Technology Transfer Center, will explore types of bullying, strategies to disrupt bullying in schools, and how to leverage school resource officers, bus drivers, and other safety personnel in bullying prevention efforts. 

Thriving and Healthy Kids: We All Have a Role to Play in Promoting Positive Childhood Experiences (April 23) – This webinar, hosted by the CDC’s Division of Violence Prevention, will provide information on what parents, youth, community members, or professionals working with children can do to help prevent adversity and promote positive experiences so kids can thrive.

Student Engagement: Building Positive Relationships to Improve School Safety (April 24) – This webinar, hosted by Safer Schools, a Bureau of Justice Assistance STOP School Violence Program, will explore the correlation between student engagement and school safety and provide practical strategies to improve engagement, including the application of cultural intelligence and trauma-informed responses.

Enhancing School Safety Using Behavioral Threat Assessment (May 8, July 11, September 12) – These virtual training events, hosted by NTAC, will highlight key findings and implications of 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.

Preventing Mass Attacks in Our Communities (June 5, August 7, October 1) – These virtual training events, hosted by 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.

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

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School Safety Resources

Cybersecurity Resources

Cybersecurity Resources for K-12 Schools and School Districts
This infographic provides information on the K-12 cyber threat landscape and strategies and resources school personnel can use to prevent and protect against cyberattacks and digital threats.

Planning Considerations for Cyber Incidents: Guidance for Emergency Managers
This guide is intended to help state, local, tribal, and territorial emergency management personnel collaboratively prepare for a cyber incident and support the development of a cyber incident response plan or annex.

Emergency Planning Resources

Crisis Navigation in Trauma-Informed, Resilience-Oriented Schools
This self-paced training assists school leaders in creating and strengthening a site crisis navigation team. During the course, presenters discuss anticipating the outcomes of a crisis, identifying how to use the broad range of skills represented by those on the school crisis response team, and better anticipating the future needs of the school population and developing plans to meet those needs.

School Safety Drills and Exercises for Students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD): Tips and Resources for Educators
This resource provides considerations on school safety drills and exercises for students with ASD. It includes advocacy guidance for educators and offers school safety drill and exercise ideas for students with ASD.

Violence Prevention Resources

Enhancing School Safety Using a Threat Assessment Model: An Operational Guide for Preventing Targeted School Violence
This guide provides actionable steps that schools can take to develop comprehensive targeted violence prevention plans and create processes and procedures for conducting threat assessments.

School Tip Line Toolkit: A Blueprint for Implementation and Sustainability
This guide is designed to help educators, law enforcement professionals, community leaders, and school safety experts navigate key decisions and consider the factors necessary to support successful and efficient tip line implementation as part of an overall school safety strategy.

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.