Summer Training Opportunities

Summer is just around the corner, and if you’re anything like me or the teachers, counselors and administrators I know, you are ready to jump in and increase your knowledge to help you continue to do great things in your school….along with enjoying a bit of well-deserved time off, of course.

There are so many areas of your job to attend to, and I know that school safety isn’t typically at the top of most educators’ lists. So, I will make this easy for you.

Easy and Inexpensive Training

The easiest way I know of to learn something new is to do so from the comfort of your own home. I want to recommend a couple of training courses you can take online in a very short amount of time.

First, if you haven’t already taken the free course,  Increase Your School’s Safety in 5 Easy Steps, grab a cup of coffee or a glass of iced tea, and take this course! It’s free, and you can get it right here. In less than 15 minutes, you will know how to make your school significantly safer.

Second, for a more extended school safety training that is recommended for all school staff members and subs, spend around 90 minutes on this course – Everyday School Safety. This is the online version of the training I’ve delivered many times in person to schools across the country. I’ve lowered the price significantly to make it accessible to educators. You can get that course right here.

While you’re thinking of school safety, why not download some of the handouts on warning signs of violence and suicide, along with other school safety topics. Nearly all are offered for free, and you can get them at The School Safety Store.

If your summer work includes updating your school’s safety plan, this Template Pack will make your life much easier. It includes over 25 documents and templates for school safety planning and response!

It’s also not too late to schedule a Threat Assessment Training for your team this summer. I have a few dates still open, so give me a call or complete the online contact form if this is something you’d like to do.

As always, I want to thank all of the educators out there for the outstanding work you do.

Have an amazing summer!

Time to Rethink Active Shooter Training?

Best-practice guidance

Those of you who have followed me over the years know that I have always been a strong proponent of preventing school violence, rather than focusing solely on after-the-fact actions and active shooter training. I firmly believe that a great deal of violence can be prevented by knowing what to watch for and having a process in place for reporting and assessing concerning words and behaviors.

Of course, I also believe that we need to be prepared overall, for all possible crises and emergencies. This includes knowing how to respond to fires, intruders, chemical leaks and many other hazards.

So, yes, we should know how to respond to an active shooter. But, we may have to rethink some of our current practices.

Research is beginning to support something many of us have believed all along: simulations of active school attacks can be frightening and traumatic for children and staff members.

The latest guidance on armed assailant drills comes to us from NASP, the National Association of School Psychologists and NASRO, the National Association of School Resource Officers. According to their joint report, Best Practice Considerations for Armed Assailant Drills in Schools, “schools should not use simulation techniques with students, and exercises should be appropriate to the participants’ development level and physical abilities. If sensorial exercises are conducted with staff, they should consent and be informed of the tactics being used, mental health supports must be available on-site during the exercises and after the exercises, and adult participants must be informed of the use and purpose of props and simulation aids prior to the drill. Drills should never involve props that interject or simulate physical harm (e.g., paintballs or rubber bullets) or physical contact with participants.”

So, what does this mean for your school? Training exercises should follow a progression of steps, beginning with basic activities. Going forward, lockdown drills should still be a critical component of training. Frequent nonsenorial/nonsimulation planning and walking through potential crises should comprise a great deal of your preparedness efforts. Options-based drills can provide alternative strategies for both staff and students to implement during an emergency situation.

For more detailed guidance in planning and implementing your preparedness and drill protocols, click here for the report referenced above.

Threat Concerns as Schools Reopen

Threat concerns as schools reopen

Will high levels of stress translate into high rates of violence?

As schools begin to reopen on either a full-scale or hybrid plan, there are questions about how students, who have been under unusual stress while learning from home, might react. Experts have concerns about the likelihood that stressors experienced while confined to home may exacerbate already existing mental health issues, anger, and behavioral concerns.

The 2019 US Secret Service Report on Targeted School Violence lists the top stressors experienced by students who have perpetrated violent attacks on their schools in the past. The graphic below is from the US Secret Service report, Protecting America’s Schools. You can access the full report here.

Stressors of school attackers

Many of these stressors could be seriously affecting our students at this time. All schools should have a plan in place to check in with students they already know are struggling as well as making sure all students know where to turn for help or to report concerns about a peer. This is all about prevention. We need to focus on identifying students who are struggling and intervene to help them before they ever get to the point of violence or suicide.

A second concern

Another concern I have about the potential increased risk of school violence upon returning to school, stems from the statistics below indicating the time of year prior attacks have taken place.

School attacks time of year

This graphic, from the US Secret Service report, Protecting America’s Schools shows that the highest number of school attacks have occurred during the months of return to school after a break. With the unprecedented break of being quarantined at home for months, we need to be extra vigilant and aware of what to look for in our students.

The resources Warning Signs of Violence and Warning Signs of Suicide can be helpful in increasing your staff’s awareness of these important topics. I encourage you to disseminate this information to all staff members and create a process for reporting concerns so you can act on them quickly and effectively.

Announcement & a quick favor

I’m putting together an updated online school safety training and want to make sure to include everything that would be most helpful to schools right now. Your feedback is extremely valuable and will help me get this right so it’s more useful to you. Please click on this link to complete a very brief survey letting me know your greatest needs.  Thanks so much!

STOP School Violence Grant Available Now

STOP School Violence Grants

It’s a new year, and it might just be time for some new school safety strategies. I trust that you had a restful holiday break and are ready to hit the ground running for the second half of the school year.

As you may have heard, the Bureau of Justice Assistance, U.S. Department of Justice has opened the STOP School Violence Grant Program to new applications. The STOP School Violence Grant Program is designed to fund improvements to school safety and security. Its objective is to increase safety by implementing training and school threat assessments and/or intervention teams to identify school violence risks among students; technological solutions such as anonymous reporting technology that can be implemented as a mobile phone-based app, a hotline, or a website in the applicant’s geographic area to enable students, teachers, faculty, and community members to anonymously identify threats of school violence; or other school safety strategies that assist in preventing violence. The grant application deadline is March 3, 2020.

If you’re interested in funding threat assessment team training and development or all-staff training in school safety, and would like help with your grant language or a price quote for training with Youth Risk Prevention Specialists, please feel free to contact me by phone or email. I’m happy to help!

I wish you the best of luck!

School Safety for Less

School Safety for Less

 

Are you thinking of making improvements to your school’s safety?

I want to let you in on a way to improve your school safety for less.

For the next few months, my loyal readers and followers can engage any of my services at prices that haven’t changed since 2012. That’s right – until the end of the fiscal year (June 30), I will honor my old prices for any booking or project that comes to completion by October 31. This gives you nearly 3 months to book, and over 6 months to host a training, purchase an online course for your staff, obtain a threat assessment consultation, or update your school safety plan.

As a lifelong educator dedicated to making schools better places for students to learn, and for staff members to thrive, I have always made sure that my services fit with schools’ tight budgets. Since founding Youth Risk Prevention Specialists 6 years ago, I have sought to provide outstanding school safety services at an affordable price and I have never raised prices. We all know that inflation is one of life’s certainties, and in order to continue doing this important work, I must make a few changes.

As violence threat assessment finally begins to get the recognition it deserves. I expect a surge in schools seeking this type of training. I have been doing this work for many years, and have obtained the education and experience necessary to provide the most current, research-based training and assistance to schools setting up threat assessment teams. There are many large safety companies that focus on a particular product or safety niche and I am concerned that they will develop “pop-up” threat assessment training services to complement their products or services. Even without adequate training or expertise in this area, they will likely get a lot of takers. Why? Because they have thousands of dollars to invest in advertising. A very small business like Youth Risk Prevention Specialists does not.

What I do provide is experience, knowledge, over-the-top service and customization to make sure you get exactly what you need to improve your school’s safety. I’ve worked nationwide with schools, organizations and the Federal Emergency Management Agency on projects that increased the safety of schools, workplaces and faith-based entities. I’m an active member of the Association of Threat Assessment Association (ATAP) and have been on the front lines of implementing violence threat assessment as a preventive practice in schools.

If you’d like to learn more about what Youth Risk Prevention Specialists can do to help make your school safer, simply click here for service descriptions and training outlines, or here to contact me with your specific needs. I’m happy to provide more information or answer any questions you may have.

 

 

You Won’t Want to Miss This

running-hurry

There are just a few days left to take advantage of special introductory pricing on the Everyday School Safety online training course for all school staff members. I’ve taken the training I provide for schools across the country, and adapted it to an online format that saves you time and money.

This is truly the most efficient, cost-effective way to train your entire staff. 

The training covers 7 key areas of school safety, providing a solid safety foundation for each and every staff member.

Testimonials:

“Wow, this was a quality course! It would be great if our entire school staff could complete this.” – Sharon J., School Social Worker, Pennsylvania

“The course was informative, very refreshingly easy to navigate and overall a top quality presentation. I was impressed with the quality of information…. Oh, and I loved the handouts.” – Michelle T., Community Member, New Mexico

Online Course FAQs:

How long will I have to complete the course?

You will have 1 full year from the date of enrollment to complete or revisit the course. However, you can easily complete it in 90 minutes. The handouts are downloadable, and yours to keep.

For whom is this course appropriate?

This course is appropriate for everyone who works in your school – teachers, custodians, paraprofessionals, substitutes, food service staff, front office and clerical staff, coaches, student services staff and administrators.

What if I’m unhappy with the course?

If the course does not live up to your expectations or help you create a safer school, simply contact me within 14 days for a full refund.

Click here to view the course curriculum. If you enroll before midnight on Friday, September 30, you can take advantage of an amazingly low introductory price.

Discounted spots are limited, so don’t wait!
If you know someone who could benefit from this information, please feel free to share. He/she will need to click on the links in this email to get the special offer.

Special School Safety Opportunity

The school year has started, at very different times across the country. In Albuquerque, where I live, students were back in school on August 11. For many in the Midwest and Eastern regions of the country, the starting bell rang after Labor Day.

This means that many school administrators, student services staff and teachers missed special launch pricing on the Everyday School Safety online training.

I’m going to fix that.

I’m excited to offer an extraordinary price cut on the Individual Plan of this critical safety training. The reason for this, is that I want to make is really easy for you to take a look at the course and decide whether it’s something that could benefit your entire staff.

The first 100 people to enroll in the Everyday School Safety course Individual Plan before September 30 will be able to purchase a full year’s access to the course for just $5.00.

That’s right!

Just $5.00 for a comprehensive, research-based school safety course delivered on your schedule.

The course covers physical safety, school climate, drills, safety plans, suicide prevention, student fights, violence warning signs and an introduction to violence threat assessment. This is the same training I deliver on-site to schools across the country.

Get your $5.00 course by clicking here before September 30 (and before you lose your spot as one of the first 100).

Stay safe!

Don’t be left behind…

School Safety Course

The SafeAware© Everyday School Safety course is taking off!

A few early birds have already completed the course.

I’m betting you have a few questions so I’ll do my best to provide answers.

How long will I have to complete the course?

You will have 1 full year from the date of enrollment to complete or revisit the course. However, you can easily complete it in under 2 hours.

For whom is this course appropriate?

This course is appropriate for everyone who works in your school – teachers, custodians, paraprofessionals, substitutes, food service staff, front office and clerical staff, coaches, student services staff and administrators.

What if I’m unhappy with the course?

If the course does not live up to your expectations or help you create a safer school, simply contact me within 14 days for a full refund.

“Wow, this was a quality course! It would be great if our entire school staff could complete this.” – Sharon J., School Social Worker, Pennsylvania

How do I enroll my entire staff in this course?

When you visit the enrollment page, you will see 4 options: the individual plan and 3 group plans of varying sizes. Simply register for the plan that fits your needs. If it’s a group plan, you will receive vouchers for each person in your organization to access the course with their unique individual codes.

How will I make sure all of my staff members have completed the course?

Each person will need to register for the course using his or her individual email address. I will monitor progress and keep you informed about completion rates. Each person registered will have access to the course for 1 full year, but if you provide a completion date of your choosing, I will issue reminders to keep your staff members on track.

“I wasn’t sure what I expected to learn or discover but was excited about the opportunity to gain some safety tips and wasn’t disappointed. The course was informative, very refreshingly easy to navigate and overall a top quality presentation. I was impressed with the quality of information, not too technical, not understated.  Just the facts!  I like that. The quality of the speaker’s voice, speech pattern, language and mannerisms encouraged my participation. The size font of the reading material was easy on the eyes and made for great visual pointers for those of us with the photographic memory. Oh, and I loved the handouts.” – Michelle T., Community Member, New Mexico

If you’re ready to bring this training to your school, simply click on your preferred plan below to enroll now. Early-bird savings will expire on August 25, so don’t delay.

Individual 

Small Group (25-50)

Medium Group (51-100)

Large Group (101+)

Additional courses will be added soon. If you’d like to get early-bird notification and pricing when new courses are launched, simply enter your email address here.

Just in Time for Back-to-School

A couple of weeks ago, I posed some questions of my readers that started with the words What if…

What if quality school safety training could be available to all of your staff members (bus drivers, food service staff, substitutes, paraprofessionals, teachers, custodians) without having to pull them away from their responsibilities, ask them to work extra hours, or pay overtime wages.

What if making your school safer were as simple as investing an hour at your convenience to access the very same training content provided to school districts across the country, at a fraction of the cost you’d pay for an on-site training?

We are very close to making this a reality, just in time for back-to-school.  I will keep you posted over the next few days.

To get started now for free, enroll in my Increase Your School’s Safety in 5 Easy Steps online course.

What If….

What if..

What if you could access quality school safety training without having to be away from your core responsibilities for an entire day, or even for a few hours, returning to a heavy load of email and crises that occurred in your absence?

What if you could access quality school safety training for all of your staff members (bus drivers, food service staff, substitutes, paraprofessionals, teachers, custodians) without having to pull them away from their responsibilities, ask them to work extra hours, or pay overtime wages?

What if you didn’t have to pay a trainer to fly across the country, stay in a hotel, rent a car, and present for an hour or two to train your staff?

What if you could access school safety training content and printable materials as often as you wish for a full year?

What if making your school safer were as simple as investing an hour at your convenience to access the very same training content provided to school districts across the country?

Would this convenient, valuable service be appealing to you?

I’m excited to offer you the opportunity to learn the skills necessary to significantly improve your school’s safety by covering all of the aspects that will allow you to sleep better at night.

Using one of the worlds’ most secure and user-friendly portals, you can now train your entire staff on your schedule. Thanks to the latest technology, I can do this at a fraction of the cost of in-person training. This digital technology allows me to pass on tremendous savings to you.

The online course, Everyday School Safety, will be open for registration soon, and you’ll be among the first to receive complete registration details. If you’d like to know more before then, you can contact me here.