Act 18 of 2019 amended the Public School Code of 1949 by adding Article XIII-E, Threat Assessment. Among its provisions, Article XIII-E requires the establishment of threat assessment teams for all school entities in Pennsylvania and tasks the School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC) to research, develop and provide free threat assessment guidelines, training and informational materials, as well as model procedures and guidelines for school entities.
In accordance with these requirements, the SSSC has approved the following resources and documents of school entities and others to use to implement this Article:
- Model K-12 Threat Assessment Procedures and Guidelines, to support school entities in developing their own policies and threat assessment teams in compliance with the expectations delineated in Act 18.
- Guidance on Communication and Information on Confidentiality, in a Q&A format, to assist schools in ensuring open communication with other school-based intervention teams (particularly Student Assistance Program (SAP) and Individualized Education Program (IEP) teams) and maintaining appropriate confidentiality in accordance with state and federal law.
- Information for School Staff, Parents, and Guardians, in a PowerPoint format, that school entities can adapt to include local connections and utilize as part of an interactive presentation.
- Students Preventing Violence in School, in a PowerPoint format, provides information tailored to students that students can access directly, teachers can use in the classroom, or school entities can otherwise adapt and incorporate into an interactive or multimedia presentation.
In addition, Article XIII-E requires that the SSSC develop and offer free model training programs that comply with specified requirements. To that end, PCCD applied for and has been awarded a federal grant through the U.S. Department of Justice, Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing (STOP) School Violence Threat Assessment Grant Program. This three-year grant will support the development of a statewide Threat Assessment Technical Assistance and Training Network, developed and implemented by PCCD in collaboration with a well-qualified provider and other partners, including the PA Department of Education, PA State Police, and PA Emergency Management Agency.
In April 2020, the SSSC approved the selection of Risk and Strategic Management (RSM) Corporation as the qualified entity to design, launch, and deliver Network activities using federal STOP School Violence funding.
The Network will launch during the 2020-2021 school year and will provide comprehensive in-person and online training and technical assistance at no cost to help schools work through the questions and challenges of implementing threat assessment. An online training program, designed in response to needs articulated by Pennsylvania school entities, will launch in early 2021 and will be available at no cost for all school entities in the Commonwealth. In addition, PCCD plans to hold 10 regional train-the-trainer sessions in locations across the state, facilitated by RSM Corporation, beginning in Summer 2021 – again, offered at no cost for all school entities statewide.
Additional information on the training programs and other resources developed through this initiative will be posted as they become available.
Materials and resources on this page will be reviewed annually and revised/updated as needed.
If you have any questions or comments regarding the threat assessment team materials above or the K-12 Threat Assessment and Technical Assistance Network and related resources, please email RA-CD-SSSC@pa.gov.