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.
Implementation Resources for PA 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.
- Pennsylvania K-12 Threat Assessment Technical Assistance and Training Network, providing free, comprehensive online training modules for K-12 Threat Assessment Teams , regional in-person "train-the-trainer" events, and no-cost technical assistance supports for Pennsylvania school entities. (Note: More information about these resources is available in the "Threat Assessment Training for Pennsylvania School Entities" section below.)
Threat Assessment Training for PA School Entities
Pennsylvania K-12 Threat Assessment Technical Assistance and Training Network
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 provides funding to support the design, launch, and implementation of the PA K-12 Threat Assessment Technical Assistance & Training Network. The Network officially launched on April 30, 2021 and provides 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.
Online Training Program
To help Pennsylvania school entities comply with Threat Assessment Team requirements established by Act 18 of 2019, PCCD recently launched a free, comprehensive online training program, which uses a "train-the-trainer" approach for equipping Threat Assessment Team members to understand and articulate key concepts of school-based threat assessment and management. Participants can complete the multi-module course at their own pace using an online training platform and curriculum developed by RSM Corporation (see "About the Training Curriculum" for more detailed information below).
Participants who successfully complete all 12 course modules can request to receive a certificate of completion, which can be used for obtaining continuing professional education credits.
Register and access online Threat Assessment Team training modules HERE.
In-Person Regional Trainings
In addition to its online training course, PCCD will hold 10 regional train-the-trainer sessions in locations across the state, facilitated by RSM Corporation, during the 2021-2022 school year – again, offered at no cost for all school entities statewide. More information about these in-person training events will be posted below as they are scheduled.
Upcoming Regional Train-the-Trainer Sessions
Site details and registration links for each regional training event will be posted as they are available. Registration for these events is available on a first come, first serve basis and will be closed when maximum capacity is reached.
- Regional Training #1 (Central PA): August 9, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., PaTTAN Harrisburg, 6340 Flank Drive, Harrisburg, PA 17112
- (CLOSED) Maximum capacity has been reached for this session.
- Regional Training #2 (Northeast PA): August 16, 2021 - 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Northeastern Educational Intermediate Unit, 1200 Line Street, Archbald, PA 18403
About the Training Curriculum
PCCD's online and in-person trainings utilize the same K-12 Threat Assessment Training curriculum, developed pursuant to criteria established in Article XIII-E (Threat Assessment) of the PA Public School Code in consultation with nationally recognized subject matter experts, as well as Pennsylvania school administrators and personnel. The training curriculum covers topics including:
- The principles of threat assessment;
- Responsibilities and composition of Threat Assessment Teams;
- Conducting threat assessments (process overview);
- Identifying and reporting threats;
- Gathering information;
- Assessing the situation;
- Managing threats; and
- Additional resources for Pennsylvania school entities.
To learn more about the Network, and to access online Threat Assessment training modules, please visit https://pak12threatassessment.org/.
Additional Resources and Contact Information
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.