Begin Main Content Area

School Safety and Security

On June 22, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 44 of 2018 into law, creating a School Safety and Security Committee within PCCD.  The Committee is tasked with developing the criteria school entities are to use in performing school safety and security assessments, issuing a survey to school entities to measure school safety and security preparedness, and administering grants.

To better understand its requirements, an overview of the key elements of the Act has been developed and provided in the Overview of Act 44 (pdf).

If you have any questions, please submit them to RA-CD-SSSC@pa.gov

School Safety and Security Grant Program Information

The FY18-19 School Safety and Security Grant Program funding announcement (pdf) for $52.5 million closed on October 12, 2018.  The School Safety and Security Committee shall consider all Part A: Meritorious Application requests from school districts at the October 30, 2018 meeting.  If determined to be meritorious, award letters related to the $25,000 project ONLY will be released to school districts as soon as possible following the October 30, 2018 Committee meeting.

Please note that no later than November 30, 2018, the Committee will begin reviewing school entity survey responses and pre-existing school safety and security assessments completed within the last three years (i.e., an assessment performed no later than 2015 to present), if available, as required by Section 1305-B (relating to survey of school safety and security) in Act 44 of 2018.  After findings are released to school entities, all Part B: Competitive Applications may be revised based on additional information.  All applicants will be notified when the revision period will be opened.   

Once the revision period is closed, all Part B: Competitive Applications submitted by school entities will undergo scoring and review.  Applications will be presented to the Committee for consideration after being reviewed, at a meeting that will take place prior to the end of the fiscal year.

Budget Detail Set-up and Navigation Guides

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) is available to provide additional information for potential applicants.

Part A AND Part B Budget Set-Up – This guide is to help school districts set up the Egrants Budget Detail to support both the Part A: Meritorious Application and Part B: Competitive Application budgets. 

Part A OR Part B Budget Set-Up – This guide is to help school entities applying ONLY for Part A: Meritorious Application OR Part B: Competitive Application budget.

Budget Navigation Screens Assistance - This guide is meant to assist with navigation through the budget screens after completing the Budget Set-Up process above. 

School Safety and Security Assessment Criteria

On September 26, 2018, the Committee adopted school safety and security criteria to assist schools in guiding their school safety and security assessments.  Under Act 44, the Committee was tasked with establishing criteria to be used when conducting an assessment, which is a strategic evaluation of a school's facilities and programs used to identify potential safety and security threats.  Assessments are to include consideration of the safety and security of a school's physical environment, climate and behavioral health environment, and related policies and trainings. 

The school safety assessment criteria is a compilation of best practices and recommendations as developed by experts on the Committee and additional workgroup members.  Physical assessment suggestions include general considerations on outside landscaping and lighting; limiting building access; parking and delivery processes; securing utilities; signage; keys and identification; visitor procedures; monitoring and surveillance; and emergency planning.  The school climate and behavioral health assessment includes best practices as related to Student Assistance Program (SAP) teams; prevention, early identification and intervention of student behavioral health concerns; and school climate considerations.

School Safety and Security Assessment Criteria Overview – This guide is intended to address some frequently asked questions about the School Safety and Security Assessment Criteria below. In addition, the guide will aid both school entities and school safety and security assessors in how to best utilize the School Safety and Security Assessment Criteria.

School Safety and Security Assessment Criteria

School Safety Assessment Provider Registry

On September 26, 2018, the Committee adopted criteria for the registration of individuals with knowledge and experience in matters of school safety and security that qualifies a person to conduct assessments based upon the Committee's adopted assessment criteria (Registration Criteria).  If you are interested in applying to be included on the provider registry, please visit our School Safety Provider Registry webpage to submit your initial application for consideration by the Committee.

General Information

 Accordion

Expand AllClick here for a more accessible version
Where can I learn more about Act 44 of 2018, including grant information?

​This presentation provides an overview of the Act and contains some information from the first Committee meeting.  

The School Safety and Security Grant Program funding announcement for $52.5 million can be found on PCCD's Open Funding Announcements webpage.  Since this is an open, competitive solicitation, a Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) for this specific funding announcement is available to provide additional information for potential applicants. Please check the FAQ frequently as answers are updated on a regular basis.

Who can serve as a School Safety and Security Coordinator?

According to Act 44, the chief school administrator of a school entity shall appoint a school administrator as the school safety and security coordinator for the school entity. The appointment shall be made not later than August 31, 2018.

The Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE) and the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency (PCCD) have interpreted the term "school administrator" to mean any individual who currently serves or who will serve in an administrative capacity in a school entity that meets the coordinator requirements of Act 44.  The coordinator will represent the entire school entity.

Act 44 includes both general duties for the coordinator, including overseeing all school police officers, school resource officers, school security guards, and policies and procedures in the school entity, and reporting directly to the chief school administrator, and several specific duties, such as reviewing school policies and procedures and other tasks.  Please see Act 44 for the full list of duties and responsibilities of coordinators.

Does the individual appointed as the School Safety and Security Coordinator in a school district require School Board approval?

​That is ultimately up to each school district to determine.  The Act only requires the chief school administrator to make the appointment.

Where can I find or learn more about PA Department of Education (PDE) approved School Safety and Security Training?

​By September 30, 2018, the School Safety and Security Committee at PCCD must adopt criteria for the physical assessment of buildings, assessment of policies and trainings, and behavioral health and school climate assessments.  Following the adoption of that criteria, the Committee will work with PDE to determine what trainings meet Act 44 requirements.  A list of those trainings will be posted on PDE's website and cross-referenced here.

Where can I find or learn more about the Community Violence grants available under the School Safety and Security Fund?

​The overview of Act 44 contains some information on the Community Violence grants. More information will be posted as the Committee continues to meet.

Do all of the policies in the assessment criteria need to be board approved?

​No. In the assessment criteria the term "policy" is used as a general term denoting written documentation and could include a board-approved policy, internal procedure or administrative regulation, or plan, based on requirements of law and regulations and the advice of legal counsel.

Membership Lists

School Safety and Security Committee Membership
Physical/Policy/Training Assessment Criteria Workgroup
Behavioral Health/School Climate Assessment Workgroup
Provider and Registration Criteria Workgroup
School Survey Workgroup 
Community Violence Prevention Workgroup

 

Upcoming Committee Meeting Dates

​Date ​and Time ​Location
Wednesday, August 29, 2018 - 1 to 3 PM PCCD, 3101 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA
Wednesday, September 26, 2018  - 1 to 3 PM PCCD, 3101 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA
Tuesday, October, 30, 2018​- 1 to 3 PM PCCD, 3101 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 1 to 3 PM PCCD, 3101 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - ​1 to 3 PM TBD

 

Additional Communications

School Safety and Security Survey Correspondence (October 15, 2018)
Letter to School Entities from PDE and PCCD (September 21, 2018)
Act 44 of 2018 Letter to School Entities ( August 3, 2018)