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School Safety and Security

School Safety and Security Grant Program and Community Violence Prevention/Reduction Grant Recipients (April 30, 2019) (new!)

Overview

On June 22, 2018, Governor Tom Wolf signed Act 44 of 2018 into law, creating a School Safety and Security Committee (SSSC) 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.  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 solicitation for $52.5 million in school safety and security grant program funding for FY2018-19 closed on October 12, 2018.  The SSSC issued $12.4 million in Part A: Meritorious Application awards to all applying school districts on October 30, 2018.  On April 30, 2019, the SSSC approved $40 million in Part B: Competitive Application awards to 234 grant recipients.  More information on the solicitation for FY19-20 will be posted after the July 30, 2019 meeting of the SSSC.

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

School Safety and Security Assessment Criteria

On September 26, 2018, the SSSC adopted an initial set of criteria to assist schools in guiding their school safety and security 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 SSSC and additional workgroup members. 

School Safety and Security Assessment Criteria OverviewThis 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 SSSC 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.

If you are a school entity interested in locating an approved provider, use our Provider Registry.

Community Violence Prevention/Reduction Grant Program

A portion of Act 44 school safety and security funding is set-aside annually to support community violence prevention/reduction grants.  Eligible entities that can apply for this funding are municipalities (including counties), institutions of higher education, and community organizations.  On April 30, 2019, the SSSC approved 25 awards under this program for a total of $7.5 million (see grant listing above).  More information on the FY19-20 solicitation for this program will be available in Fall 2019.

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.

Are the “findings” a school entity that participated in the Act 44 School Safety and Security Survey received from PCCD on January 31, 2019 considered official audit findings?

​No. School safety and security findings as a result of the Act 44-required survey are strictly educational in nature.  Findings should be reviewed as recommendations only, and discussed with the school entity's administration and/or school solicitor or legal counsel for consideration and action to improve school safety and security.

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 Meeting Minutes (PDF) ​All meetings are held at PCCD, 3101 North Front Street, Harrisburg, PA unless otherwise indicated
Wednesday, September 5, 2018 – 1 to 2 PM Meeting Minutes (PDF)           
Wednesday, September 26, 2018  - 1 to 3 PM Meeting Minutes (PDF)           
Tuesday, October, 30, 2018​- 1 to 3 PM     Meeting Minutes (PDF)
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 - 1 to 3 PM Meeting Minutes (PDF)           
Wednesday, January 30, 2019 - ​1 to 3 PM Meeting Minutes (PDF)
Tuesday, April 30, 2019 – 1 to 3 PM
Tuesday, July 30, 2019 – 1 to 3 PM
​Wednesday, October 30, 2019 – 1 to 3 PM

 

Additional Communications

 Act 44 of 2018 Letter to School Entities ( August 3, 2018)
 Letter to School Entities from PDE and PCCD (September 21, 2018)
 School Safety and Security Survey Correspondence (October 15, 2018)
FY18-19 School Safety and Security Grant Program funding announcement Communication to School Safety and Security Grant Program Part B Applicants (January 31, 2019) 
Communication to School Safety and Security Coordinators on Board Reports (May 29, 2019)

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.