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Safe Schools

Office for Safe Schools coordinates school safety and security programs, collection of the annual school violence statistics, coordination of antiviolence efforts, and development of policies and strategies to combat school violence. The office supports and provides technical assistance and professional development programs in the following areas and security-related activities to support school safety: crisis intervention, school police training, violence prevention, and social/emotional wellness and safety provides services to all local school entities.

On July 10, 2015 Governor Wolf signed PA House Bill 229 into law.

HB 229 is now Act 26 of 2015. Act 26 amends Title 18 (Crimes and Offenses) of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes, in assault, further providing for the offense of harassment.

Act 26:

  1. Defines cyber harassment of a child and makes it a crime.
  2. Explains what occurs if a juvenile is charged with this offense.
  3. Defines the following: emotional distress, repeatedly communicates and seriously disparaging statement.
  4. Becomes effective September 8, 2015.

More information or to read the law

Announcing: NEW Federal Guidance on Developing High-Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Schools and Institutions of Higher Education.

The Technical Assistance Center sponsored by the U.S. Department of Education's (ED) Office of Safe and Healthy Students (OSHS) to support schools, school districts, and institutions of higher education, with their community partners, in the development of high-quality emergency operations plans (EOPs) and comprehensive emergency management planning efforts announces new federal guidance for developing Emergency Operations Plans.

Sudden Cardiac Arrest

The Department of Health in consultation with the PA School Boards Association, the Department of Education and other key stakeholders is providing information that will serve as the training course for athletic coaches to read and sign in compliance with Act 59.

A curriculum for grades 4-12 about Sudden Cardiac Arrest (SCA) and the Chain of Survival.


  • Approximately 1 in 70 high schools will have a sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) on campus each year, and nearly half of these events will be in students or student-athletes.
  • Sudden cardiac arrest is the #1 cause of death of student athletes. It takes the lives of thousands
    of students every year.
  • Providing CPR and using an AED dramatically increases the chance of survival.

This summer, the world will be reacquainted with Ghostbusters. We will all know who to call when there is a ghost. However, so many of us still don't know who to call or what do to when a fellow student experiences sudden cardiac arrest. Therefore, we're introducing you to our heroes - Heartsavers.

This Ghostbusters-inspired music video educates students about sudden cardiac arrest. The corresponding curriculum provides students and teachers an opportunity to talk about the importance of AED devices and how to respond to cardiac arrest. We hope that you will use this in your classrooms.

PA Bullying Prevention Consultation Line

The Office for Safe Schools, Pennsylvania Department of Education (PDE), announces the availability of the PA Bullying Prevention Consultation Line. The Bullying Prevention Consultation Line is a toll free number that will allow individuals experiencing chronic and unresolved bullying to discuss effective strategies and available resources to deal with school-based bullying. This supportive resource has been developed in collaboration with the Center for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (CHPDP), and is available, at no cost, to students, parents/guardians and school districts across the state of Pennsylvania.

Messages can be left 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and will be returned Monday-Friday during normal business hours. The Consultation Line is 1-866-716-0424.

Online Climate Surveys

The Office for Safe Schools of the Pennsylvania Department of Education announces the release of school climate surveys to all school entities in the Commonwealth. The surveys are intended to provide schools with formative and summative climate data for use with needs assessments, program development and short and long term planning. The domains measured by the surveys include: Social Emotional Learning, Student Support, High Expectations and Academic Rigor/Challenge, and Safe and Respectful School Climate.

Surveys are available for grades 3-5, 6-8, 9-12, staff and faculty, parents and community members.

The surveys and their results are located on a secure website and are completely confidential. Survey data will be the sole property of the school district. No results will be reviewed by the PA Department of Education for any reason. The surveys are completely free to all participating school entities in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. School entities can choose to administer any and all of the available surveys. Use of the surveys is at the discretion of each school entity. Surveys are available for administration year round to assist school entities with ease of use and planning of administration.

Safety Checklist for IEP Teams

This is a resource developed by Education Resources for Children with Hearing Loss (ERCHL) committee which is an advisory committee to the Bureau of Special Education. Its purpose is to serve as an additional resource for consideration by the IEP teams and safety committees in public schools that provide services to students who are deaf/hard of hearing. Due to the unique nature of the communication needs of students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind, it is suggested that individualized education program (IEP) teams use this checklist to assure that students have full access to the language and implementation of safety plans. This list is intended to guide discussions to determine needs and supports for students who are deaf, hard of hearing, or deaf-blind during emergency situations.

Model Dating Violence Policy

Dating violence is widespread with serious long-term and short-term effects. Many teens do not report it because they are afraid to tell friends and family. Dating violence is a type of intimate partner violence. It occurs between two people in a close relationship. The nature of dating violence can be physical, emotional, or sexual. Unhealthy relationships can start early and last a lifetime. Teens often think some behaviors, like teasing and name calling, are a "normal" part of a relationship. However, these behaviors can become abusive and develop into more serious forms of violence. Dating violence can take place in person or electronically, such as repeated texting or posting sexual pictures of a partner online. The following is a information to assist you in preventing this type of violence.