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Safe Schools

The 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. 

Act 44 of 2018 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 the Pennsylvania Commission for Crime and Delinquency (PCCD). The Committee is tasked with developing the criteria that school entities are to use when performing school safety and security assessments, issuing a survey to school entities to measure school safety and security preparedness, and administering grants. For more information about the school requirements under Act 44, visit the PCCD School Safety and Security website

School entties are requried to complete a survey by November 30, 2018 that measures school safety and security. Learn more about this survey. Take the survey.

Emergency Management Planning 

Planning for emergencies is something every local education agency must consider, regardless of its size or location. While it’s very difficult to plan for every issue that could occur, preparation is key to saving lives if and when a disaster strikes. The Pennsylvania Department of Education’s Office for Safe Schools partners with PEMA, the Pennsylvania State Police, and other agencies and security organizations to offer best practice planning, programs, and training throughout Pennsylvania.

All Hazards School SafetyToolkit

Model Memorandum of Understanding with Law Enforcement Agency (PDF)


PEMA:  Basic School Plan Format (PDF)

Sample Superintendent's Letter - Parental Notification on Continued Warnings About Potential Threats (PDF) 

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.

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.