Resources and Toolkits
2018 School Safety Task Force Report
In the report, the School Safety Task Force addresses ways the state of Pennsylvania, schools, and communities can create secure environments where learning can be prioritized. Based on feedback from more than 200 meeting participants – as well as from the more than 788 Pennsylvanians who shared their suggestions through an online feedback survey – the Task Force has identified 31 targeted and actionable recommendation to improve school safety and student well-being. Read the report (PDF).
Safety Checklist for IEP Teams
Developed by the Education Resources for Children with Hearing Loss committee, this checklist serves as an additional resource for consideration by individualized education program (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 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. View the Safety Checklist for IEP Teams (PDF).
Getting To/From School
Safe Routes to School (SRTS) is a national and international movement to create safe, convenient, and healthy opportunities for children to walk and bicycle to school. The program encourages children to walk and bicycle to school, helping to reverse an alarming decrease in students' physical activity and an associated increase in childhood obesity. By getting more children to walk and bicycle to school, communities are also reducing fuel consumption, alleviating traffic congestion, and improving air quality. SRTS programs are built on collaborative partnerships among many stakeholders, including educators, parents, students, elected officials, engineers, city planners, business and community leaders, health officials, and bicycle and pedestrian advocates. Learn more about SRTS.
The Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) offers helpful videos that provide youth with information on bicycle safety, including important information to know before getting on a bicycle and basic bicycle riding skills. View the videos.
The Trauma Informed Guide is a compilation of resources from a range of health and human service agencies, federal partners, and respected sources on trauma, toxic stress, and resiliency, and specifically what these advances mean for program design and service delivery.
Visit the Trauma Informed Guide website.
Fire Drills and Bus Evacuations
The Pennsylvania School Code requires that fire drills be conducted in every public school at least once a month while school is in session. The Pennsylvania School Code also requires that all schools, including school districts, charter schools, career and technology centers, and intermediate units, that use or contract school buses for transportation of students shall conduct two emergency school bus evacuation drills during each school year. Learn more about required fire drill and bus evacuations.
Lead in Drinking Water
To prevent exposure to lead contamination in the drinking water of Pennsylvania’s schools, the Public School Code was amended in June 2018 (by Act 39 of 2018) to encourage schools to test for lead in their drinking water, require schools that do not test to discuss lead issues at a public meeting, and implement a plan if results exceed the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s national primary drinking water standard of 15 parts per billion. View information on sources of lead, testing for lead, remedies, and more.