Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $1,000,000)
The Poway Unified School District (PUSD) is proposing this project to further enhance the development and implementation of Behavioral Threat Assessment teams in PUSD schools. This project will further build upon an already ongoing statewide effort to address the problem of school violence through prevention and intervention efforts to support students. All PUSD schools have aligned with federal recommendations and adopted BTA as a key strategy to identify threats and implement effective interventions to support students and prevent incidents of school violence. Specifically, PUSD has implemented the Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines (CSTAG) BTA model in all schools. Despite our efforts, PUSD has experienced challenges with implementation and would like to improve and increase professional development trainings and wrap around services at all school sites. PUSD’s recent site-level analysis at all 39 school sites identified critical gaps related to consistently promoting school safety, understanding and utilizing threat assessment with students, and restoring safety after an incident. To more effectively identify threats and improve school safety overall, PUSD needs to:1) work collaboratively with law enforcement to ensure training for district staff encompasses updated best practices for school safety and incident response, 2) make threat assessment documents easily and electronically accessible; 3) train staff, students, and community partners in improved critical incident stress management techniques and effective support following tragic events.
To address these challenges, the PUSD is proposing to enhance the implementation of our multidisciplinary threat assessment teams by delivering our evidence-based CSTAG model through a high-quality eLearning training platform for our school teams to build, strengthen, and maintain knowledge and skills in threat assessment and suicide prevention. The threat assessment training will include both eLearning modules and an interactive virtual or in-person team learning components that not only provide the background needed to implement threat assessment, but the practical hands-on skills. PUSD will also work with local law enforcement agencies to offer CSTAG eLearning training modules designed specifically for law enforcement. The case management software will guide multidisciplinary teams as they document and assess cases, and more effectively implement harm reduction plans for at-risk students that are trauma-informed and developmentally appropriate. These tools will be made available to PUSD schools over a 36-month period using a cyclical and phased approach to implementation. Specific elements are also embedded within our proposal that will ensure these activities have the long-term impacts desired beyond the life of the grant.