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Orange County School Threat Assessment and Response (STAR) Project

Award Information

Award #
Funding Category
Competitive Discretionary
Awardee County
Congressional District
Funding First Awarded
Total funding (to date)

Description of original award (Fiscal Year 2022, $636,774)

The Orange County Department of Education (OCDE) will partner with four feeder elementary school districts serving high-need communities in Orange County, CA – Centralia Elementary School District (CESD); Cypress School District (CYPSD); Magnolia School District (MSD); and Savanna School District (SAVSD) – to implement the Orange County School Threat Assessment and Response (STAR) Project. This project will provide comprehensive school threat assessment team development, suicide prevention and case management e-learning platform, and specialized training for school-based law enforcement in 27 elementary school sites (addresses Areas 2, 3, and 4). These schools feed into Anaheim Union High School District (AUHSD) middle and high schools, which show disproportionately high rates of suspension due to violent incidents and weapons possession (CDE DataQuest, 2019-20). This project will implement Dr. Dewey Cornell's evidence-based Comprehensive School Threat Assessment Guidelines: Intervention and Support to Prevent Violence (CSTAG) program for school-based teams to assess and respond effectively to threats of violence. Online training and technical assistance will be facilitated by a Professional Learning Community (PLC). Sustainable implementation of the CSTAG will be carried out through a Train-the-Trainers (TTT) model and ongoing networking opportunities for trainers.

The overarching objective of the project is to establish multidisciplinary School Threat Assessment and Response (STAR) Teams, composed of school site and district personnel, to receive training in evidence-based threat assessment and response. Participating schools will show improved perceptions of safety, and reductions in suspensions and other indicators of violence on school campuses. Each STAR Team and select Train-The-Trainer (TTT) participant from the districts will receive one-day CSTAG training. A CSTAG Certified Trainer will then offer a 1.5-day TTT workshop, through which CESD, CYSD, MSD, and SAVSD can build an intra-district cadre of trainers. Year 3 will focus on building local sustainability, with a cadre of trainers training new staff and providing professional development to schools on building and maintaining STAR Teams and implementing evidence-based threat assessment and response on their campuses.

The evaluation plan will align with program objectives, work with program partners to obtain data, and monitor progress towards objectives. The evaluator will develop data collection protocols and tools, compile and analyze data, and generate progress and evaluation reports. Baseline and quarterly data will be gathered to monitor progress. Data will be handled in compliance with FERPA and HIPAA, and technical assistance will be sought to ensure compliance with GSP guidelines. School safety plan implementation will be reported annually by STAR Teams.

Date Created: September 29, 2022